Nichola Pais probes the do’s and don’ts of sharing right on social media
When a young, cool and brilliant US-educated engineer-cum-MBA was recruiting for his start-up, a video sharing app in Mumbai, none of his customary casualness was in evidence. Many candidates who possessed the required qualifications were nixed. One reason: the #aboutlastnight #drinking hashtags accompanying images of beer-fuelled revelry that popped up in his pre-interview scrutiny of candidates.“If s/he cares so little about their self-image, I really don’t see them caring about the company’s image,” he explains. ‘Big Brother is watching’; in fact we have invited him to do so with our unbridled sharing on social media, and now we must tread carefully!
“My advice is to keep it as professional as possible these days, as even employment agencies or companies are looking into our profiles across all media channels as part of the background checks, before they hire us,” points out lifestyle blogger Deena Pinto of SkinnyGirlDiariez. “One has to be very mindful of what is shared on the social platform, as once you hit post – it is out there for the whole world to see! Oversharing, especially excessive selfies or just similar styled images can be a turn off. Oversharing on topics like negativity, religion and politics leads to a negative impact and friends turn to foe. We have the freedom of speech but that doesn’t mean we go a little mental on posting.”
‘A little mental on posting’ does sum up the mood of our times. Megha Shrimali, who handles content and social media for several brands with The Brown Scooter, cautions, “Oversharing on social media/ online space can have adverse effects depending on what you share. What you post over a period of time makes your image online – whether it is good or bad. Posting rants about your job and revealing too much information about your personal life blurs the thin line between your offline and online life. While social media is meant to share your personal opinions, it is advisable to not be too open to secure your privacy. You wouldn’t want your company, friends or family members to hold grudges against you for something you share in a certain moment of time.”
Even when information is not of the sensitive variety, frequency has to be always kept in mind. “Any piece or information/ profile/ portfolio shared online should be uploaded only once and not repeatedly since it clogs up the data space on the server because it actually slows down the internet and unnecessarily blocks up space,” avers Jatin Parmar, founder of Kiwiana International Services. He adds, “One has to be considerate of the information shared in order to not spam up the digital space as it creates a bad image of a person/ company. Important sensitive and confidential data needs to be protected and not shared online else the hackers can get access to your private information such as bank details, Aadhar and PAN card details, and misuse it online.”
The trick is to always be fully aware of the nature of information being shared. Amar Shah, Digital Marketing manager at Interactive Max Tech, reminds, “After GDPR compliance, your information is kept secured with the revised privacy protocols to a greater extent. Also, social media platforms give us control over which kind of information we are willing to share with others. We may even control which of our friends see this information. However, we need to keep social media etiquette in mind while sharing the content.”
What are the do’s and don’ts of social media etiquette to keep in mind before we hit the post button? The aforementioned experts share pointers…
Check your privacy settings on social media accounts: while accessing a website or an application, you might have logged in via a social media account and by default given a ‘yes’ to use of your information available on the profile. Refrain from it. One app to another app to several apps, you will be surprised as to how many have access to your details.
Refrain from sharing too much information about your location or of your family/ dear ones.
Don’t post intimate or personal photographs online.
Don’t share passwords, bank account details via social media.
Clean your friend list or put them in categories so as to keep your data limited to whom you want it to be showcased to.
Clean your Google Maps history for it has details to every single place you have been to, even when you don’t check-in for most of us have our GPS on all the time.
Be yourself. No need to replicate others’ style to portray yourself over social media. Remember, you’re using virtual medium to manage your real persona. Not vice-versa.
Say no to religion sensitive content. In a country like India where people with different religions are staying under one roof and most of our connections hail from different religions, publishing such content makes you look negative or highly biased in real life. Social media algorithms are also stunting its reach.
Be a Grammar Nazi. Text is sometimes ineffective to clearly define the agenda of any user. A missing or wrongly used comma could change the context of your content, which may create further ripples. Try avoiding such errors and vet your content repeatedly before sharing it online.
Don’t mind the mindless arguments. There’s an expert in each one of us. Learn to tame that expert when it’s not required. If your friend shares content which doesn’t make any sense to you or hurts your sentiments, share your feedback via personal message rather than correcting him/ her in the comments section. If he/ she disagrees with your opinion, simply ‘Report’ the post with the validate reason. Rest will be done by the social media platform on its own.
‘Tag-of-war’ – We all have enjoyed many moments with our friends and have been tagging them in our posts. But, according to the latest study, 6 out of 10 people don’t like too much of tagging even from their dearest friends. So, keep it occasional and tag only those who are needed to be tagged.
Do not share any private or confidential data online.
Always log out of the apps, system and forms properly.
Keep your information/ text to be shared online to a minimum.
Never respond to any unknown emails. There is a lot of spam and scams online especially from the African emails.
Ensure images or videos are clear and audible, and speak to the followers or audience.
Never over share posts especially on Instagram, as it turns out to be spam.
Respect the culture and values of places and food whilst being a critic. Keep it neutral. If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say it at all!
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