Text messagingWith all of the new technology and apps in 2015 we have the ability to share our photos, videos, opinions, etc. with people all over the world. Although we have the ability to share and post, you need to remember that it is important not to overshare and to post anything that could reap negative consequences or actions.

Do resist the urge to comment on EVERYTHING. Not everyone wants to hear your opinion. Make sure you actually have something to contribute to the conversation before you include yourself. 

Don’t post pictures that show your friends or family in an unflattering light without their permission.

Do get permission to post.  When taking photos, make sure everyone knows you intend to post it online so they have a chance to opt-out.  If you copy something from someone else’s page, give them credit for it.  And if you take pictures of children, make very sure you have their parents’ permission. 

Don’t be too personal on your site. Not everyone is comfortable knowing the intimate details of your last breakup or your current medical problem.

Do be careful when posting your location. You might not want everyone to know where you are all the time.

Don’t be a bully. Bullying online is the same as bullying in person. If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

Do refuse requests as you see fit. It’s your site. If you don’t want someone to see your page, that is your preference.

Remember that everything you post on the Internet is PERMANENT. Even if you delete the picture or video, a digital footprint is left that can be easily searched. Once you post something, you have very little control over how many people will see it. This is especially important when you are interviewing for jobs and colleges.

A common understanding of etiquette has been drastically morphed over the years.   It seems as though today’s younger generation is characterized by rudeness, compared to traditional standards of etiquette. Many people believe that technology plays a central role in the decline of good manners and the media agrees.

Talkin on the Phone During Dinner

The integration of technology and social media into nearly each and every act of interpersonal communication, particularly among young people, is changing the common understanding of what is considerate behavior and what is inappropriate. The less face-time people have with others, the less accountable they are for their behavior.  If someone is rude or inappropriate online, they may never have to answer for their behavior in-person.  It is difficult to understand the virtual implications of inconsiderate treatment.

With mobile technology, people can expand their social circles and connect instantaneously with anyone.  While the number of friends we have may be increasing, often the quality of those friendships, particularly with those people we actually do see face-to-face, is declining. The more time people spend expanding their circle of friends online, the less time they spend cultivating healthy and satisfying relationships in person.

Mobile communications and social media have re-shaped the understanding and awareness of etiquette both virtually and in-person.  Have you ever been invited to spend time with someone, then been ignored by that person because they were texting or calling others?  If so you have witnessed the effects of technology on interpersonal communication. The Internet, mobile devices, and social media are critical to us and for businesses.

Don’t ever forget that face to face interactions are just as important.  Make the goal of your day focus on kindness, courtesy and consideration for everyone you meet – virtually and in-person.