“Nothing about being polite is simple. Being polite requires thought, planning, awareness, and self-control.” Deborah King
Imagine you are an honored guest at a wedding, graduation, funeral, or the birth of a baby, and you decide to use your phone to snap a few photos to share with your friends on social media. After all, the event is touching. Stop! Snapping and posting without permission could ruin, or at the very least tarnish, a friendship.
Social media has become a platform where we feel free to tell all and show all. What has happened to the art of being emotionally modest? When did we stop monitoring our speech and behavior and being concerned with how we might affect others? When was the last time you were shocked by or even blushed at a lewd comment or crude joke? Although I love to rejoice with new parents at the birth of their child, seeing a new mom deliver her precious bundle is unsettling. It’s also unsettling to see raw images of a grieving family as they say their final farewells to a loved one.
How do you know if and when it is appropriate to snap a photo or to make a comment on social media? Although many might say it is just common sense, I can assure you that what one person considers inappropriate, another thinks is just fine. So, here are a few basic reminders to consider.
- Never assume. Ask your hosts in advance about their preferences regarding photos and posting information about the event. Some people prefer to keep things private.
- Let the hosts or guests of honor be the first to share the news. It is their story!
- Delete any photos that don’t show people at their best. Ask yourself, “Is this a photo that everyone will be pleased with?” Think about how they will feel five years from now.
- Tag only those who are in the photo or have requested to be tagged. If others wish to tag themselves, they may.
- Limit the number of photos that you post. Although a tasteful collection of photos is enjoyable, nonstop posting is not.
- If you have any doubt about what you plan to post, ask.
What should you do if someone posts a photo or makes a comment that is not acceptable or is possibly offensive? If possible, contact the people who posted the offending item and ask them to remove it. Assume the best. They may not have seen the photo in the same manner you did. If it was clearly an offensive action, block them and report them to the site. Abuse on social media is never appropriate or acceptable.
Even when photos and posting are encouraged, make sure you set your phone aside so that you can fully enjoy the people you are with and the event you are attending.
©2014 What Would Mrs King Do? If you would like to use this article in your newsletter or blog, you may do so. Please include our credit information: Written by Deborah King, What Would Mrs King Do? © Copyright 2014. I would also appreciate it if you would send us a copy for our files to [email protected] If you would like to learn more about social skills contact Final Touch Finishing School, Inc.