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Social Media: Rules, Regulations, & Etiquette

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Imagine giving a message to all of the Superbowl audience, which is roughly 150 million people. Multiply that by about 47 and you have the potential audience of every Facebook status, tweet, and blog. When we think about how affective that actually is, we can kind of get an idea of how we should handle them. There are many rules and guidelines to posting on any social media sites, and we should be completely aware of them. I believe some of these rules are as followed:

* Do not post any personal information.
* Do not post any frontal or rear nudity.
* Do not threaten to harm anyone/thing.
* Do not post graphic content or content that is created for the purpose of sadistic pleasure.
* Do not engage in or promote any bullying/harassment.

When we log into Facebook and see that little message asking us what is on our minds, we tend to express just exactly that. I personally do not see anything wrong with that, but it would be ignorant of myself to believe that posting anything without considering who will see it, how they will feel about it, or if it will even matter to them. We as human beings are naturally private. We tend to keep our secrets or unmentionables out of the public eye. If you wouldn’t walk around naked in time square, or you wouldn’t go out giving people on the street your full name, address, and phone number, then why would you post naked pictures or this information on social media websites? Nude photos circulate, and before you know it, you can find yourself in all your glory on a random website pop-up. No one wants that to happen. This is why not getting too “personal” on social media websites is a bad idea. Threatening someone can become catastrophic pretty much no matter where it happens. It’s pretty obvious that threatening someone over the Internet is completely, for lack of a better word, stupid. I

t gets you nowhere and all you can end up doing is causing unwanted drama for the world to see and judge your idiocies. How is it though, that threatening someone over a social media source, could possibly be any bit satisfying? I always feel that empty words digitally transferred from onecomputer screen to another are no way to release anger or fix anything. I think that I can speak for  the majority of logically thinking people that not only is the moral implication a major factor to bullying, but also is the fact that it is just plain dumb. Pornography, Shock-Videos, and Torture videos are strictly forbidden in most commonly used social media websites. I guess I can understand that some people have no self respect and have no care in the world when they flaunt their sadistic and graphic tastes to the world, but I can’t quite grasp why anyone would ever post pornography tot these things.

Ask anyone on the street randomly if they watch pornography regularly, and you will almost always see a shy face. If you are pressured to address the idea of pornography in real life, then why throw it around on the Internet? What is so different about the Internet that gives people the idea that they can say what they won’t anywhere else? Other than the obvious reasons as to why pornography and other graphic content are not allowed, it’s also extremely distasteful for others who aren’t into that stuff. Finally we have come to newest social media crisis… “Online Bullying.” I personally believe that the internet is the best way to keep direct connection with another person the most minimalistic, but other seem to keep being harassed and bullied by people over these social media websites.

The producers and staff members of these websites are making it known that these “cyber bullies” (NASSP, Sep 2011), are unwelcome in the online social community and should either stop or find a different place to congregate. Apparently this memo is only subject to the morally literate bullies, because the alleged attacks continued and had even reached an extreme that some people were committing suicide. Some speculate that these suicides could have been easily prevented had the victims only spoken up to someone, or asked for help with their issues, but in an unwinnable argument, why even try to propose an alternative perception? More back to the point, I believe that cyber bullying is definitely a problem in today’s social media world, but a problem that can easily be thwarted with the right approach and mindset.

So, the next time you sit down in front of your computer and you wiggle you fingers to scroll through the latest and juiciest gossip, and wonders that make up, what we know, as social media, try to remember just exactly you are associating with. Sure grandma will see the picture you took at the lake today. Of course your best friend is going to “like” your update about how awesome the fries at Denny’s are. All of your close friends are your audience, but behind them, in an entire worldwide abyss known as the Internet stands and watches. Be aware of the rules and guidelines, because they wouldn’t be there if they weren’t helping someone.

Strom, P., Strom, R., Walker, J., Tricia Sindel-Arrington, & Beckert, T. (2011). Adolescent bullies on cyber island. National Association of Secondary School Principals.NASSP Bulletin, 95(3), 195-211. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/908807324?accountid=41759

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