Common Sense Social Media

Common Sense Social Media

Common Sense Social Media

Hello, my name is Carol. I am a nice, polite lady. Usually. But nowadays on the Internet, all these kids with their loud music and their bad manners are getting under my skin–and on my lawn.  I’ve been seeing such rudeness that I really do want to ask people if they were raised in a barn. Maybe to some people the Internet is a new, new thing, all shiny and just out of the gift bag. I’m seeing some things that I haven’t seen for a long time, like extreme rudeness, ignoring people’s comments, and worse. So here are my maybe not-so-polite views on a few things.

Saying Hello

If you have followers, fans, likers, and whatnot, how about saying hello to them once in a while? They’ve taken the effort to follow you, so how about an occasional shoutout? Would that be too much to ask? You could just say “How’s everybody doing tonight?” or “Good Morning, World!” or some other cheerful expression that you love to use.

Say Thank You

Saying Thank You Makes You Stand Out

Saying Thank You Makes You Stand Out

As my friend Bridget says, “in what universe is a retweet a thank you?” and I’ve gotta agree with her. If someone shares your material or retweets you, say thank you. Retweeting their tweet is not the same thing as thanking them. Say thank you often. Don’t be a social media snob. And if you’re a Baby Boomer, you’re already way ahead in the politeness game.

Pretend There Are Real People on the Internet

Because there are. Except for the bots and spammers, that is. If someone complimented you, you wouldn’t ignore them, right? If they tried to start a conversation with you in real life, you’d say something back, unless you were literally unable to speak. If you’re too busy, say you’re too busy. It’s really pretty simple. And if you’re a brand, ignoring conversations or not being present on social media could be even more detrimental.

Follow People Back

Yes, everyone wants some “social proof” by not following people back. And at first, I felt the same way. But if that other person has some value to add to your online conversations, follow them back. Being polite is one way to get followers on Twitter or on any platform.

Doing Online What You’d Never Do In Real Life

If you did in real life what you do online, people would think you were creepy. So if you wouldn’t share those 99 photos of your filing cabinet in real life, why are you doing that online?

Got a Pet Peeve?

Do you wish people had more common sense manners online? Please share with me! And thank you.


  1. I want to read this on top of a mountain in a James Earl Jones Voice to the whole world!

  2. This is so true! My biggest complaint about businesses doing social media is that they don’t interact. Many want to hire a service to “do” their postings, but this hands-free approach doesn’t win any fans. Thanks for putting my thoughts on this topic into words.

    • You’re right, Tess. People love companies where the CEO tweets. Even if it’s just occasional, having that hands-on approach speaks volumes. Thank you for taking the time to comment. I appreciate that!

  3. Kim Stebbins says

    Good one Carol! I have been puzzled for some time about this retweeting the retweet nonsense–it’s just weird and confusing. Do email manners fall into online manners? Like: you ask me for something and I send it to you, can’t you at least say, “I got it”? I don’t even care about a thank you anymore, just let me that those documents that you asked for did not end up in the junk folder or bounce (sometimes I don’t get a bounce message for days, if the server keeps trying to send it). Ok, that’s my rant. Thanks for asking us to share!

    • Hi Kim,

      Retweeting tweets IS nonsense. I don’t understand how it got to be a convention that if I retweet someone’s tweet, they retweet me instead of thanking. Isn’t that like thanking yourself? It’s just weird.

      Yes, email manners are definitely in the class of online manners. Since so much email gets lost, at least confirming that you received something is good manners–especially if you requested it from the other person.
      And thank you for sharing! :-)


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