THE EDITOR: “Sometimes being able to publish every whim that scans across your mind is the greatest thing in the world. Sometimes it can become a real problem. The killer is this: when it is a problem you are usually the last to know and the damage is already done” — Mitch Joel.
The social medial platform is really a virtual world, which we should use to communicate with each other in the same respectful manner that our physical and other communication methods demand. Audience etiquette must be considered when presenting opinions, no matter how strong they may be at the time. Etiquette is defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as “the conduct or procedure required by good breeding or prescribed by authority to be observed in social or official life.” While social media has given people the ability to report obscenities and other types of unacceptable posts or communications, individuals must know what is expected of them.
Proper etiquette has its benefits in reciprocation, respect and reliability. Therefore if you practise good etiquette you can usually expect good etiquette in return. This is also critical when representing yourself or especially when representing an organisation.
One of the most outrageous comments I noticed recently was a supporter claiming to be from the UNC using obscenities and private body parts, on a Facebook post, to describe another commentator claiming to be from the PNM. It was distasteful and disheartening to know that party politics enraged a fellow citizen to verbally attack someone in that manner because of a difference of opinion.
We must educate our population on the negative effects of posting threats and obscenities on social media. It is a known fact that social media profiles now form a part of consideration by employers or business associates.
Social media has given us the opportunity to enhance our day-to-day communication in real time. We are now able to communicate more effectively as a result so let’s use this outlet to do better while doing more. Let’s abide by the same cordial and respectful etiquette practices that we would usually use when physically interacting or otherwise communicating with others. We should act on social media as we would when face to face.
RONALD HUGGINS, St Joseph