Someone asked me recently to tweet something for someone they were working with. It was a new product, one I had no hands on knowledge of. I love helping and I love spreading good stuff. Still, I said no.
I had my reasons.
I'm careful about what I attach my name to. It's a reflection of who I am and what I think and stand for. And I know that what I put out there, stays out there. Forever and then some. No matter how much I'd like to believe that delete button really works, it doesn't when it comes to the Internet. So I'm thoughtful about what I share and suggest to my followers. I keep it to the stuff I care about and know about and have intimate knowledge of.
For instance just the other day I shared a link encouraging people to vote for Laura Zigman in the Shorty Awards. I love her Annoying Conversation series. They are clever and well-written and they never fail to make me laugh out loud. I think she's deserving of winning.
This other request did not fall into such a category. At least not for me.
But I know everyone is not like me. Like everything else in life, many share on Facebook or Twitter or Pinterest because they think by doing so there is something in it for them. They shout outrageous things in 140 characters or less, they might not say if we were standing in front of them. They post a picture on Instagram that guarantees they might never see that promotion they had their eyes on. They have interpreted having an authentic voice to mean typing whatever comes to the top of their head with absolutely no filter, followed by quickly hitting the send button without a care as to the repercussions their words might have. Again, things they might never say at a dinner party. Or maybe they would.
(note to self: do not invite those types to any I'm hosting)
In any case it got me thinking it was time to share the rules I like to follow when engaging in Social Media.
- Think before you post. To Twitter or Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+ or whatever your social net of choice is.
- Post with integrity. By definition integrity is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles, moral being the difference between right and wrong.
- Remember that what you put out there will stay there. Forever. And a day.
- Your on-line engagement is a reflection of who you are. So think before you post, who do you want to be seen as?
- Being authentic does not mean posting the first crazy thought that pops in your head. At least not without taking a long, deep breath first.
- Being creative does not mean being outlandish, cruel or thoughtless.
- Don't share what you have not read or viewed. Sounds so obvious but it happens. All the time.
- Don't share what you don't believe or think has value or is worth sharing. The great thing about our new digital age is that really great ideas can spread quickly. So can bad ones. Your opinion can help to make that happen. So use it. Wisely.