Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Referee

While attending webinars and similar events about Social Media and the way we all take advantage of latest technologies, I noticed there is something that stands out again and again: what we post and mainly the way we post it tells lots about whom we are and what we represent.

Most Social Media presenters believe their audience is aiming to establish or grow their business and brand on the Web utilizing the latest available features. Therefore, they give advice on the best practices and the latest trends and tools to accomplish just that.
However, for the rest of us, there is not much advice they can or want to provide because it is precisely their business to focus on businesses.

If you are establishing your presence on the Web with Social Media tools, bear in mind your potential customers and existing clientele probably understand very well what you are posting; after all your goods and services are not foreign to their needs. Post anything and everything with as much freedom as if you are saying or writing a sales pitch with absolutely nobody watching over your shoulder. Do it as freely as if nobody will ever read it, and that will guarantee a flow of ideas that will certainly convey a great message. You can always come back to edit to make it look even better.

Conversely, if all you are doing is communicate with friends and family, the language you use, the images you upload and everything that will become public, shape your identity. Those postings also shape the perception people around have of you. All of them, not only the first degree acquaintances.
Rule of thumb: before sharing something you would consider offensive or out of place, think it twice. If you believe it can offend someone, it is very likely it will do exactly that.
Even if your friend has just posted a funny picture or comment, but that includes specific people you know will be affected, it is safer to simply leave it as is and where it is. Do not touch it.

Enter the referee: he or she can be someone you care about whose age is between eight and fifteen. Imagine that this person is listening or reading absolutely everything you are saying and posting. If the referee raises his or her eyebrow to something you intend to publish, it is certainly not a good idea to do so. There is always a place and time for everything; letting unconditionally everybody know about certain comments or images is merely not appropriate.
As with certain public displays on the real world, the fact is that doing something that is not illegal does not make it right, or morally correct.
You don’t need a warning from the ref every time you commit a fault, do you?

Choose your referee.

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