A recent read on twitter-etiquettes leads me to share my own pet peeves on behaviour I come across, in the hope that it reforms some attitudes. I find that as we’re forming digital communities, it’s only fair that we adopt the right etiquette in our interaction on them, as we do in our life otherwise, so here’s my 3-point list on what we could avoid on 3 popular social networking channels:
- Use the single sentence template offered by LinkedIn to invite people. Some individuals have amazed me by saying that they use the impersonal single sentence invite instead of personalising their request because they fear the latter would bother people! Unless people have no idea of objectives of professional networking or they completely mistrust their ability to write two personalised sentences, I’d like to know how it’d disturb anyone to know why this individual is interested in connecting? The sole purpose of forming connections on this professional forum can’t be as mindless as seeing one’s network get populated superficially, so I’d say it makes every sense to use the invite to highlight how directions are aligning hence a request for connection.
- Keep sketchy data on one’s profile. I realise that it can be time-consuming to complete one’s profile on LinkedIn—especially arranging recommendations for it. But please do not open a LinkedIn account just to put your name, a vaguely worded professional interest full of typing errors, and expect that people should know you enough from it to accept your invite. At least desist from sending invites to people till you fill your school/college education, work history and a few lines as your profile summary. It can remain work-in-progress after that but would still convey some basic background data on you for broadening your network.
- Missing photo. I don’t plan to judge my professional connections on the basis of their looks nor do I want to be judged on mine, but I consider it plain bad manners for people to leave a gaping hole in place of their profile photo and reach out to all and sundry to make connections. The LinkedIn profile is like an identity document on an individual and built in to support the virtual handshake one is attempting with several people so please ‘paste’ your photo on this ID.
- Tweet and RT (retweet) quotes on a regular basis. While one or two inspiring quotes can have an uplifting effect on one’s thought process, I come across individuals tweeting them as if their life depends on that exercise! Don’t they realise that the Net is bursting at its seams with resources of that kind and they’re just irking their followers with those tweets?
- Tweet Jokes. Same sentiment applies as above. Please use the tool to connect with people but why fill their timeline with untimely humour repeatedly? If you do not have an original view to share, please wait till you do for reading of myriad viewpoints and blog posts is sure to bring in thoughts of your own to tweet. In any case, responding to tweeted questions is a great way to add value to interaction on Twitter and do that till you get fresh ideas of your own.
- Tweet your meal and bodily routines. This one really gets me to unfollow individuals, and makes for a reason for my low ‘following’ number! Really, who’s interested to see a crowded timeline with tweets on when one is sleeping or having lunch…unless one is broadcasting a great eating place or food item. When you’re awake, inform your followers of your wakeful state by tweeting coherent and helpful bits of information, and that would help everyone’s cause.
- Friends writing on a friend’s wall instead of sending a private message. To educate friends on using the two mediums sensibly has not been easy for me. Most just feel inclined to fill the visible empty box of Wall than seek out the option of ‘send a message to friend’.
- Friends sending invites to frivolous applications. I can appreciate a friend’s need to reinforce common characteristics but new users of Facebook get too enthusiastic about all the colourful applications they come across and not only get stuck with them, they also get other friends trapped into them. Please exercise self-control when you’re prompted to send an invite to the last quiz you attempted.
- Individuals putting their family photos as their profile photo. Why do people do that? To ward off unsolicited advances? Why don’t they just mention their relationship status appropriately to send the right message? I can’t think of another reason for putting the whole family or a couple’s photo as one’s own. Everyone has a unique face and should be represented through his/her own here too.
I can think of a couple more things but I promised to stick to a 3-point list so over to you to share yours on making social networking a pleasant experience 🙂