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Posts Tagged ‘etiquette’


Social Networking Etiquette 101: 5 Ways to Mind Your Manners While Online

December 2nd, 2009 :: Monika Jansen
When I first joined Facebook, I got a friend request from a total stranger.  Turns out she was a “2nd”, aka, the friend of a friend.  That’s really ballsy, I thought, but I wasn’t totally surprised.  It’s happened to all of us.  While having a total stranger follow you on Twitter is flattering, LinkedIn and Facebook are a bit more intimate.  Being approached by a stranger on those sites is kind of stalker-ish.  Needless to say, I blocked the person who tried to “friend” me.

I do wonder, though, why social networking causes so much mindless behavior.  Perhaps it’s because we’re in a rush, or perhaps we’re just trying to stay active on all those social networking sites, or perhaps it’s because some of us were raised by wolves in the outback.  Most of just really want more connections on LinkedIn and more followers on Twitter.  Whatever the reason, though, gazillions of people out there don’t think before they type…or click…or send friend requests.

So, here you go: 5 ways to mind your manners while online.

  1. Don’t automatically subscribe someone to your e-marketing or e-newsletter program.  Engage with that person first, then ask if they’d like to be added to your distribution list.  And be sure that instructions for unsubscribing are clearly stated somewhere in your email.
  2. Do not attempt to “friend” someone on Facebook or connect with someone on LinkedIn unless you personally know them.  If you’d like to meet them, figure out someone you have in common and ask for an introduction.  If that fails, email them through Facebook and introduce yourself.
  3. Don’t ignore attempts to connect.  Respond to someone’s note with a note of your own and suggest an alternative way to connect.  However, if you don’t even know the person (see above), go ahead and block them.
  4. If you are attempting to connect with someone you only met briefly, remind that person how you know each other.
  5. Don’t attempt to connect two business acquaintances, colleagues, or friends without a heads up to both people.  Fair warnings are always appreciated.

If you have any other etiquette tips, email me at [email protected]. If I receive enough suggestions, I’ll write them up in a future blog post.