This Twitter user wrote a set of rules to follow, and honestly, we should all practice these
Having guidelines for your own online presence is extremely important.
Growing up in the age of social media, we’ve all had to learn how to navigate our own online presence in a way that fits us best. I know for a fact that if I were to look back on my old Twitter page and see what 16-year-old Alex was up to, it would be an extremely cringe-worthy experience that I would regret almost immediately.
For anyone else who grew up in a similar time, I have to imagine the experience is about the same. We all grow and evolve, and that includes developing a way to express ourselves online. I think, at least subconsciously, we all develop our own set of rules that we tend to follow when posting online.
For American writer and NPR host Peter Sagal, there is a strict set of 10 rules that he must follow when posting content on Twitter. Of course, most of this list pertains to Sagal’s own experiences, but there are still a lot of nuggets of wisdom intertwined into Sagal’s rules.
First and foremost on the list is actually the basis of my own online activity. Twitter posts have the potential to live online forever, so it’s important that your posts are genuine. And don’t be a troll. Make sure the content that you’re posting has a positive purpose. Leave all the negativity to the trolls.
Speaking of trolls, it’s best to just avoid them. Sagal says don’t argue online, and I couldn’t agree more. Unless you’re engaging in some meme-worthy banter over whether or not pineapple belongs on pizza, it’s just not worth it to fuel the fire online.
And for goodness sake, don’t hide behind your computer screen. It’s easy to get comfortable knowing that your identity is still somewhat anonymous. Treat the internet like a face-to-face conversation: if you wouldn’t say it in person, don’t say it online.
Use your Twitter following for good
The second half of Sagal’s rules are more aimed towards people with a larger following, but there’s still some good advice. Rule number six, the one regarding sharing news online, is something we should all consider, especially considering the hostile political climate that we’re living in today in the United States.
He goes on to urge people to use their platforms for good. Boost smaller users and profiles that you enjoy. Be thankful for your platform instead of focusing on the negatives.
Sagal’s rules are definitely a good guideline to help your approach to social media, but it’s important to develop your own rules. It all goes back to rule one: learn from your mistakes and be conscious of everything that you post online.
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