Tuesday, September 25, 2012


Today, I believe I have something important to say, so feel free to direct others here... repost... whatever.
I'd like to remind people about an old fashioned idea called etiquette.
Etiquette, according to an online dictionary, is:  a code of behavior that delineates expectations for social behavior according to contemporary conventional norms within a society, social class, or group.
In today's society, we have almost instant access to information. When we have news that we feel others ought to know, we can tell dozens, hundreds, multitudes of people at a time. Technology that allows us near instant access to information, and equally fast disbursement of information seems almost exempt from any form or rules of etiquette.
Many people don't fact check before passing along information. If the source we got our information from is reliable, we assume that their news is reliable. Sometimes it is, other times the news just seemed so important to share, facts were not verified.
Take a moment to verify your news before you pass it on.
I'd like to address more than just fact verification.
Yes, you have the facts. Straight from the source.
"Oh, I just heard Susie Que is having a baby! Isn't that exciting? Congratulations, Susie!"
That seems harmless enough, doesn't it?
Susie Que told you, her best friend, before she told her mother. And you told the world on your favorite social network. Your own mom sees your post, and calls Susie's Mom to congratulate her.
This leaves Susie in a bad spot with her family. The news wasn't yours to share.

There are some things that need to be shared with many people in a short amount of time. Social media is a great way to accomplish this. Yet there are still few rules you should observe.
Immediate family should be notified of deaths, and funeral arrangements before it is posted in a public forum. I know first hand the pain of learning funeral arrangements of a close family member from a public media forum rather than from the family.
Yes, it is easier to let everyone know at one time. However, it is poor etiquette not to prepare close family members for the onslaught of phone calls they will receive once the news is announced.

Instant social media can start a wildfire of misinformation and pain when seemingly 'verified facts'  are posted. A friend of mine has been in a coma in the hospital. I got a telephone call that she had passed away. I checked her social media site, and saw that one of her family members had posted of her loss. There were dozens of condolences posted. Her daughter's site also was swamped in condolences. Tears flowed for hours as my family grieved.
Then we get news... our friend is alive!
We rejoiced in the miracle... only to learn that our grief was founded on an unsubstantiated rumor.

Please, before you post congratulations, condolences, the missing child report... check your facts. Don't post news that isn't yours to share. Don't assume all you read on your social media source is true. Be kind, be thoughtful, be caring as well as careful.
Be blessed. And please be prayerful, always.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

very well put.... love you!