The list could go on and on.
Social media is such an incredible invention of the 21st century that the vast majority of us have embraced and now can't imagine living without!! It isn't that long ago that we could not have imagined having such easy access to anything like social media that allows us to contact people from anywhere in the world in an instant. To share like we do, to stay in touch so easily and to feel you are a part of someone’s life that you may not have seen for many years or even met at all!!
It really is such an incredible mechanism of support but it can also be a jungle of rights and wrongs and social graces and offences.
What one of us deems as harmless maybe even friendly someone else can deem offensive. This is the web of social media.
The more we use Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat etc for business purposes the more blurry the lines of social acceptance and manners become.
Before I post anything or message anyone I always ask myself "What is my intention? Could this be taken in a way other than the way I intend?"
If my desire is based on social connection I usually step ahead and I post or comment or message. If however it is a business connection desire I ask myself "is this reasonable, will the receiver expect and accept this contact from me? Is there any reasonable chance of misinterpretation or offence being taken?"
I personally hate feeling 'icky' on social media so I am very conscious of doing anything to make anyone else feel 'icky'!
If I contact anyone for social or business reasons who is a contact of a mutual 'friend' I always contact my friend first and ask them "would you mind if I contacted ............... and refer to you as I'd really like to get to know them better" and in this conversation I am honest about my intention, if appropriate I would add at point "I think they would benefit from my business or services."
Better still go to the post or comment that brought this person into your awareness and ask them "Hi, I love your take on this, I think we have a lot in common. Would you mind if I PMed you?"
Social media is a fabulous tool for social and business connection but we must remember we all have different boundaries and we all feel differently about our social media pages and accounts, especially our private in boxes. For some people, when they receive unsolicited messages it feels like someone they don't know has just walked through their front door!!!! Regardless of the persons intent that is uncomfortable, it can be inappropriate!!
As you use and enjoy your social media, especially for business, please always make sure you respect others and don't become 'that person'. The one who always arrives at a party uninvited or turns up at someone’s home completely unexpected!! Do you really want to be that person?
Respect everyone’s social media, especially your own, and be the person you really want to be. Reach out YES, connect absolutely!! But don't over step boundaries you never would in the 'real word'.
Don't enter someone’s front door without knocking first!