By: Kristen Pierce
Staff Writer


Have you noticed your friend count on Facebook gradually dropping? Have your texts and emails gone hours without reply, or worse ignored? If so, you may be to blame for this recent alienation, but don’t be alarmed. The following guidelines in social media etiquette will help remedy your current situation.

Let’s begin with texting. The purpose of texting is to send short messages without disrupting the receiver. Many people use texting more frequently than the telephone. It comes as no surprise that people often forget the line between relaying information and bombarding one with incessant chatter.

The next time you find yourself going off on a tangent, remember that everyone has a saturation point. If you think of each text conversation as a phone call, you will be able to prevent an information overload.

        Before you send a text message, consider the time of day. You may have your phone on silent in the evenings but that does not mean that everyone else does. Think about the subject matter and how well you are acquainted with the recipient.

In cases of an emergency, it may be OK to send out a massive text about a shift you’re desperate to get rid of. Sending work related texts every day is just plain annoying and your coworkers will regret exchanging numbers with you.

    The next topic is more commonly used as a more formal method of communication than texting. If you are emailing someone, odds are you are not connected with the person in a casual way. Be sure to scan your content before sending.

If your email is intended for a friend or relative, make sure to use proper grammar — no acronyms please—and be sure that your information is clear and precise. Clarify your email subject matter in the subject line. Do not perpetuate a forward especially if it could offend or annoy your recipients.

If you are one in a number of recipients of an email, respond to sender, not to all. Replying to all could be confusing to others and may botch the purpose of the email.

        It is hard to critique anyone’s social skills when speaking of Facebook. This vastly popular social networking website has been criticized by many for its ability to hinder people’s interpersonal communication skills. It is hard to keep yourself in check when this website is constantly provoking you to write every thought in your head however profound or mundane.

It is because of the popularity of the site that you should monitor your behavior. Networking has been cited as the number one way of getting a job, and many employers check an employee’s social media history before hiring.

With that being said, you might want to consider un-tagging yourself from that photo of you winning last year’s spring break contest. You may use Facebook to impress employers but remember people are put off by someone who is constantly boasting about their accomplishments.

        Mark Zuckerberg is not a therapist and his site was not created for therapy. Facebook was created so people could have an online place to connect. Save your personal issues for your social worker and if you desperately need an emotional outlet, start a diary.
Enlightenment is sought after by many people. Apparently we live in a world full of modern day Buddhas. There is nothing more annoying than a news feed filled with a slew of life changing quotes that Hallmark would not even consider. Next time you have a revelation you would like to share, check on your page to see how many you have posted in the past week. Does anybody ever thank you for changing their life?
We live in day and age where just the touch of a button can send information all over the world. We use acronyms and abbreviations to form internet slang. The ways we communicate are changing but that does not mean we should abandon civility or common sense.