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Social Media Etiquette and Online Human Relations Defined

The online world of social media definitely has some unique features from the offline world; Friend Requests, “Like” tabs and being added to some Group you were never interested in without your permission… Just a few examples of the virtual elements of online social media. But is social life on the net so different than regular offline interaction? Are the rules of social etiquette much different? Should we have certain boundaries and principles -or- is it a place where everything goes?…

Principles of Human Relations
The fact of the matter is that basic principles of social etiquette and human relations is exactly the same online as offline. Online social sites are just as much a social environment as the town square and good manners still apply. Sure there are certain technical features to know about each social media site with different variables and particulars, but principles of human relations still remain the same because we are still dealing with real people.

Anyone who is not sure what appropriate social media etiquette is, just needs to remember the basics of good human relations; being respectful, courteous and non-threatening. Entrepreneurs need to make sure that whatever sales method they use is done in a way that is tasteful, tactful, appropriate and classy – with an undergirding of respect for people.

As someone with a high regard for good human relations, I am an entrepreneur who considers my relationships as sacred – and I would never do anything to take advantage of anyone or push someone into something they’re not ok with.

Social Settings and Business Settings
In today’s world, the lines between social settings and business settings are less defined, but there are still distinctions. For instance, I have different websites for different purposes, some are for business and some are for connecting with people to keep relationships. Some of these friend relationships may turn into business relationships and some business relationships may become more friend based than business based. So these two settings do cross over, yet there are still distinctions.

All in all, it’s good to differentiate your business activity from your social activity, but not to draw hard-lines because there can be some good things that happen when the two intermingle.

Reciprocation and Initiative
Another basic principle of human relations is reciprocation, which also applies in any type of relationship (social media included of course). I just don’t understand these people who post things all over the net and never respond to the comments people leave. Sometimes we can’t always respond to every comment we get at various sites, but it’s definitely good practice to make it a point to keep a dialogue with those who take an interest in what we are doing, even if it’s just a quick ‘thank you’.

Besides just responding to those who give us feedback on our activity, it’s also good practice to take initiative by recognizing and appreciating what certain others are doing by taking an interest and showing a little love on their posts as well.

Choose Your Friends Wisely
We can also take initiative and reciprocate online by syndicating (sharing) each others content. But what if someone with lousy content wants to share yours? Would you feel obligated to reciprocate with someone who you don’t necessarily endorse?

And so we see another basic and vital principle of human relations: exercising discretion with the kind of company we keep.

I think the best way to network is to make connections that are meaningful and not just for selfish ambition; Always remembering the sanctity of relationships and respect for people, lest we begin to objectify them.  Of course, anti-social habits have no place in social networking as we need to be engaging and receptive as we allow our personality to shine. So don’t be shy and aloof if you wish to have productive networking.

Social Conflicts
Just like in any social setting, there will be certain people who strike a chord with certain other people. Confrontations should be kept discrete and not made into a spectacle. If certain people are a continual problem, then we must do what is necessary to protect ourselves, but one who has been committed to developing human relation skills and social media ettiquette will be able to diffuse most conflicts before they turn into something ugly.

It All Begins and Ends With Good Human Relations
A good grade of human relations has been the main theme of this article as it is the foundation of productive social interaction. There are many elements of good human relations, but the bottom line is: whatever you say and do, do it with love and respect for people and you won’t go wrong.

-Thanks for reading and happy networking!



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Written by Scott Yonker