Internet Etiquette

By now, everyone should know that I am not a member of the Grammar Nazi Club. I don’t care about typos. I don’t care if someone uses there instead of they’re. I don’t believe that how we spell, or whether or not we can use every word in the English language correctly, is any indicator of our intelligence. In case you’ve forgotten, I am a typo queen and beta readers and spellcheck are my BFFs. Forever. Literally.

There are four things that bug me when I’m online though – people who take things out of context to put the worst possible spin on a story, haters, cyber bullies … and not checking facts before sharing something.

Kristy K. James - couple on cell phones~~~

I wake up to anywhere from fifty to a hundred social media notifications – sometimes more – every single day. As you can imagine, depending on what they are, it can take a while to get through them all.

For instance, if someone ‘liked’ one of my posts, I don’t need to do anything. If someone comments, I need to check it out … and usually respond. Anything else, I generally check because I like to find out the latest on GMOs, weather, etc…

However…

Some of those posts are for missing people and pets. Like everyone else, if it’s a legitimate crisis, I want to share the information too. I don’t have to know someone (or a dog or cat) to care about their safety … I just do.

Kristy K. James -cartoon kids~~~

But I always check to make sure the post is still relevant before I click that share button.

What do I mean? It’s actually very easy and today, I finally took the time to make a visual aid.

Old newsClicking on the photo will make it larger and easier to read.

This morning, I saw an alert about a missing special needs child. Turns out, the story was two years old and the little girl died. Yet people continue to assume it’s a current emergency and would rather be safe than sorry, so they click that share button.

My feeling is, a family lost a child. This is something you never get over. You learn to live with it, but you never stop missing your child. So maybe today, that family is having a good day – until they log into Facebook and see the missing person alert for their daughter. That’s got to be like rubbing salt into a raw, open wound.

As you can see in the visual aid, it’s not that hard to check to see if a story is still current. Please take the time to check it out before you share it. Really. It only takes a minute or two. You don’t have to read every post. Just a quick skim and you’ll soon know whether the person or pet is still missing.

One more thing…

Last week, I saw someone on Facebook post that they’d just heard an acquaintance died, and did anyone know if was true. All I could think is what if a family member who hadn’t been reached yet saw that post? What a way to find out a loved one had passed away.

Yeah, internet etiquette … it’s more important than we realize.

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This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing how to check the photo to see if the story is current or old. I didn’t know this and will be sure and check it out before posting something like this.

    1. Glad you like the info. I really appreciate it when I don’t have to check all posts I’d like to share to make sure they’re up to date. I haven’t seen many lately, so maybe other people are taking time too. 😀

  2. Thank you for this post Kristy! Just the thought that you wrote this with others in mind is such a great act of kindness. That’s what I love about you. 🙂

    1. As is becoming very normal for me, I’ve lost track of time again…

      Hi, Karen! Thanks for your kind words. I try to be a decent person (unless I have to shop with rude people, and then I want to run them over with my cart 😀 ). But yes, after reading about people who steal the photos of others – usually of their sick and/or dying children – for something as stupid as getting Facebook likes/shares or retweeted, I always check posts like that. I know I offend people when I post the truth, but I just hate that the real family – like in the photo I wrote about – might see it. Not that I expect much to come from this article, but if even one person takes the minute or two to check the facts, it’s worth everyone I’ve annoyed with it. 🙂

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