Are you Crossing the Line?

When people are expressing themselves through social media, they are encouraged to show their personalities through the content they share- as they should. If they make a discovery that they may find interesting, they should share the article related to the subject with others through out their networks. If they see an image that they find to be appealing, then they also should pass that around. If they have something interesting or newsworthy to say, then they should say it. If they have questions to ask, they should ask those questions. It is also okay to express opinions as long as they are being respectful. However, at the same time I want you to think about something.

Is it really okay to share everything you see on your feeds? Again, it is encouraged to express yourself to others in your networks. However, when are you crossing the line? Think about this for a moment. You see someone sharing a picture that may be somewhat graphic and you find it amusing or more likely shocking. You are not bothered by that graphic image (or you are very shocked by it), and you happily share it. However, half of those in your networks are very upset after seeing what you had shared. You will either lose some friends and followers, or receive some angry messages in your inbox. Without you realizing this, you may have triggered someone to have a traumatic memory come up after that individual had seen that image you had shared. Of course your intention was not to upset anyone in your networks, or bring up traumatic memories. However, because you had to share that graphic image, it happened.

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What Kind of Content is Acceptable to Share?

It is important to show your personality through your networks so others can connect with you. However, you must use common sense before sharing everything you happen to find appealing- because again, what you may like could easily upset others. Whenever you see anything on your feeds that are considered to be graphic in nature (blood, gore, decay, you get the idea), religious, political, sexual, or even jokes- consider a few things before getting ready to share any content that happen to fit in any of those categories. I want to stress one thing. Anyone who shares any of that kind of content is not doing so because they are insensitive or cruel.

I have seen a lot of people share graphic content and the main reason they do this is because of shock value. There was a lot of this going on after the Boston bombings happened. They are shocked to see it themselves so they want to share gory content to basically say “can you believe what I just saw?”. However, one thing that they do not realize is that they could be upsetting people on their networks. What if someone in their networks witnessed something gruesome and as a result he or she is traumatized from that experience? This is the kind of thing that you will want to consider before sharing this kind of content. Even if you are shocked to see it, do not share it. Just hide it and move on.

If you are find something religious or political on your feeds that touches you, again do not share it. It is fine if you want to add in your profile description your beliefs. Even if you mention it once in a while in passing, I do not see the harm in that. However do not share anything blatant as that can easily offend others in your networks who have a set of different beliefs. That is a sure way to lose friends and followers, and even potential business.

There is no need to go into detail as to why it is not advisable to share anything that is sexual. You will attract mindless and rude comments and if you share content like that, your profile will be tarnished.

In regards to jokes, if you share a joke that may seem funny to you but would easily offend someone on your feeds, that is also a sure way to lose friends and followers. I will give an example as I saw a post that was making fun of the Facebook game “Farmville” and the picture was of a tractor inside of a home, which was all broken down. Well, it may seem funny however, what if someone in your networks had lost his or her home due to a hurricane? What if they are traumatized after seeing their house in the same condition as that house in the picture? These are the things that you must think about before sharing.

Sometimes you will share harmless content that will offend someone. There is no prevention of that. Some people may get offended by even a harmless picture of puppies for whatever reason and that is perfectly fine to share. However, at the same time, use your discretion before sharing everything you like. Use common sense. Put yourself in someone else’s shoes and ask “I know I don’t see any harm in sharing this picture but if I was someone else, would I be offended or upset if I saw this picture on my feeds?” You would be surprised at the answers you would come up with by doing that simple task. Not to mention, you would be happy to know that no one (or very few people) would be offended by anything that you share- and that means they will want to keep interacting with you, and your online presence will keep shining. Express your personality, however do so within reason.

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Written by Miriam

image 3 Are you Crossing the Line?

Miriam Slozberg is an author, SEO and social media specialist teaching small business owners on how to be influential in their niches and to harness the power of social media. Connect with her on Google+, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

 

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discuss this post

  • Soooo Absolutely true…. Great post

  • Thank you so much for taking the time to write this post up. I find it very disturbing that anyone feels free to share anything they want and don’t consider how it affects anyone else. This really needed to be said.

  • Dear Miriam – I think the images, tweets, statements, messages, replies and links to articles depicts who you are and how you define yourself. If these graphic images sends a message, then your followers will be attracted by the sorts of information and images you put in your stream.

    If people leave, they no longer connect with your message. Posting an image simply for shock value only makes a statement about the author. I can understand that one time may be an indiscretion, but frequent shocks will not be good for the system and may do more harm than good. Blessings, Debby

  • Staci Marie

    You bring up some very valid points.

 
 

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