She was adamant about treating others with charm and grace — a hallmark of southern hospitality. And I’ve found that one hundred percent of the guidelines she drilled into my sister and me about how to treat others are equally valid when it comes to digital relationships. So just in case you didn’t know my grandmother, here is a list.
- If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. In the digital world, once something is published, it (or a copy of it) is there forever. You really don’t want something negative or ill-considered to come back to haunt you.
- Put others first. In social networking, the refrain of me, me, me, gets really old — really fast. Instead, focus your efforts on bragging on someone else. People will appreciate your selflessness.
- Say “yes ma’am” and “yes sir.” This is a respect issue. Be respectful of others, even if you may not agree with them.
- Don’t monopolize the conversation. I think this applies most to Twitter and those type of social media applications. There is nothing more irritating than fifteen tweets in a row from the same person.
- Always be on time. I apply this by trying to always follow my blogging schedule. This honors my readers’ time and sets me above the crowd by being dependable.
- Always send a thank you note when someone does something nice for you. The digital equivalent of a thank you note is a return mention (on Twitter) or comment (on Facebook or a blog).
These suggestions may seem obvious, but you’d be amazed by the number of people who don’t follow them. Believe me, you’ll be remembered in a positive way if you follow them.
Edie Melson is a freelance writer and editor with a passion for life’s stories. She loves to share her 16+ years experience in the field of writing through mentoring and teaching others. Don’t miss her bestselling eBook, Social Media Marketing for Writers, available on Kindle or Nook.