November 22, 2011 | life

Social Media Etiquette

It’s a murky world, that social media. New things popping up all the time – between the Facebooking, Tweeting, blogging, Tumblring and such like, we often spend more time communicating online that we do in the so called ‘real world’. As it all develops, we’re starting to notice what one might consider, online faux pas that get us momentarily riled to the point we might send an angry tweet and promptly forget about it 23 seconds later. So if you’re struggling to navigate the murky waters that are social media, here are a few hints and tips to help you get it right.


  • Be it Facebook or Twitter, you should have a picture on your profile and it should preferably be you. Being shy about having your pic out there is like sooooo 2007. Get over it. It’s not like it needs to be a professional studio shot (says the girl with a professional studio shot as her profile picture), but just give people an idea of what you look like.
  • Don’t have a picture of your kid as your profile pic. Just don’t. We get it, you love ’em, but it’s just weird. You have your own identity outside of being a parent. Also, if you go to add an old school friend on Facebook, don’t be surprised if they don’t accept the request from the pic of a four year old boy – you can get locked up for that stuff, you know what I’m sayin’?
  • Be mindful of the kind of pics you put up. If you’re over 20 and still posting pictures of your drunken nights out with your tits out, tongue out and sticking a middle finger up, reassess your whole life. Seriously.


  • Oh sure, your cousin Suzie might love you in real life, but that doesn’t mean she wants you all up in her online business. Real life friends don’t always translate to online friends.
  • If someone unfriends/unfollows you, just let it go. Don’t start stalking them, demanding to know why they did it. Also, don’t complain to your whole timeline that you’re being unfollowed – that’s probably the quickest way to lose a few more followers. Stop your moaning. Not everyone’s gonna like you in life. Most likely you’re probably getting upset over someone you’ve never even met before in your life. Think about it.
  • People are not obliged to follow you back. Give them a reason – having an interesting timeline helps.


  • In the past someone told you you were good and the only person who heard it was you and the person who said it. Now, if someone tells you you’re good on Twitter, you can retweet the bejesus out of it so everyone knows that someone else thinks you’re good. The only problem is, that makes you a bit of a twat. Sure, the occasional RTing of a compliment is fine, but when that makes up 95% of your timeline, it’s time for you to get off line and literally stroke your own ego.
  • On that same note, don’t retweet every Follow Friday mention you get. You’re doing it for no other reason that to show off, but you’re telling people who already follow you that other people recommend following you. It’s insanity. Please stop it.
  • On Facebook, if you include a group of people in a message, please ensure said people know how to not use the ‘reply all’ button.
  • It really pays to stop before you tweet/Facebook update and ask yourself ‘do people really need to know this?’ – this especially applies to new mothers, anyone with a particularly unpleasant medical condition and people who mistakenly think anyone cares about a minute by minute account of their existence. Take a step back.
  • Social media is great for networking but do it in the right way. It’s fine to make an initial point of contact on Twitter for example, but don’t then try to pitch me an idea in 140 characters. If you want to work with me, be professional and send me an email.

There are probably a million more things that are considered faux pas in the social media world. What are some of yours?

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Mine would be don’t moan about not getting blog comments if the procedure of leaving a comment is like competing on the krypton factor! If it is possible to comment from an iPhone on some blogs why not all?

Lakota [Faith Hope and Charity Shopping]

All good advice. I don’t have a picture of myself on Twitter, but it is my blog avatar, and as such recognisable as me, IYSWIM. Retweeting #FFs drives me potty too, as do bloggers who constantly whine about not getting many comments on their posts. Comment on other people’s then! Don’t expect everyone to come to you first.


*applauds this entire post while throwing confetti while you ride a horse through the adoring public*

Joanne Mallon

When I first started using Twitter, seasoned tweeters advised me that you didn’t need to say thank you for a RT. And maybe that is the ‘correct’ way to do it, but it didn’t feel right to me, so I do say thank you if I see that I’ve had a RT.

But yes – Aaargh to RT-ing your FF’s and compliments. Have unfollowed a few peeps because of this – it just looks so incredibly needy.

my honest answer

@MrsB what have you been looking at online lately? Because most ads look at your history, not the site you’re on. My ad was for tea towels. Now I feel like a boring loser.


All of this is so, so true! Also, beware of spelling mistakes. We’ve all done it, I’ve done it, but it’s really annoying. If you Tweet and it’s spelt wrong take two seconds to delete it, re-spell and send again. x


My biggest Twitter annoyance is people who have long, detailed conversations about their lives in my timeline. I’ve unfollowed many people I like because they just won’t STOP using the platform like a free text messaging service. Take it to actual text message, email, phone or face-to-face conversation. I do NOT need to know how shit your love life is in acute detail!

I also hate to see people complaining about their jobs on social media – so unprofessional, and saved in Google’s cache forever just waiting to pop up when your next employer Googles you. Ugh.


Great post. I did unfollow someone on Twitter yesterday as all of her posts were negative. Oddly enough she then unfollowed me, can’t imagine why 😉

ian curtis

another great post my dear…. will be forwarding this onto a few choice people… ha ha

Miss Allen

Agreed. It’s sometimes very easy when you’re bored to fall into the trap of tweeting a narrative of your life, but must be reined in! I’m also sometimes guilty of the “tweet-texting” Jen was talking about (my timeline is essentially just mentions) so my wrist has been slapped and henceforth I’ll be a better tweeter!

Retweeting FFs though. Seriously. It makes no sense. Whyyy?!!?

Wendi B

On Twitter, I don’t feel people should feel the need to send you a private message thanking you for following them, because that’s what you do on Twitter…. you follow people…


Urgh yes, all of this. I recently send round a FB email asking for addresses for Christmas cards. I specifically asked them to send me a separate message with it. Instead, most of them hit ‘reply all’ and send their home address to 25 other people.

Also, anyone that feels the need to proclaim their love for their partner/dog/child on facebook. Every day. Not cool people.



Agree with most of that – except that I don’t have a picture of myself but of my blog logo.

My top tips:
Be polite. If someone helps you or RTs your blog post, say a quick thank you.

Don’t just post links to your blog or website. Communicate. It is why we are on Twitter.

If someone #ff you in a group, don’t include the whole group in your thanks, just the person who #ff you. Don’t fill my timeline with #ffs and thank you for the #ff. It just makes me say, “ffs”.

from fun to mum

Good post. I agree with Mme Lindor about the picture though…I have my blog one too. I am sometimes fond of RT but will watch my fingers more…

Claire Nelson

Spot on, all of it! AAAAALL OF IT!
And ARRGH to people who feel the need to announce their child’s toilet habits, or tell us all what colour mucus their flu is producing (seriously – that one put me off my porridge one morning)!

Oh, and just on a personal note, I’ve never understood the need for people to stick a middle finger up when having their picture taken. Even my friends do it. Am I the only one who thinks that’s just a bit uncouth?


I don’t have a picture of myself on any profiles with the exception of LinkedIn. Some people like to have an idea of what you look like to link to what you’re saying, but I don’t really get why. Will my words have more / less impact if you can see what I look like? Still baffled! But that’s just me!

It does jar me when people use Twitter to conduct business. Email for crying out loud, unless you’re obsessed with everyone knowing / commenting on every move you make! Some people are though sadly….


My personal gripe is people who choose to spend time and effort commenting on a status update/tweet to purely say ‘lol’. no, sorry but if you cant use your imagination to say anything more exciting than ‘lol’ then just don’t bother at all. its not worth it. Oh and also the their/there/they’re and your/you’re thing. It doesn’t take that long to learn the difference… so annoying

Claire Nelson

Oh god, Harry just made a very good point. Now that we communicate more quickly and through typing, the use of grammar and spelling is shockingly poor. As a sub editor, using social media actually hurts my eyes sometimes. I’ve had to just block all the they’re/their/there (and others) otherwise I would actually LOSE MY MIND.

Ali Bunn

My real gripes are people who have a foetal scan as their profile picture or change their names to Jo MummytoKayla Bloggs. So you have a kid. Whoop-de-doo, well done, you procreated.
Oh, and all of the above too.

Betty Bee

Fabulous post. Might be guilty of over using the RT function too much myself. Will rein myself in. Think this should be handed to everyone before they subscribe to twitter and Facebook. Facebook is the worst I find for moronic social comments.

Emma B

Bangs, I’m so glad you asked. Some friends of mine lost their Dad yesterday. Their Facebook walls are covered in messages of condolence. In fact, one of them has now disabled her wall as she found it so disturbing. When did it become okay to not pick up the phone and call?! People have become lazy and forgotten the boundaries of common decency. Shocking.

Crystal Jigsaw

With you all the way. Think we can all be a bit guilty of a lack of etiquette from time to time but some of the tweets/FB wall posts I can’t stand are the breast feeding police, and the ones who tell us it’s time of the month, pmt, period probs, you get the gist. TMI. And something I really don’t want to read in my timeline. I quite enjoy a discussion on twitter but back away when it starts getting heated and the opinionated buffoons just have to have the last word.

CJ xx


You make a few very good points. I’m not sure how many gay guys you follow, but some of the ones in my Twitter and Facebook news feeds have a tendency to post screen grabs of conversations they are having that is essentially them taking the piss out of somebody on Grindr. Now, I don’t know if I am the only gay person alive who has never even been on Grindr and that has swayed my judgement somewhat, but it just comes across as twattish, egotistical. Stop trying to show us all how amazingly in demand you are guys! It isn’t big and it isn’t clever.

MrsB @ crankymonkeys in london

OMG, that katie price ad displayed JUST FOR ME??? Yikes, I don’t like that woman and have never googled her name… hmmm… Maybe because I like books?? But honesly – she’s not even a real writer… (I whispered that last part 🙂


Sound advice! I’ve only been blogging for 4 months, would be a dream come true to achieve a fraction of what you’ve achieved in 4 years time! As I’m a newbie, could you check out my blog and give me some tips on transforming it into a career (not overnight of course!)


Oh, btw happy blog birthday Bangs! I actually had to unfollow someone in the beginning, because every post was about their boyfriend… every single one, hhmm not a problem, except their Twitter bio said it was all about fashion! Lesson learned. Over-sharing can be unhealthy for the eyes to read at maximum speed. 🙂 I also agree about the RTing of one’s praises … compliments are good, but noone likes a twat! Excellent post lady.


היי האם אתם יודעים שכדאי להתקשר ל מאמנת כושר אישי, מאמן כושר אישי, מגיע/ה אליך פעמיים בשבוע. מומלץ לפעילות גופנית, בונה לך תוכנית כושר אישית שמתאימה לך לאופי שלך

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