If you want to know how to ruin your online reputation, or just want to be a jerk, follow these 10 easy steps!
1. Immediately Voice Frustration and Anger
One of the worst things you can do is vocalize your frustration and anger in the heat of the moment. Take a few minutes, maybe even hours, and re-evaluate what you were about to broadcast to everyone. Nobody wants to know that guy shouting at someone in Walmart.
2. Only Talk About Yourself
Social media is about community. From Facebook to blog comments, it’s not about you, it’s about everyone.
3. Share Everything
Everything you’ve written, read and seen on the internet doesn’t need to be feed to your followers and friends.
4. Criticize & Condemn
Don’t be foolish! There is a fine line between being overly critical or criticizing in general, and being helpful. Let Proverbs be your guide:
Whoever corrects a scoffer gets himself abuse, and he who reproves a wicked man incurs injury. Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you; reprove a wise man, and he will love you. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning. – Proverbs 9:7-9 (ESV)
“God Hates F–s” <– Don’t be that guy.
5. Spew Politics
Have you ever met someone who changed their political view based on a bumper sticker? The same goes for Social Media. Unless you’re posting on a political blog, be careful how much you spew your politics. More than likely, you’re not friends on Facebook or being followed on Twitter because you’re a political talking-head.
6. Embarrass Friends and Family
The next time you want to Tweet, Facebook or post to your blog about something a family member, friend or co-worker said or did, ask them first. Just because you think it’s funny or clever, doesn’t mean they feel the same way. Whenever in doubt, ask.
7. Act Like You’re Perfect
Your life isn’t perfect, and although we all support rejoicing in the Lord always, there’s no reason you should be telling everyone all the time. Don’t be a Debbie Downer, either. Being “real” and “authentic” online is a good, just be careful about rule number one.
8. Be the Police
“You said a bad word! Tsk-tsk”. “You misspeleed misspelled”. “Drinking that Instagram beer will send you to hell!” Be careful with this one. I appreciate readers pointing out mistakes; however, when it comes to something with a shorter life span, like Social Media – Twitter and Facebook – just let it go. Nobody wants to be that person who’s always correcting grammar in the middle of a conversation.
9. Talk Over Heads
This is also known as: Being a know-it-all. I support being intelligent, but I support effective communication even more.
10. Ignore People
Somebody took the time to mention you, write on your wall, or comment on your post. Treat them like a human being, and respond.
We’ve all done at least one of these. I’m pretty sure I’ve done at all of them at least once, before, and I’m sure I’ll repeat these mistakes a few more times.
Hopefully this guide will help to keep us from ruining our online reputations.
As ambassadors of Christ, we owe it to Him.
[Image via joshfassbind.com]