I LOVE the Hump Day Hmm. . . topics from Using My Words. This weeks topic deals with ethics in the social media world.
I feel that this topic is very important mostly because of the way the social media is abused. Look at the internet pedophiles and the con artists. Phishing scams come into my email daily, and I'm just glad I'm smart enough to hit delete. I'd rather lose something I ordered legitimately than give my money to Mr. Crazy T. Scamartist.
That said, I think that the social media venues are GREAT! I love email, instant messaging and blogging. I feel that it's a way to stay connected to people who live all the way across the country, or in some cases, great friends who live on the other side of the world. I also think that it's a way to see other people's views and become more educated by honestly looking at both sides of an issue and really deciding where I stand on that issue. These avenues to relationships with people are only great if we stay inside some sort of ethical code.
In my opinion, the first rule to the code is to respect peoples' privacy. If the person wouldn't give you permission to talk about something in real life, please don't post it on the internet. Also, if you want to post something, be careful how you use your friends' names. Some people don't want their last name plastered all over the internet because they are afraid of people stealing identities. I feel it's a valid concern. Therefore, my personal rule is that I don't post a last name unless I've seen that individual post his/her own last name.
The second rule is to fight fair. If you want to discuss things with people, that's great. Social media is a great place for people to share views, ideas, and good debates. However, please be respectful. If you disagree, that's fine. I don't know any two people who never disagree, but that's great. Disagreement is the beginning of stepping outside the box and learning. I love that part. One reason that I read other people's blogs is because they don't think exactly like I do. If they did, the reading would be boring. However, when you post a disagreement, no name calling, and remember that you are invading the blogger's space, and post your disagreement accordingly.
Since I met my husband online, this last value is important to me. Be careful how much personal info you share. Even with being extra careful, you can still find people to trust, but it is a protection to you. If you're going to order online or try to meet someone, make sure the place you're ordering is secure, or make sure you are careful about personal info over instant messaging or on your blog. That's all open to the public and bad hackers. PLEASE be careful.