As a nation, we consider ourselves to be very polite, considerate and respectful of elders; keeping sarcasm, negativism and critical thoughts to ourselves.
While commendable, these manners that have been beaten into us by our elders exist only in the physical world. Online, it is much different. Without our parents to admonish us, our inner demons run free. Comments are fired out with little thought, inhibitions are dropped protected by the anonymity of the keyboard. All sides participate rudely in political bickering, or boasting about one’s thick wallet, expensive tastes, or even worse, engineering a completely fairy-tale life of envy.
The world of decade-old social media is still evolving much like a ten-year-old infant; netiquette is in a progressive state of change. So let me help you out with what should constitute good nettiquette.
Don’t boast: Status seems to be everything in our society. It manifests itself online ingeniously in multi-layered snobbery. In my day, it was a picture of a boarding pass peeking out of a passport nonchalantly lying on a glass table of an airline executive lounge. Those halcyon days are gone, replaced by the world of Instagram, Snapchat and Tik-Tok with its in-your-face vanity. Now, it is a group photo of one’s high society friends, arms outstretched dining at Rao’s in NYC. Here’s a reality check. No one gives a shit, stop bragging.
Don’t overshare: Hundreds of pictures of your wedding. Pregnancy ultrasound snaps announcing the result of your nuptials. Much congratulations on successfully producing a human; aren’t we all here to procreate? Hospital bed with a hanging saline drip bag connected to an arm, in ill health, begging ‘please wish me well’. RIP announcement of the death of the family’s dog to get a few more likes. Your daily blood pressure pictures; singing praises of your anti-ageing youth at 80. Oversharing just screams out low self-esteem and a need to connect, or boredom, or egocentricity. Stop oversharing.
Sharenting: We all know and understand how much you love your child. What a miracle it is that you both have created, we’re sure it is going to win the Nobel Prize eventually. Just remember there are 7 billion more miracles living around the world currently, each just as prized by their parents.
Also, remember that the videos or snaps of your child’s potty training will be your child’s digital footprint forever. They have been immortalized on the internet without them being given a choice. Let’s see how you like it if we ask your parents for embarrassing videos from your youth to be put online.