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Manners for the digital age

Galit Breen is a Minnesota writer. On any given day she can be found juggling three kids, one husband, one puggle and her laptop. Galit has had essays published in several anthologies, is the editor of Pens and Paint, a series anthology ...

A look at etiquette in a tech-savvy world

Ever wonder what's okay to post in our digital age — and what’s not? We've got you covered with social media etiquette 101. Maneuver social media etiquette with ease and post this, not that, with our social media manners guide.

Woman on her laptop

A look at etiquette in
a tech-savvy world

Ever wonder what's okay to post in our digital age — and what’s not? We've got you covered with social media etiquette 101. Maneuver social media etiquette with ease and post this, not that, with our social media manners guide.

It's tricky to know what's OK to post in our digital age — and what's not. Ever wonder if you should post that picture or tweet that snark? We've got you covered with social media etiquette 101 — the do's and don'ts edition. Post this, not that!

Don'ts

Don't: Be the teacher who posts photos, complaints or stories about your students on your personal platforms.

Fifth grade teacher Jennifer Engel says, "It's so easy for teachers to talk about kids like they're commodities. We have to remember that this child is someone else's whole world. The internet is like lightning, and we can never be sure where that 'innocent' comment goes once it is made." Be respectful of the families and children you work for!

Don't: Post naked baby pictures.

We swoon for any and all baby photos, too, but naked photos need to be kept offline. Online business development consultant Deb Rox explains that beyond who might see your baby's photos and use them in the worst possible ways, "publishing naked baby photos sends a horrible message to your child about privacy and autonomy of their bodies, about what you one day want him or her to hold sacred and private."

Don't: Type language that would make Grandma blush.

This is a tricky one, because so many of us type how we talk and are presenting ourselves online as we do in person. But there's a reason to watch our language. Rox explains, "I love the power and play language, including a well-placed f-bomb or colorful curse word. But in the last five years in social media I've learned that for some it can be off-putting to see on a screen in isolation from your tone or from your other writing, and for others it feels combative or like lazy language. So online, it's rarely effective for a writer, and now I use it only very rarely and with caution. Dang it."

Don't: Complain about work, your boss and your coworkers online.

This is another one of those you just never know who's reading posts and should be kept offline. Complaints like this can not only be damaging to your workplace's reputation, but yours as well. Would a current boss appreciate your words? Would a future one? Ask yourself why you're choosing to complain in such a public forum before you click post. (And then delete!)

Don't: Share photos from that big night out. You know the one.

What you post today might be seen by your future boss — or mother-in-law! Be mindful of how you present yourself online. Once that photo is out there, it stays there.

Next up: Do's

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