12 social media no-no’s for the festive season

We all know things can often get a little out of hand over the Festive “Silly Season”, with enough parties, celebrations and holiday time to make up for the long slog through the past year.

Managing your social networking and other communications through the “geesfees” can be a little tricky, but we have compiled some tips to help you stay tech savvy over the holiday season, and make sure you still have a job to come back to, while you let your hair and your guard down.

1. Don’t reveal too much personal information

In a moment of weakness, or Dutch courage, you might be tempted to let everyone know that you haven’t showered in three days, or a naughty secret about yourself or an old flame, for example. Don’t do it, no one really wants to know, and it will come back to bite you later. It also makes you look like a loser and that goes for the rest of the year as well.

2. Don’t post inappropriate photos of yourself/friends

It might be amusing at the time to take photos of yourself or a friend in a compromising position at a party, but you never know who might see it and take offence. Your friend might have work contacts online, or be Facebook friends with their parents and the photos could potentially be very damaging for them or yourself. Some companies take the personal conduct of their employees outside of the office very seriously, and you could get someone fired.

3. Don’t be excessively annoying

Updating your status with blow-by-blow updates on your daily holiday activities is annoying for your contacts, who probably want some peace and quiet on their holiday break after a long year. This goes for excessive messages to friends and colleagues as well, who are likely spending quiet time with their families, or be part of the unfortunate few who have to work through the Festive break.

4. Don’t hit on your friends’ friends

You might be lying on the beach bored, but surfing through your friends’ friends on social networks and trying to contact the ones you’re interested in is just bad form. Get your friend to introduce you at a real life get together instead.

5. Don’t admit you recognise someone from their profile when you meet them for the first time

It’s just plain creepy.

6. Avoid Festive Season cheese overload

Just because you’re super-duper excited about Christmas and all the bells and whistles that go with it, there is a limit and many people prefer to keep it low key. Respect that.

7. Don’t bug your colleagues

Unless your work mates are your best and only mates, leave them alone over the holiday season to have some personal time. You probably all need a break from each other anyway.

8. Don’t invite everyone to your private events

In a moment of festive cheer, you might be moved to love everyone, create a Facebook event and invite everyone you know to a gathering. Be warned: they may all come and bring their friends too. Open-party posts can go viral, so be careful who you invite to hang out.

9. Avoid posting annoying ‘look how awesome my holiday is” photos and updates

A pretty picture of a sunset or lovely view here and there can be appreciated by everyone, but too much is annoying – no one really wants to see you in your bikini or Speedo on the beach lapping up a cocktail. Keep your holidays to yourself, and tell your stories and show your photos to those that are interested when you get home.

10. Don’t moan about your work/boss

Just because you’re mostly all on holiday doesn’t mean that your boss or work colleagues can’t see your updates. Somehow posts complaining about your boss or company will always get back to them, and you might find yourself without a job by the end of the holiday.

11. Don’t let mischievous friends get hold of your phone/computer

Having someone “hack” into your social networking accounts and post naughty things is not really funny, though it might seem so at the time, and can also have very serious consequences for the victim.

12. Don’t send mass messages on Christmas Day

Sending a mass text, or message to everyone on your contact list on Christmas Day is a no-no. It’s irritating and impersonal, and it’s a much better idea to send a personal message to the people that matter and leave the rest to their holiday. If you must sent a group message, send it a couple of days earlier.

Here’s a general tip:

It’s often easier to manage your communications by separating out your personal stuff from your business online. It’s easy to get it all mixed up through accepting colleagues and acquaintances as ‘friends’, and having quick access to your social networks through your mobile.

It’s a good idea, for example, to only use Facebook for communications with your personal friends, and as a place to upload your photos and do your griping if you want to, and then use Twitter and LinkedIn for your professional contacts and updates. You kill two birds with one stone: your friends aren’t interested in your work stuff, and your colleagues and acquaintances aren’t interested in your personal stuff.

Catherine Murray


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