Social media sucks us all in and plays around with who we are.
We share our innermost, we enter into conversations with complete strangers, we post pictures and photos and we have a laugh.
Then there is the other side of the coin where we inadvertently get embroiled in spats and play point-scoring ping-pong.
We find something someone says that winds us up and we can’t help but respond. We get irate, angry and can’t stop checking our phones for more snipers.
Social media has no rules of the road. If only it did – this would make life so much easier, especially when it came to violations.
But we don’t have any guiding lights so we have to rely on people playing a straight bat and being decent hoping that they will have heard of Paddington’s approach to life: “If you’re kind and polite, the world will be right.”
Unfortunately, they haven’t.
Every user should assist the campaign for promoting chivalry on social media by joining The Social Media Fellowship League.
This Fellowship has a few rules:
- Keep on your guard against the errors of others – people get headstrong and make mistakes by jumping in with comments they later regret.
- Regulate speed according to circumstances – the essence of social media sense is to regulate your responses so as to be able to stop clear of all possible danger.
- Exercise extra caution at road junctions – traffic is moving both ways and collisions are waiting to happen if you pull out too soon. Choose your moments to comment on what others are saying or wait for the road to completely clear.
- Keep to the left – it’s closer to the hard shoulder or pull over. Try not to write anything when your mind is in the ‘fast lane’.
- A skilful social media user uses his horn judiciously and modulates the blast according to circumstances. If there a real burning injustice unfolding before your eyes then pap like there’s no tomorrow. If it’s nothing major then save your energy.
As the 1929 Safety First pamphlet said, “driving a motor vehicle affords endless opportunity for exhibiting true sportsmanship, and we want more of that spirit shown on the road…”
And just as it is on the road, it is on social media.