It may not be face to face, but it is still personal

Social media allows for interactions across all sorts of barriers, whether they be time zones, geography or culture. With Facebook, you can keep up with what an old classmate is doing, even if she is living in the remotest corner of Siberia.

Although social media has made it possible to keep in touch with all sorts of people and even to create new relationships, it has also made those relationships more difficult.

It makes trolls come out to play!

It seems some people figure because it isn’t a face-to-face interaction, they can ignore you or be rude to you. That is why trolls abound on Twitter. They find things they disagree with, and then attack, often being very nasty and rude. As if they weren’t interacting with a person on the other end of the Twitter account.

It makes people forget their manners

Somebody sends you a congratulations on LinkedIn, comments on your nice new profile picture on Twitter or says happy birthday on Facebook and you forget to thank them. Maybe you “don’t have time.” Maybe you are just rude.

It makes people think actions have no consequences

Recently, Mark Schaefer from Schaefer Marketing Solutions wrote on his {grow} blog about how his blog posts have been ripped off, copied wholesale without attribution.   I have heard of other bloggers like Schaefer, who’ve found their content attributed to other writers or on other websites without attribution. People and organizations who plagiarize stuff they find through social media or on blogs seem to think it’s there for the taking, as if they can do what they want with absolutely no consequences.

They thing is although social media interactions may be virtual, they involve real live human beings at both ends. Social media is not an excuse for engaging in behavior you could not get away with in person.

What do you think? Do we need to put the personal back in social media? Or is it societal?