Anil Thakraney: The ten commandments of social behaviour

20 Jun,2012

By Anil Thakraney


Tweeters and Facebookers often get into strife, and find themselves with their feet stuck firmly in their mouths. Some have paid a huge price for being Twitter-happy. Relationships have broken down. Posts have been used as evidence in courts. People have lost their jobs. A few like Lalit Modi have turned into fugitives.


Here are my commandments for social media usage. Strictly obey them so that you can have fun, make new pals and remain trouble free.

1. Thou shall think before posting. The problem with social media is that there’s no editor whetting your content, you are on your own. Instant accessibility and the urge to be the ‘first out there’ is too strong to curb. And this can lead to trouble. I suggest you delay your post/tweet by at least 10 minutes. That will give you a little margin of safety. Mama said ‘look before you leap’. In today’s context that reads ‘look before you tweet’.


2. Thou shall try to familiarize yourself with the basic laws of the land. Social media is a public platform, it’s not your private spittoon. No defaming people, no communal slurs, no porn stuff and definitely no negative comments on Mamata Didi.


3. Thou shall NOT post pictures of you partying wildly with buddies from the opposite sex (or the same sex if you are gay). This can and will be used against you at an appropriate time.


4. Thou shall not befriend colleagues from your organization on Facebook. Some of them will use your posts at the opportune time to stab you in the back.


5. Thou shall not post boring tweets. If you aren’t born witty, steal someone else’s updates. Or quote Abraham Lincoln or Mahatma Gandhi or Mother Teresa or Mohammed Ali Jinnah. Always works.


6. Thou shall not beg movie stars to retweet your garbage. That’s like admitting to lakhs of people what a dull and desperate moron you are.


7. Thou shall not post cho-chweet utterances and playful deeds of your little kids. Remember, just as in real life, only you find your bachchas cute. Deal with it.


8. Thou shall promote your work. But only once a month. If you do it every hour, you will find yourself sad and lonely in the virtual world. Unless you look like George Clooney or Angelina Jolie.


9. Thou shall not post holiday albums. No one wants to spend time watching 1000 pictures of you and your family posing near a little waterfall at Khandala. Unless you are wearing really skimpy clothes, of course.


10. Thou shall not troll anyone on Twitter. It’s the most offensive form of social behavior. (PS: An exception can be made for Mr Chetan Bhagat. Go after him!)


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