Don’t be a social media meanie

Celebrities do it. The non red carpet types do too. Engage in some tweet, post or YouTube spectacle.

“People can be disrespectful online because of that lack of accountability and that psychological distance,” says Mechanicsburg Psychologist Dr. John Gavazzi. Gavazzi says being so electronically tethered is making many less personally attached.

“We are definitely a stressed out society where people really do enjoy trying to get the most out of life and sometimes when they become stressed out, overwhelmed, like that they have shorter fuses, that they are less tolerant of what is happening,” said Gavazzi.

Making people more willing to lash out. So before you tweet, post or hit send, “what you should do is probably take a deep breath, understand that the text or email is a 2-dimensional form of communication so you don't have the non-verbal cues as to what they are trying to communicate with you, so rather than firing back, take a deep breath, think this is 2-dimensional communication and maybe ask a question, 'Is this what you meant?'” said Gavazzi.

When you do go social, keep it positive. Catherine Rios chairs the communications department at Penn State Harrisburg. She recalls what someone shared with her.

“He had a 1-2-3 model. He said post once, like twice, respond three times. So for each post you put out there on the Internet, you are reading and responding to other peoples posts so its just not a constant outpouring of your messages but a responsiveness to other messages too. It keeps you aware of the reciprocal nature of that communication and it keeps your posts in scale,” said Rios.

If you slip off the scale and send out something that is embarrassing, “It just pays to own up to your mistweets and move on and the rest of the public will forget easier than if you try to hide and say this didn't occur,” said Anne Deeter Gallaher of Deeter Gallaher Group.

Gallaher is a local marketing guru especially when it comes to helping her clients navigate through social media. “We've heard the saying no publicity is bad publicity. Think again.”

I would say there is such a thing as bad publicity, maybe in a political world there is a strategy behind why you would stir the waters, and mistweet, and get that kind of attention. I would be uncomfortable with that myself therefore I wouldn't leave my clients into a purposeful situation where you're blowing up the timeline and it's just, it doesn't do your reputation well.

Deeter Gallaher also says, “you are who Google says you are.” She recommends you Google yourself to see what is out there.

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