We all know the golden rule: treat others as you would like to be treated. However, many people forget about it when they get online. They don’t think twice before updating their status on Facebook or tweeting about their bad experience. That hurts people – both online and in real life. In fact, businesses now employ folks just to track and manage their online reputation. Who’d have thought this would be such a big deal?
Be respectful as a digital citizen
There’s a great pop culture reference in The Social Network movie, where Mark Zuckerberg’s character is seen typing up a scathing blog post about a relationship breakup. He eventually bumps into the former girlfriend, prompting a confrontation. “The internet isn’t written in pencil Mark, it’s written in ink,” she comments. That’s the concept people seem to be missing.
As the social web becomes a larger part of our lives, we should all be prepared as digital citizens to uphold our integrity, in online conversations and in our face-to-face interactions. It’s easy to manage how you are viewed by others at home, in the workplace, or in your community, but on the internet your persona is shaped for you – by millions of indexed search results.
Join Character Counts in promoting online civility
With so many impervious to the impact of their online activity, one local group is doing something to educate the public. Character Counts in Iowa, an organization that strives to help Iowans practice good character, has partnered with Social Media Club Des Moines to discuss the topic of Online Civility at an event on October 28 at Jasper Winery. The event is part of Character Count’s Reveal Your Character initiative and will act as a kick off for their campaign. You can download the press release.
By now you’re probably thinking, “This sounds like a good mantra. I like this whole ‘online civility’ thing. But what now?” The best thing for you to do is to tell someone else about it. Whether you tweet it (use the #RYC hashtag), Facebook it, or write a blog post of your own, your mission is to keep the wheel turning.
Also, take a look at what others in the community are saying about this initiative: