This is the first of many posts I have been researching and drafting about etiquette, privacy and how we are maintaining our digital mirror (NOT to be confused with the dreaded personal brand).
Online interaction through a variety of social media channels has introduced me to new faces, points of view and opportunities. Twitter is one of many vehicles I can forge new conversations and acquaintances, but I have never treated social media as my sole resource for contact with the human race. Just because I follow someone does not make me their friend. Or because I have an interesting dialog with another person on a blog or Facebook, we are not instantaneous buddies.
However, the friends versus followers debate is an ongoing discussion and not what I intend to focus on in this post…
What I do want to ask is this: When did it become socially acceptable to leave etiquette behind at the proverbial virtual door?
Having instantaneous contact with someone does not exempt you from using the two simplest (yet, hardest to remember) words, please and thank you.
As a community manager, it is obviously my job to interact with people. It is assumed that I should be understanding, sensitive, patient, a good listener and provide exemplary due diligence to service my community. I came into the community manager position through the public relations cone. Contrary to popular belief, this career path was chosen not because I was a “people person,” but enjoyed communications strategy and being out of the lime light.
Please do not misunderstand this post to be a rant or to call out anyone in particular. I am just curious why we treat (myself included) those people who are providing a customer service as if they do not deserve the nurturing offline relationships require. We demand answers be immediate, judge first and ask questions later, then demand their knowledge be given for free. Nowhere in any of the community building or maintenance advice is it addressed how the community should treat a community manager.
So, let’s flip the discussion.
Is netiquette lost? Can it be taught? Is it wrong for an online community manager to request the same respect from others that is being demanded of them?