Guide to Healthy ‘Conversational Ethics’ on Social Media

Okay, this is an exciting piece of content that I wanted to write from a long time, but couldn’t get enough time to do so.

Our Blogosphere community is enriched with bloggers, YouTubers, vloggers, tech experts, and new people are joining each day. We have communities like Premium Tricks by IftiSEO, Hellbound BloggersEarning Labs, etc. that encourage newbies to start their blog or youtube channel independently provides a handful of resources for the same. Some shares premium themes and plugins, some shares case studies, while some provide immediate SEO updates, for example, the Google ranking algorithm changes, etc.

While these communities are immensely helpful, often we need to interact with someone personally to get our queries resolved. It can be something sensitive which you can’t share publicly. No matter what the reasons, we regularly ping others to get help.

And that’s where things get messy. Right from addressing somebody to the way of texting, we commit some severe blunders that violate the general conversation ethics. Nobody talks about them in public, since they aren’t bothered about them at all. But they are of great importance and needs your attention right away!

In today’s post, I will discuss some of the general conversational ethics and code of conduct to maintain while approaching someone. It might be anything from needing a small help to approaching for a business proposal. It applies to all social interactions.

If you regularly interact with people for getting help, this post is for you. Let’s get started, shall we?

Google your Query:

Social Media 'Conversational Ethics'

 

Do you tend to ring up or message someone whenever you need help?

Try finding the solution to your query online instead. I guarantee you, half the questions you have will be resolved then and there. And with a little internet research, most of the other queries can also be addressed.

Remember, bloggers like us are spending hours writing original contents, with proper explanation. From a windows pc query to some product review, you will get everything on the internet. Every day, thousands of GBs of new contents are added to the web. Why not check them out?

I get queries like, ‘How to start blogging?’, ‘How to earn money from blogging?’, ‘How to set up my WordPress theme properly?’ Etc. Well, you can get hundreds, if not thousands, of articles for the same on the web.

Lastly, nobody has opened a free live chat support system to help people out. Also, nobody is an encyclopedia of supreme knowledge. The guy who spoonfeeds you with your queries hasn’t just learned it from within. It’s just that he or she uses the internet smartly.

What can you do?

Do a lot of internet research in your free time. If you want to know more, try reading my short article on Internet Research and why it is essential.

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Don’t just ‘Call’ someone:

Social Media 'Conversational Ethics'

 

You might think that calling someone is the easiest way to get their attention and get it done faster than typing. But well, it has serious disadvantages as well, especially to the person whom you want to interact with.

Calling is a one-to-one mode of conversation. Not only you can’t talk to two people at the same time, but you also can’t even do multitasking while on a call. Ultimately it kills time more.

But chatting, on the other hand, chatting is a one-to-many model of conversation where you can simultaneously talk to a lot of people at the same time, while also focusing on your other works.

Lastly, people spend much less time on discussing unimportant topics over chats than on calls. It saves time.

The problem is, some people are very good at talking in person, rather than typing and chatting. And for some, it’s tough to chat as they find it hard to converse in English. If you find it hard to learn English vocabulary, do check my detailed article on How to quickly learn English Vocabulary. It will not only help you with conversations but also with spoken English as well as fast-typing.

What can you do?

Just message or mail people. And give them the sufficient time to respond. That’s professional. 🙂

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Drop the ‘Sir’/’Ma’am’:

Social Media 'Conversational Ethics'

 

This is a highly controversial topic to discuss, and I am sure that many won’t agree with this. And, I have a good chance to get bashed for saying this. But well, I have my own opinions to state. If you aren’t comfortable, skip to the next point. 🙂

Stop saying ‘Sir’ or ‘Ma’am.’

Do you know from where this word came from?

The word ‘sir’ derived from the word ‘sire’ used in Belgium, France, Italy, Germany, Sweden, Spain, and the UK to address empires or rulers or kings of that place. Later on, it was used in English as a title to knighthood. It was also used in the military to address someone of a higher rank.

In modern days, ‘sir’/’ma’am has the following usage:

  • Addressing your school and college teacher, or home tutor.
  • Addressing someone older than you.
  • Addressing someone with honor or dignity.

To clarify, the word ‘sir’ has a deep-rooted significance in our society. It is genuine respect, has a serious nature, and carries its weight.

Most importantly, it should not be entitled to someone who doesn’t deserve it. And social network is the place where the main problem occurs.

Social Network is an open-ended area, where everyone comes to interact with each other and learn something from each other. We make each other ‘friends.’ So, there’s absolutely no reason to be a ‘sir’ or a ‘ma’am’ on the social network at all.

In the corporate sectors, there’s a practice of calling your ‘Boss’ as ‘Sir.’ But there’s absolutely no need. The guy who is presiding over you, giving you orders, is just doing his job to get paid, just like you. Recently, a lot of IT companies and new start-ups are discouraging this practice.

If you subscribe to newsletters from different companies, you will find them addressed by your name. And not by ‘sir’ or ‘ma’am.’ The only exceptional case is the customer support emails, but slowly that’s also changing.

Lastly, a lot of people likes being called ‘sir’ or ‘ma’am.’ But, at the same time, a lot of people doesn’t like it. It makes them feel awkward. Some hate it due to the reason that it makes them feel aged or old.

What can you do?

If not ‘sir’ or ‘ma’am,’ then what to say?

Just call by their name. Add words like Mr. or Miss, or Mrs. preceding the name if you need. Or call nothing. Just start by ‘Hey’ or ‘Hello.’

I like it when I open emails addressed like ‘Hi Nirmal’ instead of ‘Hi Sir.’ It sounds more professional.

Speaking of Hi-Hellos, discussing the next point becomes inevitable.

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Don’t Just Say ‘Hi’ and Wait for Reply:

Social Media 'Conversational Ethics'

 

Again, somewhat less controversial than the previous point, but many will still disagree with this.

If you are stuck somewhere and need help, and you think someone is the best person to approach, then convey him the whole message instead of a simple ‘Hi’ or ‘Hello’ or ‘Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening.’

Yes, those are the words to start a conversation. But, we often message people are saying Hi, and then wait for them to come online.

Don’t do that. You will see that those messages remain unanswered! And there’s a reason for that.

Most of us bloggers usually do a lot of meaningful conversations with various people every single day. Often, we get a lot of pending messages whenever we open a messenger.

Most professional individuals choose to reply to messages once in a while so that they don’t waste their whole day on messaging people and can focus on their work.

Now, think of someone opening a messenger application and finding 20 unseen conversations.

Which ones will a person pick up first?

The ones coming from close friends, then the ones from unknown people who need help.

The messages with just ‘Hi’ and nothing else will get ignored for sure. Even if they want to help out, and they reply with ‘Hello there,’ maybe the other person is offline at that time! So, it will keep on going like that.

What can you do?

Just state the complete message at one go. So that when the person addressed comes online, he can read the full message and reply.

Just in case you find out that you can get help from 5 people out there, you can type the message first on some Notepad. I use ‘Google Keepapp for the same. Write the full message over there, and copy it and paste to the people you want to get assistance from.

I do the same, and it always works for me.

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Try to use English:

Social Media 'Conversational Ethics'

 

Nothing much to say here, I will keep this short.

Don’s misunderstand me, using Hindi isn’t wrong in any way, and I am not anti-national.

But, English does have its advantages.

In Hindi, there are several words to denote ‘You’ or ‘Your’ depending on the level of formality or respect, such as ‘Tu’/’Tera’, ‘Tum’/’Tumhara,’ ‘Aap’/’Aapka’ etc.

Its a lot easier to converse in English, which stays away from that level of respect thing altogether, and uses the word ‘You’ to address the second person. It’s straightforward.

Again, if you have difficulty in English, do refer to my detailed article on How to improve English Vocabulary.

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Don’t ask anyone’s Income:

Social Media 'Conversational Ethics'

‘How much you Earn’ seems to be a common question amongst people.

This practice dates back to our society itself. We weigh people or a company based on their income stat. We tend to value people earning more.

Often I get the message, How much do you earn?

Well, I want to ask you, How does knowing that amount going to help you anyway? Or you are just asking out of curiosity?

What amount someone earns is their private matter, and whether he chooses to share it or not is also up to that person. Don’t ask for it. It is a heinous practice and should be avoided at any cost.

What can you do?

Ask about the hard work behind the income.

You can interact with people to discuss strategies to develop yourself. Ask for suggestions.

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A No is a No:

Social Media 'Conversational Ethics'

 

I can’t say about others, but this a serious issue I face myself, so I decided to add it over here.

Everyone has their right to deny something, say ‘NO.’ We should always respect their decision and move forward.

As a blogger myself, I have to deal with this regularly. I will give the most common example.

I get approached by different people for guest post requests at HiTricks. While some of the blogs/websites are worth giving a backlink, most of them aren’t.

Many a time a relatively new blog approaches for getting a link.

While I am the most friendly person you can interact to, I am incredibly cautious while dealing with my blog. So, often I have to say ‘No’ to such requests. It’s a very practical thing I am discussing, and many other bloggers face the same thing too.

The issue is, people don’t like getting rejected.

While some become sad, some other becomes angry. And it makes me feel bad that I couldn’t establish a healthy relationship with that person. But, at the same time, I have no other way-outs!

You need to know that if someone is rejecting a proposal, there must be some reasons for the same. Don’t repeatedly request for the same. It doesn’t do any good, rather spoils the healthy conversation and creates an awkward moment.

What can you do?

Say you offered a proposal and get rejected, respect the decision.

If you feel you had done some mistake yourself, request the other person to clarify and guide you properly, so that he can point out the places where you need to work more.

Most importantly, establish a good relationship, so that you can come up with more business proposals later on. 🙂

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Use your Work Email:

Social Media 'Conversational Ethics'

 

If you are emailing someone with a business proposal, make sure it goes from your work email and not Gmail or Yahoo.

There is a valid reason for the same.

When you are using your work email, the other party can verify that you are genuinely associated with the company, and not some scammer trying to rip off because nobody can confirm who is behind a Gmail or a Yahoo domain.

Also, if you use your work email, there is a good chance the other party will visit your domain and will be interested to find out more about you before responding you back. This ensures transparency. 🙂

If you are a freelancer, provide some services on your own, and still don’t have your work email, then buy your domain name immediately. It will help you in the long run.

Please note that this point is only applicable if you are reaching out for professional reasons. If you are asking for help, you can use your personal email.

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Last Words:

Well, these are the crucial matters that you should take care of while interacting with anyone online. Trust me, it will make a difference and leave a long lasting impression over someone.

Remember, nobody can see you on the social networking website. All they see is your conversations. So, it creates an impact.

If you are still reading, then I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for bearing with me till the end. Also, I would like to request you to please share this post so that your friends can also rectify themselves. Use the floating social share buttons below, or on the left, if you are browsing from a desktop.

Lastly, I would like to know about your opinions and experiences.

Have some queries? Want to share your feedback? Do let me know in the comments section below.

That’s all for now! I will be back soon with another update. Till then, stay tuned!

Nirmal Sarkar is an M.Tech Engineering Student from the city of Joy, Kolkata. He is the founder of this blog and covers a wide range of topics from Gadgets to Software to Latest Offers. He is also active on the Blogosphere community on Facebook. You can get in touch with him via [email protected]

2 Comments
  1. Hello, it would be great if you would guide on how to use work email when I have a domain name. Or it would also help if you give link. I searched in internet there are many methods,so confused.

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