Chatting Etiquette on Social Media.

Published by Oyinlola Akindele on

Let’s talk about chatting on social media.

We must understand the basics of chatting with friends, acquaintances or new people on social media spheres. Like I always say, it’s in MY own opinion.

Don’t stall, be direct.

When you’re chatting new people up for important conversations, don’t just say “hi”. Of course, some people will reply to you with a “hello”, but for a faster and surer reply, put your name and some other necessary information behind it. Trust me, people’s social media inbox are filled with a lot of “hi”s and “hello”s, especially when it comes to females. The probability that your “hi” will be mixed in the crowd is very high, without other information.

“Hi. I’m Oyinlola. I read your recent post and I’ll like to ask some questions”.
“Hi. I’m Oyinlola. We met last week at your sister’s wedding. Remember?”
“Hello. Can you help me with something?”

These would surely get faster replies than mere “hi”, not necessarily because the receiver is proud, but because it might be lost amidst a lot of “hi”s.

Avoid abbreviations on first contact.

If you’re chatting someone up for the first time, it’s safer to not use abbreviations. Except if that conversation doesn’t mean much to you, appealing to someone on your first interaction is important. In the first place, using abbreviations to chat ain’t so cool anymore in this century, but if you usually do, try not using it on the first contact.

However, if the other party replies with abbreviations, you can switch back to that comfy zone of hours. However, it’s advisable to stop using abbreviations generally, it waters down your written English unconsciously.

Be patient, people are busy.

People make this same mistake every time. The fact that someone is online doesn’t mean they are ready to chat with you. And, except if they’re totally involved with you, they are not compelled to chat with you. Expressions like “I saw you online. You didn’t reply”, “I sent you a message since morning and you’re just replying despite that you’ve been online” are very unnecessary, except if they are accountable to you. It doesn’t matter that they are your friend, the highest you can do is to ask “why?”.

Don’t forget. People have other engagements asides you, you’re not at the centre every time. Making statements like that is an attempt to make people feel guilty for what they didn’t exactly do wrong. Ask yourself. “Must they chat with you at that time? Are you chatting with everyone at that time?” Nobody is obliged to reply you online EVERY time. If you need them to respond ASAP, tell them. I hope we got this point well, I don’t know how to explain it more than this.

Always filter broadcast messages.

It’s highly important. That’s something I try my best to do. No matter how important a piece of information is, always remember that it is not essential to everybody. For example, if there’s an ongoing photography competition that you know of, send it to photographers on your list and not everybody. Thank God for Status pictures and Videos now, you can put the information there and let whoever needs it contact you.

Life is not hard. Don’t let people attach you to BCs. Even when you have something important to say, they won’t open it thinking it is BC.

Now, if it’s a business that you’re always trying to sell, probably a blog, a catering business, your poems, write-ups, etc., yes it’s good that you’re publicising them via BC. However, ensure to ask for feedback from your receivers. “Should I continue sending it to you?”, “Am I disturbing you?”, “Should I stop?”, ask via BCs too and get feedback. Be sure to remove those who don’t want it from your list. It’s that simple. And keep your BCs short, please.

Filter your list.

Remember, not everybody on your list is your “friend”. You added some people for business reasons, some are your bosses, employees, workmates, business associates, filter the information that gets to them. The same information that goes to friends doesn’t necessarily apply to your employees, neither does your Boss need to see some information that you share. Filter your list. Different strokes for different folks.

In conclusion…

Always remember, it’s not “just a chat”, it’s an impression that you’re creating, an impression that may be there for or against you in the future. For example, if I were your boss at work, regardless how hardworking you are, if I see your status jokes about making BIG money every time, I wouldn’t hand over a position involving money to you. It’s as simple as that.

So, I have said it…please, work on it. Cheers to a year of healthy chat boxes.


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