In the Book of Exodus the Ten Commandments, given to Moses on the two tablets (stone tablets that is, not iPads) are among the best known verses in the entire Bible. Here’s my take on the ten commandments for social media.
1. You shall have many social networks next to Facebook.
Facebook is currently the largest social network, but don’t rely on it as your only one and possibly not even as your primary one. You should at least consider using Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and/or Pinterest. A blog and sharing video/images/docs using YouTube, issuu, prezi, slideshare, Google drive are all useful services which can be integrated both in your socila media presence and your website.
2. Don’t misuse social media
I would say there are two risks, greater than any other:
- Not using social media at all. It’s such a big place where so many people meet and interact and anyone interested in connecting with people will have a hard time finding arguments against using social media.
- Confusing mass media for social media. Mass media is about spreading a message and it’s traditionally mostly one-way. Social media is two way conversation. It’s all about connecting with people and build relations. The one-way approach works very poorly in social media.
3. Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
Ok, that sounds very similar to the Biblical Commandment, doesn’t it? My point is, online activities can be used on Sundays as well. In the church. Hook up a video call to your sister parish (if you have one) and have a joint prayer, have a Twitter wall with questions on the sermon…
4. Give honour to your online neighbour
Like, comments, ask qustions, show interest in what they share.
5. You shall not kill conversation
This should go without saying, but it’s so important I’ll just say it anyway.
6. You shall not underestimate the relations built online.
Relations are both created and ruined online.
7. You shall not steal.
Remember to give credit and link when you refer to what someone else posted. Ask for permission before you use anything copyrighted. In another book of the Bible it’s said “Give and you shall be given”, which is true in social media.
8. You shall not post lies
Check your facts and your source. Distinguish between fact, speculation and rumour.
9. You shall not covet your neighbours number of followers or likes.
There’s a difference between quality and quantity. If you want loads of twitter followers, you can simply use #FollowBack or #TeamFollowBack and quickly increase your number of followers, with people who won’t care one bit about what you tweet. Quality followers are earned, by posting quality content. One quality follower, who retweets and replies is worth more than a thousand quantity followers, who are nothing but a number.
10. You shall not feed the trolls
This might not be very close to any of the Biblical Commandments, but it definitely deserves its place here.
Did I miss anything important? What’s your take on the Ten Commandments of social media? Would you change or replace the ones I wrote above? Finally, don’t forget about the actual Commandments in Exodus 20.