According to recent Pew Research, 48% of online adults aged 65 or older are using Facebook and 22% of online adults aged 50 and older are using social media.
Although most of these older adults have been able to figure out social media, the intricacies of social media etiquette may not be so apparent. For the sake of safety and manners, it’s a good idea to follow these general social media rules of etiquette.
1. Don’t Overshare
For security purposes it’s important that you don’t share any personal information like your full name, birthday, address, etc. Most sites will ask for this information when you sign up, but you can set privacy settings so that only your friends can see this information (so they can wish you happy birthday, for example). Or, you can lock down your privacy settings altogether so that no one can access these personal details.
2. Sharing Photos
It’s proper etiquette to ask before you post pictures that you take of other people. Keep in mind that some people might not want pictures of themselves or their family posted online. Whether their reasoning is serious or frivolous, this is their choice. The best thing to do is to ask before you post.
3. Comment Carefully
Although it’s tempting to speak your mind freely in comments, think first about what you say and how it will be perceived. You wouldn’t want to offend a friend or family member and you also need to consider that your comments will paint a picture of who you are to people who don’t know you.
4. Keep Your Circle of Friends Close
Even if you’ve met your child or grandchild’s friend, it doesn’t mean that you should invite them to be friends with you on social media. For security and privacy reasons, it’s best to invite and accept friendships from people who are actually your friends and family. Remember, it’s more meaningful to have a close circle of friends than a large number of followers who you don’t know (and who don’t know you).
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