Over the last decade, social media has become an integral part of our lives. As such, it's easy to forget that there are unspoken laws that can help keep you from annoying just about every one of your online friends. Keep them and you'll never have to worry about being that person.
1. Don't argue constantly
There's something about that virtual filter that makes us feel emboldened to say things we wouldn't otherwise say to a person's face. But just because you have an opinion about everything doesn't mean it has to be heard on every topic every day.
Keep in mind; you may lose friends by constantly being aggressive in your arguments. Above all, avoid personal attacks as you discuss topics that are important to you. Learn to maintain your opinion about something while also respecting the opinions of others.
2. Don't send game requests
As much as you need that extra boost in your mobile or online farm or city or amusement park, don't send game requests to your friends unless you know they already play the game. Given the prevalence of friend requests at times, it can be annoying enough that people will unfriend you.
3. Don't bully
As social media has become a mainstay in our social lives, so has cyberbullying. Teens and adults seek validation from the things they post, and using that platform to attack them with ethnic slurs, personal insults, or other harassment is unacceptable in any form. What's more, if you notice someone being bullied, report it.
Most children and teenagers are at the center of cyberbullying. Kids will post mean photos, spread rumors online, and even take over their friend's account to post embarrassing things. Most parents don't know about their children's activity, but that can change. With WebSafety, parents can stay up-to-date on all their child's online activity. The WebSafety app can alert parents about bullying, inappropriate online behavior, and more.
4. Don't use social media as a sales platform
It's not a bad thing to try to start your own business. Whether you're trying to sell essential oils, candle warmers, leggings, or your own handmade wares, avoid overt sales tactics on social media. This includes adding friends to your direct sales Facebook "party" without their permission, posting about what you're selling multiple times a day and adding old friends you haven't talked to in years just to see if they want to buy what you're selling.
While there may be people more willing to take a look, you may lose some friends in the process if they feel like you're taking advantage of their friendship.
5. Use hashtags correctly
The hashtag is a great tool to find out who else is talking about a certain topic or issue, but using several in one post can be frustrating for those who read it, especially if you put an entire sentence behind one. This video by Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake shows just how silly it is when hashtags are misused.
6. Don't add people you don't know
It can be weird for someone to receive a friend request on Facebook from someone they've never met before. They may wonder about your motive, and their conclusions are likely never good. And while you think this may not apply to networks like Twitter and Instagram, where you can follow people without them following you back, avoid following someone you don't know with a private profile. There's a reason they want only their close family and friends to see their posts.
7. Don't over post
Regardless of the social network, no one likes to see their feed filled up by posts from one user, including retweets and shared posts. If you find yourself the perpetrator of breaking this law, ask yourself whether you might be spending too much time online.
If you're over posting constantly, and if these posts include personal details or inappropriate photos of your night out on the town, think about taking those down.
Being aware of and keeping these unspoken social media laws can help you maintain a good relationship with your online friends.
If you're a parent and are worried about your teens breaking social media rules or being victims of cyberbullying, check out and download WebSafety, an app that lets you monitor your child's Internet and social media
You can receive notifications when vulgar or derogatory words are used or when inappropriate images or websites are being visited. Visit WebSafety to download the app or to learn more.