I went offline over the weekend as I usually would on Holy Week to spiritually recharge, reflect, and rest. Which is why I mentioned this on my last post for that week.
Little did I know that someone would be bothered that I had to announce it on my page. ? Upon checking my Instagram on Easter Sunday, I noticed a comment on this post by someone who doesn’t even follow me basically saying I should be offline permanently because for him/her my content is all about workouts, bikinis and such. Too bad I wasn’t able to screenshot the exact comment prior to deleting and blocking the account.
Since it was posted a day prior to me going back online, I’m pretty sure a few people who checked my profile or follow me already saw the comment. If I received this message three or four years ago, this would’ve triggered me to spiral down self-doubt and self-consciousness.
What’s wrong with my content? Isn’t what I post feed-worthy? Do I need to think about what I want to post? Why is this bothering me so much? Ugh the internet and people hiding in psuedo names and blank profiles. Ouch that hurts.
These would’ve been the thoughts running in my head if I didn’t know better. But as soon as I read the comment, there was no emotional reaction. I really didn’t care what that person had to say. I didn’t bother analyze how she came about taking time to leave a comment. Maybe he/she was having a bad day or maybe that’s just who she is? Boy have I changed. I guess blogging for more than a decade and using social media for this long made me learn a thing or two when it comes to putting myself out here. It also helped that I stumbled upon this very meaningful and it-make-so-much-sense-you-need-to-read-this post by @jaskiaistrycurious which I shared on my Instagram stories a few days prior.
Seriously when did we stop having good manners? Does being online give us the excuse and the right to say what we want even though it won’t do any good to anyone? Are we allowed to be insensitive because we hide behind our username and screens? What Jasika posted is ? accurate. If you were invited to someone’s home, you immediately show respect to the owner even though you don’t like what his/her home looks like, or that you don’t want to remove your shoes or awkward that you have to enter a bedroom when you need to use the bathroom. Being in someone’s home often times makes us feel uncomfortable because it’s not a place where we could let loose and do whatever we want like we’re in our own home. But since you’re visiting you do what you can to be at your best behavior. Politeness protocol is often automatic because you want to show respect right? Right. It’s almost instantaneously easy for us to be polite when you’re in someone else’s territory.
So then why isn’t this the same for our behavior online? You are literally visiting someone else’s page (home). Browsing and looking at the contents he or she may or may not have carefully curated. Half of it are mostly posts that person wants to upload while the other half could be posts she thinks visitors will appreciate or can relate to. Now if you’re the visitor and you don’t find his/her posts appealing or relatable, why would you even take your time to leave unnecessary (more often than not rude and unsolicited advise) comments? Is it because you can? ?
Well have you ever thought that maybe you’re not the visitor that person is expecting to welcome? Though it’s nice that you visited, it’s not nice nor necessary that you leave something behind that’s unwanted.? Doing so will just force the owner to delete your comment and block you. This I believe is every owner’s right because if someone visits you and leaves trash, wouldn’t you want to remove it from your home and not invite that person again? Exactly.
Majority of us are now more online that we want or used to pre-pandemic. Even my husband who isn’t a fan of social media has been using his Facebook more to get updates from family & friends. It has become an integral part of our daily lives whether we like it or not. And with all that’s happening in the world, I honestly think we need to keep our social etiquette in check. The way we behave online/on our chosen social media platform should be the same as how we are offline. While I do understand that some people are different offline from online, I believe there’s one social etiquette that should remain consistent whether you’re socializing in the real world or in the vast world wide web and that it KINDNESS.
Kindess is not just a type of behavior. It’s a good way to remind others the basic humanity that we all share despite our differences. Kindness also helps empowers other people. I think people who show kindness to others are also very kind to themselves. It’s a social etiquette that we should all practice whenever we can whether online or offline.
Being kind does not cost you anything. Being kind means you respect others and are considerate of others. While there’s nothing wrong about voicing out one’s opinion, it’s best to think first if its something that’s helpful. Thinking about it now, the person who left that comment on my post was indeed helpful because it validated how I’ve grown as a person–I no longer care if not everyone likes what I post. I just had to delete and block him/her because like I said, my Instagram page is my home and I don’t like it when unwanted visitors leave trash on my doorstep. If he/she asked me to throw his/her trash kindly, I would’ve done it. Get it? ?
Anyhow, kindness people. It’s free and its pretty easy to do. Be kind offline, be kind online. Listen to your mama, always be kind to all kinds okay? ?
If you want to learn more about online etiquette, you can read about Mashable article HERE.