The New Times published an article today about the fact that party hosts and some bars are starting to request no twittering, no blogging, and no photos. I agree with their concerns.
With the capability of uploading our pictures, updating our status and to publish all the time on social network sites, we need to use judgment about what is appropriate to put online or not. As adults, we must consider others’ view on privacy; not just our own.
I love and live in social media. But I also believe that we must keep a line between our private life and our public life. It is not just for you that you must censor what you put online; it is mostly for my friends and family. Not everyone wishes to participate in social networks.
Different Events, Different Venues, Different Rules
This is a lot to take into consideration. The proper code of etiquette is still in the making. Obeying a few basic rules keeps it simple.
Social media conferences encourage video recordings of the entire session, blogging and twittering. It is a given that you can publish your content without asking. But what about when you are in a restaurant, in a bar or when you are invited at a party at a friend’s house?
It is rare to get great shots in a dark bar with a phone camera. Asking your friends if they are OK with you posting the pictures with your phone in the middle of the party is not enough. Your friends may regret it the next morning. It may just be because they may not like the idea that we see them in a bar drinking and dancing. How many of you, have friends requesting that you untag them?
When you go to a party, upload the pictures the next day. You can better judge sitting at home than in the middle of a party. My rule of thumb is to take pictures at the start of the party. Then, forget about your camera.
Family affairs and parties at a friend’s house is generally off-limits. Even a quiet brunch party can be a problem. First, the host may not want to show off their house publicly. I always keep these pictures off the grid. The same is true for a wedding or a birthday celebration, even if they are happening on a public space.
As we continue to use social network sites, the etiquette will mature, will become more universal and will evolve with what we, as a society, feel comfortable with.