The Social (Media) Contract: Avoiding Twitter’s Ugly Temptations

1. Silence is okay. I don’t have to form – and express – an opinion about every twitter topic. It’s also okay not to respond to every question, especially those tweeted directly at someone else.

2. As in real life, it’s okay to ask questions, just in case. If I see a new twitbreviation, e.g. LWRMS (“Laff Wan Remove My Subsidy”), I shouldn’t use it based on my first guess. I have more than 3 life-lines: DM, a tweet that ends with a smiley (to make folks assume I’m just kidding), ask a friend (er, of course one that is sure), etc.

3. Whatever happens via eMail stays in the inbox. If we discussed by eMail, please note that there’s a reason I didn’t tweet it at you publicly.

4. Still on eMail and twitter, please don’t tweet at me in anger because you saw my tweet while I’m yet to reply your eMail. Tweets are just 140 characters, and I can plug in a quickie, so if your eMail exceeds 140 characters, give me some time to digest the content and think of a very intelligent reply.

5. When I share information and include a link, please click on the link and read to get more information. If you reply immediately, with a “tell me more bro” tweet, people may think you’re making a fool of yourself.

6. Still on links, behold I reveal a mystery: there are things in life that have no links! A quote from the legal copy of a book, something showing on TV (not on those stations that run webcasts), and a joke shared with a friend in real life are just few examples.

7. If my mood has everything to do with my twitter mentions, I need help! Life is way bigger than twitter, and there should be no scientific explanation for the relationship between the number of folks I follow, and people who are my real (not even FaceBook) friends.

8. Still on life and twitter, if everyone who follows me knows everything about my entire life, then there’s a major problem with my honest definition of what’s virtual and what’s real.

9. My follow button is like my vote during elections, it’s a fundamental right to click as I consider appropriate. You can ask for a follow-back, but please don’t get upset about following me for so long without my “returning the favour.”

10. If I read every single tweet that shows up on my timeline, including the 3,210 tweets I “missed” while in a staff meeting, then my true employer is twitter. Scratch that, my real employer is my timeline.

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