Image via WikipediaAn interesting piece filed by AP today on 'social netiquette', talking about the increasing problems of how we manage information in this online, socially overloaded, on demand world of ours. There are some good examples of people losing control of their news as others Tweet or Facebook it - so that other friends and family are upset to find out about important events online rather than in person. It's here.
I've posted before about the problem of journalists combing Facebook for information about you when you die (here, in fact) - just one of these new ways of behaving we're all finding out about as we all experiment with the media and its consequences. And I was talking the other day to someone whose mother found out from Facebook about his engagement being broken off - one reason he refuses to go near it now.
There are an increasing number of examples of people having reason to deeply regret something they've done on social media, with often life-changing consequences. And yet a recent Spot On Twitter poll found that many people still re-Tweet links they see on Twitter without actually checking them out. That urge to get to the story first is something most journalists will understand - and the need to stop for a second and assess what you are sharing and the potential consquences of that sharing is also something that journalists will not only appreciate, but have evolved practices to manage. Social media hasn't - yet.
It's going to take a little less haste and a little more thoughtfulness from people in general in future. I do believe we are going to see the evolution of accepted ways of using social media - that thinks like Tweeting other people's news will become unacceptable. But it's such a fast-moving environment, there are gong to be a lot of breakages on the way.
The trouble is that, even when we take care, we all make mistakes - it's just that those mistakes are now incredibly, indelibly public.