… the HR Minion. Because even minions have opinions. And giggles.

How to Connect in Non-Creepy Ways on Social Media

The title says it all doesn’t it? You can already tell this is gong to be a fun post.

About two years ago now, the incredibly awesome Dwane Lay and I spoke at a couple of conferences (HREvolution and HR Florida) on how to connect in non-creepy ways on social media. The emphasis being on non-creepy as most people don’t often have problems being creepy.

We kept our presentations to a very loose, Unconference type of session where the focus was more on having a conversation with the audience, on talking through these issues, using personal examples (who hasn’t been creepy at some point?) and offering alternatives.

Essentially though, this was our message:

Recently, I had two very different, but both still creepy, interactions online and it made me realize that this is a topic worth revisiting. Two years later, social media is still evolving and every day there seems to be more ways to misstep into creepy, when all you really want to do is make positive connections. And because interactions on social media are very different from those in real life, it’s so easy to go wrong.

Now, I don’t think anyone starts out an interaction over social media with the intent to be creepy. And like I said, we’ve all crossed a line at some point, myself included. But the good news is that you can recover!

– Before you start reaching out to someone new online, ask yourself if you are falling into one of the categories above first.
– Don’t confuse openness on a blog with a personal relationship. Just because you read a personal account on someone’s blog it does not mean you are now close friends, even if you are connected on LinkedIn.
– Go slower and don’t make assumptions about where someones comfort level is in regards to delving into personal matters.
– If you wouldn’t say or do in real life, what you are saying or doing online, then you have crossed the line.
-Re-evaluate your approach if you don’t get the response you are hoping for.

Ultimately though, when trying to be non-creepy in social media, self awareness is your friend. So is being able to apologize.

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