We are well aware of trolls and spammers and know when to spot one and opt-out of engaging in their foolishness or awful sites. However, many of us are not familiar with the more discreet type of social media hazard, the social media user.
Understanding that interacting with someone in social media is a way to build relationships with people that go far beyond actions (actions include likes, retweets, or mentions) instead relationship building includes comments, tweets, and true interacting between people that strike up conversations. That is not to say that actions are not worthy of gratitude, they most certainly are and sharing appreciation for them choosing your tweets or status updates to create an action is a great gateway to making a meaningful relationship through social media.
With that said this is the zone where true intentions can come to light and you may often get a DM or messaged privately or openly for a request for you to do an action for them since they have for you. The worst feelings is that of guilt, of feeling pressured into obliging or fear that if you don’t than you will hurt your relationship with said person.
In fact that is the very first question that needs to be asked to yourself “do you have a relationship with them?”
If you have exchanged tweets or likes that does not mean that you are building a relationship and just because they chose to share something of yours does not mean you owe them anything more than a thank you. You have to realize that some people will create an action based on the belief that you will do one back and that is not the proper use of social media.
Social media is a way to converse with others and yes, sharing each other’s sharable content helps but expectations is the wrong attitude to have. Besides, one expectation can lead to many and if you truly care about your social communities you do not want to get sucked in by an abundant amount of requests by others.
Some social media folks will go as far as unfriend you or tweet to you that they will unfollow you if you don’t (fill in the blank here). This is what is known as a social media user, and is not someone who is actually looking to connect with you but instead looking to use you for your connections.
If you have built relationships with people and have mutually decided to help share each other’s content than that is completely different, then you have both agreed based on your existing relationship.
The point is, if you want to have an unspoken mutual agreement or a spoken one both are dependent on a relationship and it is up to two parties to ensure this happens, if not and you go into sharing with expectations than you are a user and have no true place within social media. Manipulation and idle threats are pointless, most people in fact would be happy to rid of people who think they hold power within being a number, when in fact the true power is within the person who has the willingness to know when someone is trying to use them and respect their communities enough to say no and good-bye.
[sucks image via shutterstock]