Saturday, 30 July 2011


The subject of good manners within social media has been written about many times over. Only not here - so here I go.

I am focussing upon Twitter in particular following a rather annoying thing that peeves me just a little bit. In simple terms, I sent a Tweet (a message of 140 characters or less, if by now you are unsure) to a priest who knows me personally and who holds some authority in the church (I lean on the word 'some'). Said priest then ignored me despite being rather active on the site. It wasn't a world-class message that I sent, but did demand a reply. I was ignored.

There are always little rules that accompany social interaction. Were there not, then rudeness and poor behaviour would quickly reign. On the whole, these rules require no printing or formal drafting, because they are the rules of good manners, and are largely innate in most of us. 

I think I was peeved because the priest in question is a conspicuous self-promoter and manifestly ambitious. I have no real concern with that, until they become too levitous to speak to others. Exchanged messages with bishops, even archbishops - that is fine. Just not curates. Grrr

With all things concerning the social media, I believe in absolute terms that you should never utter a word there that you wouldn't be prepared to say in person. It is easy to be one person in the flesh and quite another in the online world. In the real world, when someone addresses me, I respond. In the online world, I am not rude about someone for fun (or even to be serious), though I am happy with being critical in appropriate measure. I am happy to take criticism if it is warranted and the person delivering it has the right or insight so to do. If I borrow something from someone else, I try to ask first and thank them after. If I like something, I tell others, but I remember not to accidentally let that thing become mine. 

And so it is with social media, and especially Twitter and blogging. Ideas are (more or less) property. Interactions are no less real than any that would take place in my lounge over coffee. Equally, that means that I listen as much as I speak and I don't keep repeating myself - frequent offenses in social media, especially Twitter. If I address someone, I fairly well expect a reply. I try hard to afford that behaviour to others and look back on messages received when I have been offline, and reply to them in one form or another. When people propagate my ideas, I like to thank them. It seems obvious to me. 

So, person-in-question - please stop ignoring us mere lesser mortals on the ground. It is rude and it is unacceptable, and after all, you are a priest and that demands even more good behaviour. Enough said. 

But don't just take my word for it ...

With thanks to the ever excellent somegreybloke


  1. Since I do not belong to the chartered society of twits, I have no experience of being ingnored at that level, however, blogging, and posting comments on blogs is sufficiently soul- destroying without adding more ritual humiliation to the equation.
    Perhaps our response to being ignored says more about us than those whom we have 'honoured' with our carefully selected gems.

  2. I'm nicking this for my Saturday morning movie today. Thanks for the laugh! And I love how you are saying hi to everyone on Twitter today.

  3. Just wondering if it's possible he missed the tweet. I have sometimes missed a tweet due to being away from twitter for a day or so. I always try to go back and check my mentions, but sometimes they've dropped off the scale.

    I'm not defending ignorance, just suggesting a possibility.

    And I'm quite happy for you to be critical, as surely the only way we learn is if others do it with the best of intentions to help us to learn and to grow.

  4. It is, of course, possible! And I thank God for you, Brother :)

    ...see, the world still has some nice blokes in it, and UK is chief among them!



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