Social Media Smarts for Students

A Guide to Netiquette for Successful Online Communication

What is Social Media?

Social Media is defined by Meriam Webster as “forms of electronic communication through which people create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, etc." You could probably name more than most teachers, but Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat are common forms of social media. While they are second nature for many students, it is vital that you are smart about communicating on social media.



True Story: One of my best friends moved to New York City to follow her dreams. After not getting any call backs for interviews, she finally decided to google her name, and was shocked to find what popped up. She found an old picture from over ten years prior in high school that included her name, and a caption that could appear to be inappropriate to someone without the background knowledge.This led her to believe that potential employers googled her as well, and the picture and caption caused them to overlook her for the position.


Life lesson? What you do online today will impact tomorrow.

Smart Sense for Social Media

Follow these guidelines to ensure you are using appropriate netiquette when communicating online.


  • Remember that your posts and words can be viewed by anyone, at anytime.
  • If you don't have anything nice to type, don't type anything at all. Your words are being sent to a human with feelings, so if you would not say it to their face, do not share on social media.
  • A safe rule of thumb is to wait 24 hours before responding to something that upset you.
  • Be safe! Do not share any private information. Even sharing the slightest bit of information can enable someone to obtain more personal information than you could imagine.
  • Never communicate with someone you do not know online.
  • Do not ever share your passwords with anyone, and be sure to use unique passwords that include a variety of letters, numbers, and characters.
  • Use proper grammar, and re read your post several times before you submit it.
  • Avoid using ALL CAPS or overusing EXPLANATION MARKS!!!! Keep in mind that emojis and acronyms may be misunderstood to others.
  • When in doubt, ask an adult for permission, help, or advice.
Dos and Don'ts when using social networks
Think Time: Teens and Social Networks