17 September 2012 33 Comments

Social Media: Etiquette, Personal and National Security

Author: yinkaolaito

Yinka Olaito is happy,excited and passionate Communications & Media specialist, Trainer and speaker. Yinka Olaito helps Profits and Non-profits with effective communication and positioning for premium service delivery and returns. Yinka Olaito also has special interest in Development Communication and has consulted for noted UN Agencies. Yinka Olaito is the CCO of Michael Sage Consulting(Communication/digital media), African Child Education Right Initiatives(NGO) and Content Director, Africa Development Talk( online Platform for discussion on Policy, Governance, development across Africa) and Africa Foundation for Young Media Professionals

web security, Social Media etiquette, Social Media and Personal Security, Social Media and National security, Online behaviourSocial media has brought a lot of changes to human communication. We cannot pretend it has no effect on us. Because it has empowered individual to become a publisher of a sort, we constantly find messages that either affect us or someone around us on these mass communication tools.

We live in a dawn of new communication era. We must adjust to its demands. If you remain aloof and will not touch the tool, someone close to you is using the tool through pictures of events you attend, texting, posting outcome of a meeting you were part and broadcasting such stuff online. The implication is that we are all affected by its use in one way or the other. The demand then is not to pretend it will not affect you but to understand how best you can position your brand against untold damage. We must be committed to understanding the rule of the game and adapt to the game before the game changes us. While you keep quiet, your children or a close relative may be affected.

Today, everyone: individual, corporate organization, Nation state is being challenged. People keep pushing out sensitive information without knowing. Many employees have damaged corporate strategy without knowing because the organization has not seen reason to offer a guide on what to say or not to say online. Interestingly, people want to talk, ease the tension off their lives. They engage in conversation which gives them out so easily and make them a prey.

My take when people fall victim to social media vices (which is common today) is that they are either greedy or careless. An article by Jack Doyle of ‘Mail Online’ stated that a case of violence, assault, death associated with Facebook is reported every 40 Minutes in the USA. To uninformed, social media is now considered as evil. My take is that, Technology is neither evil nor good; it takes the colouration of the user.

Last week, we had two opportunities to speak at different fora on Social media and National Security and Social media etiquette. The first platform was the opportunity to facilitate a class on Social Media and National Security with Masters’ Degree students of Mass Communication Department of the University of Lagos Nigeria. It was an expert opinion class for the students. At this platform, we established the fact that national security goes beyond military power but also include values espoused by the National society. It does mean a nation or its citizens’ online behaviour has a big impact on its security appraisal.

In situation where citizen’ behaviour do not correspond with a nation’s intentions, it is essential government comes out with guideline or policy that may help citizens’ better use of the platforms. Where the government refuses to play this role, it has surrendered leadership to the crowd and should not complain if abuses are rife.

Then, On Saturday, I was on a panel of discussion on Channels Television’s Sunrise Saturday programme. It was an avenue to share expert’s opinion on what social Media etiquette should look like. In all, here are some give aways:

 Listen all the times: Never forget the 24/7 nature of the present conversation will affect you. Even if you do not want anything to do with social media, put on your listening devices so you know what is being said about you, family, corporate organization, administration and nation.

Learn to tell your own story: For those who want to participate, the art of personal story telling is now an essential skill. Develop ability to tell your own story so well people want to help you spread the word.

Master the rules of the game so you can be of help to family member: even if you will not become active player, learn the rules of the game. This is essential because there are associates, family members, citizen and members of associations you belong to who may harm you through unnecessary exposure of your own details.

Social media and personal protectionLearn to protect yourself, image: In addition to point number one, be your own reputation manager. That you were not active does not mean you should allow rubbish and misinformation to spread freely about your brand or nation. Do not forget if lies are told consistently, it may be seen as the truth.

Can you add something? I value that. Do not forget to share, tweet, ‘like’ this piece as it may safe someone in your group.

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