Notes, Questions and Actions: How to Be Compassionate on Social Media


I remember the early days of social media and blogging. Cheerful status updates, snapshots of kids or holidays, snapshots of someone’s day and reconnecting with old friends. It was really exciting to be a part of! Sometimes I miss it when I find myself getting caught up in things like numbers and algorithms, or when I spend hours staging a photo to make sure it looks “right”.

But I guess what I miss most is the kindness that has flown out the window over the past few years. I don’t know if I can put my finger on exactly when; seems like a slow progression to our present day social media situation. Now it’s overly political, overly sensitive, and at times downright bad. How did we get here? I don’t know if I have the answer, but I know I want to be part of the solution.

So for our next Notes, Questions and Actions post, I wanted to give you my thoughts on what it looks like to be kind and considerate in today’s digital culture. A quick refresher on things to look out for and watch out for – and a reminder that there’s always another person on the receiving end of every DM and comment. Let’s go inside!

How to Engage Kindly with Brands and Influencers on Social Media

I have a unique perspective on this, and that is one that is addressed here in our perspective. Instagram stories. But I know most bloggers share similar sentiments. Here’s what I think is the polite way to interact with brands and influencers on social media. When others approach and interact with me in this way, I know it means a lot!

#1: Be polite in DMs.

It’s easy to write a quick reply to an Instagram story, but remember that there’s a person on the other side receiving these messages. So, if you know the brand or influencer, address them with respect using their name. As if you were sending a text message:

“Hi Sara! Can you send me the link of the sunglasses? Thanks!” goes much further, “The sunglasses hookup?” or “I forgot to tie it.”

#2: Treat social media figures the same way you would treat someone you met in person.

The things people say they’re going to tell others on social media are often shocking. never say it to someone’s face (or hope they don’t!). How about applying the Golden Rule to social media?

Rude comments and DMs reflect the commenter’s confidence and moral compass more than anything else. If something you see on social media bothers you, keep scrolling and even unfollow. Or delete the app. But avoid harsh words. You will never regret holding your tongue.

#3: Access the appropriate channels.

Most accounts have contact information in their profile or in the About section of their website. Influencers DM’s boxes are getting overcrowded and an email shows that you’re really serious about your query because you took the time to do it professionally.

#4: Be careful about sharing personal information.

Many influencers and brands have employees who help out with social media, so there are few people who will see your message. Influencers love to connect readers with them, but just like we tell our teens. e-courseBe mindful of social media and be mindful of the information you post in the digital world.

#5: Give credit appropriately.

If you’re sharing a graphic or image in your personal feed, tag the original creator. On that note, if you’re lucky enough to win a sweepstakes, it’s polite to tag the influencer or influencer running the sweepstakes in a story. It’s also nice to send each one a DM thank you!

#6: Approve good content.

While it’s not expected, it’s kind of you to approve or share content that helps you. When we go to a good restaurant, we often share it with our friends or write a good review online. The same goes for content creators.

If an influencer’s content has helped you in a meaningful way, show your support by liking, commenting on, or even sharing their content with your friends. A simple like or comment on a small business’s page can mean a lot. (And a great way to support a business without spending a dime!)

Using Personal Social Media Courtesy

I think most of us know this, but a quick refresher won’t hurt! It’s good to have a quick check on how we interact with others (and how we portray ourselves) from time to time, especially when preparing for school, holidays, and events.

#1: Do not share photos of other people’s children without permission.

Everything in order. Do not share anything private about their children or any other person. It applies to share wedding photos before the bride and groom do! So, when in doubt, ask permission.

#2nd: Check your motivations.

A good gut check before posting or commenting helps: why am I posting or commenting on this? To liven up or to bring people down? To share a life moment or to brag?

#3: Be cautious (and gentle) in your choice of words.

On social media, less is more. And wisdom should guide everything we do. If you are trying to manipulate someone into your position on a political or divisive issue, your success will be hindered if you also judge or belittle those who hold opposing views.

#4: Be careful when commenting.

As we said above, when you comment or post a comment on another page, it usually appears in your friends’ feeds. So if you’re being ugly to an influencer or even a former high school classmate on Facebook, your friends might see it. As we warn our young girls who take ours e-courseWhatever you post on social media can follow you for the rest of your life. This also applies to adults!

#5: Lead by example.

Kids are always watching your every move and will likely mimic the way you act both in person and online. Let’s model good behavior for the younger generation!

We’ll tell the girls who bought ours too. junior etiquette class: Don’t post if you don’t want your grandma to see it. Here’s what we’ll say: If you don’t want your kids – or their friends – to see it, don’t comment or post it! As your kids get older, their teenage friends might follow you or even see one of your comments under someone else’s feeds.

If you’re looking for more guidance or if you’re in a place where social media outweighs fun, be sure to read our previous articles on online etiquette – both DoSayGive’s Digital Etiquette Guide and 10 Things You Should Discuss With Your Child Before Social Media are great places to start!

Let’s be better, kinder and more considerate on social media together. I think we can see a big change coming from this!

Photos: Brenna Kneiss

Phone Case: Keebos


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