/ May 19, 2011

The Father of All Advice

photo credit: Flickr cc happy via


Here at Fastcase, we’re passionate about more than just social media – we’re passionate about using social media right. In the past, we’ve brought you expert opinions about social media etiquette and even issued a few of our own, but this morning we’ve hit the mother load. While trolling through Twitter this morning, we noticed a curious tweet via Alex Howard, author of the blog digiphile. The tweet led us to Howard’s post, “George Washington’s Rules for Social Media”, from back in 2010 translating the very rules of civility and decent behavior that the father of our country so closely studied, into a guideline for social media conduct. While we got a good laugh from many of the modern day interpretations, the value of each one is not to be missed. Below are just a few of our favorites:

At Play and at Fire its Good manners to Give Place to the last Commer, and affect not to Speak Louder than Ordinary.

Whether you’re online or at home, welcome guests and don’t shout. (NO CAPS, friends.)

While you are talking, Point not with your Finger at him of Whom you Discourse nor Approach too near him to whom you talk especially to his face.

Don’t poke or nudge people. Seriously. Just talk to them

Let thy carriage be such as becomes a Man Grave Settled and attentive to that which is spoken. Contradict not at every turn what others Say.

During meetings, be aware that updating a service or focusing on the social media backchannel instead of those present is often a breach of etiquette. Face to face meetings are too valuable to damage the relationship by prioritizing any request that can wait. Listen first, reply with context. And don’t always take a contrary position.

Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire called conscience.

“Conscience is an ability or a faculty that distinguishes whether one’s actions are right or wrong.”-Wikipedia. Before using any form of social media, consider whether that action – tweet, link, comment, share or update – is ethical. “Google never forgets.” – Seth Godin

Take a few minutes to read through all 110 transformed tips here. George would surely appreciate it.

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