How to behave on social networks: the rules to respect

from Francesca Trabella And Gerardo Antonelli

I’m more than 43 million Italians active on social networks, as the Digital 2022 report from the creative agency We are social explains. Not only that: on average, the number of platforms used is equal to 6, to which 1 hour and 47 minutes are dedicated every day. Behaving correctly, even on social media, therefore becomes fundamental. To this issue Riccardo Pozzolientrepreneur, startupper and communicator, but above all insider of the digital world, has dedicated a book: I stop when I want (but also not). 21 days to find out how to stay on social media in a conscious way (DeAgostini).

«Social media is the first communication platform left in complete self-management to users», Explains the author. “Unlike traditional media, in fact, they do not provide for a top-down approach, as an equal. Thanks to this feature, anyone who uses them becomes an influencer: what you post has a certain effect on your followers. Behold, then, that each of us is called to one double responsibility: that is, to speak and act with full awareness of the impact and possible consequences and to sift through what he finds on the profiles of others, because it is not taken for granted that they always tell (the whole) truth “. To help us navigate the sea magnum of social media, Pozzoli has developed an interesting analysis of the classic deadly sins applied to social networks.

  • Greed: just seeing the contributions of others, without ever intervening

    “Mind you, it is legitimate to choose what to keep for ourselves”, points out the author. “But if we are not willing to give something, for example the details of our private life, we cannot even expect it or look for it in others”. The antidote to vice? More balance between what we share and what we ask for. Among other things, by finding the courage to expose ourselves a little more, we gain the closeness and solidarity of others.

  • Envy: using social media to compare ourselves with others, grudgingly desiring what they show they have and do

    “When it attacks us, we consider that what triggers it could be fake, or only partially true,” says Pozzoli. “Better yet: let’s not let social conditioning tell us what to want and start looking within to understand what makes us happy.” Finally, if envy is directed towards someone who is better than us in a field, let’s turn it into admiration, that is, into the energy of change.


Wrath: get high, act violently and seek revenge

    On social media it is very present and contagious, so much so that virtual fights and hate campaigns are on the agenda. The fact is that “the internet exacerbates the impulse control problem: if we get angry we can tell the world in real time.” We are aware of the mechanism: every time we get nervous, let us ask ourselves: is our immediate public reaction necessary and appropriate? Let us therefore re-evaluate indifference, “an intelligent weapon in a world that uses shock phrases to stir attention, rather than to express points of view on things”.

  • Throat: being unable to control one’s impulses and wanting more and more

    In social networks, it takes the form of being present on the largest number of platforms, at any time, sharing everything and gorging on other people’s content. “” Simplify “is the watchword,” says Pozzoli, who says he no longer goes to Facebook (for his business he has a gear less and it took too much time). A trick: if we stop thinking that social networks are the place to present the best version of ourselves, it will be easier to reduce the production and consultation of posts and stories.

  • Pride: having an exaggerated self-esteem, which leads to look down on others

    “In reality, the proud are not so sure of their worth and show off to get the approval necessary to keep their insecurity at bay,” says Riccardo Pozzoli. The antidote is to strengthen your healthy self-esteem by learning not to make it dependent on the judgment of others. In order not to fall into temptation, then, it is better to avoid Instagram, the most narcissistic network of all: «It is based on images rather than on contents, and moreover on images of a certain aesthetic level. It is no coincidence that it is favored by fashion influencers, celebrities and all those who wish to put themselves “in the showcase” in some way. I myself sometimes consider myself too proud on my profile, so I try not to take myself too seriously! ».

  • Lust: An exaggerated desire to satisfy the pleasure of sex

    It is not difficult to imagine how it manifests itself in social networks, between platforms for meetings and habits such as sexting, that is the exchange of hot messages, nor what its risks are, starting from the dissemination of very private contents. The advice to manage it? Experiment, «but very gradually. Each must understand what is best for himself. If we publish a photo of a private moment, but we feel uncomfortable, we will know which border we do not want to cross ».

  • Sloth: Don’t be interested in anything

    “There are many users of slothful social networks who vegetate several hours a day, switching from one profile to another and canceling themselves in front of the screen”, testifies the author. For them, the rule is not to remain at the mercy of the devices but to decide how many minutes to dedicate to social media, or disconnect from the network on some daily occasions, perhaps during meals or before going to bed.