By: Natasha Archary
Social media can be a fickle street as every user has an opinion and wants their viewpoint heard. Managing your social media communications without sticking your foot in your mouth means you have to be able to read the room.
Kaya Drive host Sizwe Dhlomo is no stranger on the Twitter streets and he has been called ‘hectic’ on social media by Boity Thulo amongst others.
His recent tweets expressing his distaste for atchar for example, left people divided.
After agreeing with Melanie Bala about the rain being beautiful, his followers felt Sizwe didn’t quite understand how destructive the rain can be for people in informal settlements.
Suddenly his personal preference for the rain became a topic about inequality and that was not the intention.
This rain, lightning and thunder is delicious 🌧️⛈️🌩️
— IG: melzinbala (@MelBala) October 1, 2021
“People are ready to attack everything on social media, I can post about oranges and the pineapple gang will come at me for being anti-pineapple! When I actually didn’t say I hate pineapples, I just stated that oranges are amazing,” Sizwe explained.
He’s not wrong, this is how Twars (Twitter wars) start and ‘keyboard warriors’ and cyber bullies reign.
When it comes to social media, etiquette is really important because every post doesn’t have to be a viral rant.
How to read the room on social media
Every social media platform should be treated differently because the audience or users engage and interact differently. Think of Facebook, LinkedIn, TikTok, Instagram and Twitter like having children of differing ages.
Each platform is designed for different engagement and content and the social media platforms that are simply for content curation such as videos and pictures does not call for heated exchanges in the comment section.
Simply like the post if you found it interesting or feel like you want to or scroll on past. You have the option to unfollow the creator who posted or shared the post.
If you disagree and you can both go on with your lives.
As Sizwe mentioned, Twitter is a different ball-game altogether and your tweets can be shared or retweeted by just about anyone. So the chances of your posts being misinterpreted are high.
Remember that in real life it’s impossible to be friends with everybody, it’s the same on social media. Don’t have an expectation that everyone is going to feel the same way as you about anything.
People are ready to fetch you, to humble you
People are ready to ‘fetch you’ if you say something out of line and out of pressure you are expected to apologise. Sometimes it’s not about the apology but making an example out of you so that you are humbled by the Twitter streets.
A good example of this was the viral photograph that was intended to humiliate Makhadzi for her ‘dark innner thighs‘.
Here’s what Kaya Drive listeners had to say about reading the room on social media: