In an increasingly fast-paced and liberated world, many rules of etiquette are being forgotten and discarded. The 21st century simply does away with a lot of the formalities that used to be de rigeur in much earlier times.

Still, there are some rules of basic courtesy that apply today. Even social media platforms like Instagram are governed by some unspoken laws, and users who breach them are often frowned upon and sometimes even ridiculed for such.

The following are just a few of the do?s and don?ts to keep in mind when using your Instagram app:

1.)Do go easy on the hashtags. Hashtags are called such because you use the hash or the number sign (#) to precede a word or a phrase that may currently be trending. Using hashtags is one way to keep your posts up to date and to draw in more followers. However, refrain from using too many of them as this can create an eyesore that could annoy your followers. It is also important to keep your hashtags relevant to your posts. For instance, it wouldn?t be advisable to use hashtags like #school, #love, #teddybear when you are posting a photo of the night sky or an equally similar nature shot.

2.)Don?t steal other users? photos. If you find a photo that compels you to share it, ask for the owner?s permission first. Stealing a photo and passing it off as your own is sure to irritate your followers, especially as it is quite easy to trace a photo back to its original owner. Also, some photos are copyrighted and sharing them without permission can even lead to the offender being sued.

3.)Have a theme. Apart from using Instagram to post images from your personal life, it is also a great way for you to indulge in a certain passion, such as food or travel. Having a theme that features your passion can help drive up the number of your followers (especially if you post good-looking photos) and streamline your profile beautifully. This sort of theme can also help get you discovered by people who are looking for a unique perspective on such things.

On the flip side, if you do have a theme, try not to deviate from it too much. For instance, if your main theme is food, you can post photos of an upcoming vacation or of your pet cat, but it would be best to keep them few and far between so that you don?t inadvertently throw off your followers.
4.)Don?t post photos that may reveal private information. Posting images of envelopes with your home or work address on them or photos of your credit card are a big no-no. Remember that Instagram is a pretty big place and that anyone can choose to follow you. Giving strangers access to your personal information is as good as leaving your door open to identity theft and credit card fraud among other things. Use the Direct feature instead if you really need to share potentially sensitive information with a few of your trusted followers.

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