Netiquette for Dummies

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Dear people on social media:

– Give it up. Mark Zuckerberg is never going to pay you for posting something.

– ALL CAPS means you are screaming and is considered bad manners.

– No, I do not have to click “Like” to prove I love Jesus.

– Speaking of “Like,” it sends the wrong message when you’re giving a post announcing the death of a loved one (or something just as tragic) the thumbs up.

– Humblebragging is still bragging. You are fooling no one with your smug hashtags. #blessed #thankful #gymselfie

– Put away the pee stick. While we are excited for you, it is unseemly to wave something soaked in your own urine to announce your pregnancy.

– PS, do we really need to see the inside of your uterus?

– Posting too many passive/aggressive quotes makes you look thirsty.  Get ahold of yourself,  settle things offline and in real life.

– PS, we all have drama. I am here to tell you that no one cares.

– “Netflix and Chill” is a euphemism for pretending to watch a show for ten minutes then segueing into bow-chicka-bow-bow time. Use internet slang  (and Google) wisely.

– Speaking of Google, use it before sharing something that you take as gospel, to ensure it isn’t a hoax.

Of course, a few simple selfie rules:

– We can tell when you overuse filters.

– Stagger your selfies. Too many, too often and we will get sick of seeing your face. We already know how narcissistic and shallow you can be (we are friends after all, birds of a feather and all that), there is no need to belabor the point.

– Shots of you actually doing something and being somewhere are fine. Random duck lips three times a week? Sit down.

– The Crying Selfie is weird and off-putting. If you have enough energy to take a picture of yourself in the throes of your misery, you have enough energy to get over it. Have some dignity and escape ridicule. (Be aware that some of us – cough, me, cough – do screen grabs and share this stuff enthusiastically and with great glee. Also, see earlier tip about drama.)

– Pick and choose the pictures you share of your offspring. One day that innocent infant may grow up, realize how much of his/her life you exposed for all and sundry to see before he/she could say or do anything about it and hate you for not being more discerning. Nip this in the bud.

Finally, the rule of thumb:

Avoid being a hot mess on social media. There is a prevailing notion that because one has the right to do something, one should absolutely do said something (to quote a friend, “it’s my feed and I can do what I want.”). In other words, if you want to metaphorically crap in public for all the world to see, as long as it’s in your own backyard, then people should just avert their eyes (i.e., scroll furiously past/hide post/unfriend).

This is nonsense and a cop-out. Aren’t we all bound by a social contract to behave ourselves in public? You have the power to pick and choose how to present yourself online. Use it wisely, and if all else fails, the Rotary’s 4-way test works like a charm.

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