Thought Catalog
January 20, 2015

The Rules Of Social Media

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Ian Dick
Ian Dick

No one has given me a degree in social media. Unless you consider one class in social media and constant use of it since the age of thirteen to be qualified, I probably am not even remotely eligible to be writing a list of rules. However, I believe that there needs to be some. Maybe not rules, that feels too stuffy, let’s just call it guidelines. I’ve been following these for years, and so far they have been unwritten, but I think there just needs to be some document on the subject for people to either refer to, or to totally bash. Also these are just my own rules, please feel free to interpret them and add your own.

Thou shall not use text lingo on social media over the age of sixteen.

I know it was cool to use u instead of you and r instead of are back in ’02 on AIM, but it is 2015 and we should cut this crap out. I would love to live in a world where no one uses it at all, but I will allow those under the age of sixteen to partake in this laziness. But the day you turn sixteen and still do this it just isn’t cool anymore. And if you’re thirty-five and still doing this, just stop. It isn’t cool and you look silly.

Only post Instagrams to Facebook if it is really important.

I love Instagram; it makes everyone into a photographer. But if you are posting all of those pictures of your food, and the sunset to Facebook I am over it. In my opinion the only pictures that should be posted to both are to show those who don’t have Instagram those pictures, or if someone needs to be tagged in it. I really only post a few to Facebook, and they usually have other people in them. I don’t want to see the new mug you bought at Urban on every social media platform, just keep that to one please and thank you.

Every picture better not be of your significant other/ dog/ baby.

I get it, they are a huge part of your life, and because I love you I also love them through connection to you, however if every picture is of them I will delete you. I am not saying you can’t post pictures of your significant other/ dog/ baby, but you better be doing something. If your boyfriend is your #mcm every single week, you need to do something else with your time. If you have fifty pictures of your baby and or small child just sitting there, please just stop. But if that baby is doing something cool- then by all means post that.

Thou shall not post more than three Instagram pictures per day.

I know there are people who say this is a crap rule, but this is real. There is nothing worse than someone who post nineteen instas a day. If you have that many pictures please spare everyone and just put it in an album on Facebook, please. There are rarely exceptions to this rule, you have to be a celebrity, or doing something amazing- I’m talking like hiking Mount Everest or at a party with Beyoncé.

If you’re posting on Instagram it needs to be a high quality picture.

You can post those shaky pictures on Twitter or Facebook, but if you are going to put a filter on it and think it looks nice you are wrong. If you’re one of those people who believe that every picture you take while drunk is golden and post it, just delete the app when you go out.

No hashtags on Facebook, just no.

Hashtags are so that you can find things that are trending, and I know that Facebook now searches those just like Insta and Twitter, but just no. And you can do it on comments when you are being sassy, that’s totally fine. But if you do this long status about something, please don’t end it with a Hashtag, your grandma sees that and she probably thinks you put a pound sign in front of words you forgot to put spaces between.

If you are preaching on Facebook do your research.

There are few things worse than being on your social media soapbox just to find all of your information is completely inaccurate. I personally don’t get why everyone feels the need to air their political, religious, and other hot topic opinions on social media, but if you do please know what you’re talking about. You don’t want to get embarrassed on social media, then your mom, distant cousins, friend from sleep away camp seven years ago, and high school ex will see that and laugh at you. Just do a quick Google search and find some reputable sites and maybe have a source for your information.

Don’t complain about work on social media.

This is a real rule, and you should absolutely follow it. No one likes work, and I am sure your complaints about your boss are totally valid. But if you want to still be working there you should probably not post that lengthy status about how much it sucks. And even if you are about to quit or already have don’t do it. You’re future boss might see that someday, and that’s super unprofessional. Just keep work off social media, unless it is an office Halloween party- that’s fun.

Unless your food is perfect in every way don’t take a picture of it.

I have a friend who is essentially the next big food blogger, and I am totally cool with her posting pictures of the lovely food she makes and eats. But her food also looks like it was on the Food Network. If you’re posting a salad that I could make, stop. If you are posting a simple and basic cupcake, stop. If it is something you are incredibly proud of, something that looks amazing and is making my mouth water, post it. Just know whether your meal is the Next Food Network star quality, and if it is toaster pizza.

Don’t post Facebook statuses like it’s Twitter.

The only Facebook statues I post any more are things that are really important or pressing. I used to use those statuses to keep people up to date on every single thing I did. My Time Hop is filled with useless statuses about doing homework or hanging out with friends. It’s 2015, I do not want to know about the mundane things you are doing. Don’t update it every three seconds- live life man!

Some things don’t need to be posted on social media.

We live in a culture were we need to share everything with each other. We take pictures of every little thing, just to put them online and hope they get likes. We post statuses about things that are important to us. And it is nice to have all of this documented, but there are some things that can be just for our eyes. Not everything needs a Tweet or a picture. Some things just don’t need to be posted for the world to see. Keep some things for yourself.

Don’t like your own post or pictures or tweets.

You obviously like your own thoughts or pictures or ideas or comments. Just don’t hit that little thumbs up or heart. I’m serious, don’t do it.

Pick new things to post about.

If your only tweets are about how much you love your significant other, I will delete you no matter how good of friends we are IRL. If your only pictures are of food and you aren’t a food account, I will delete you. If you post the same thing day in and day out, I’m sorry hon but you are boring. No one wants thousands of pictures of your cat all over their feed. That doesn’t mean your cat isn’t cute or wonderful, it just means you need to switch it up. And if you don’t have an exciting life, you really don’t have to post about it. The world will not end if you don’t post something on social media every day.

Selfies are a responsibility not a right.

Do not take a selfie every single day, I know what you look like, you haven’t changed. But if you are doing something cool, like hanging out of a car in Haiti, or with your cute cousin, I’ll allow it. If you’re going to post a selfie just make sure it is an important one, not a mundane selfie that has no purpose. And don’t abuse it; you don’t need that many Instas of yourself I promise.

If you are going to post your opinions be ready to defend them.

If you feel strong willed enough about an issue, and have the proper information, that you feel it necessary to make a post, by all means do it. But when someone comments on it and disputes your theory do not get upset with them, and do not think they are personally attacking you. And this goes along with my research one before; know your shit for this debate that is inevitable. TC mark

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