People face difficult social media decisions daily. So I’m going to break down these minuscule decisions by peering into individual thought processes. Sounds complex, I know.
Here are my top three social media dilemmas.
1. The Misspelled Tweet
Let’s start with a really petty one. You’ve just concocted a masterful 140 characters or less and are about to send your grandiloquent prose out into your personal Twitter community. You’re happy with the tweet, dreaming about a dozen favorites or so even though you average a meager 0.7 per tweet (.66 of which are immediate family members) and you’ve maxed out at three (that blissful Sunday afternoon when all Jets fans were “favoriting” each other’s despondent tweets).
So your shirt’s untucked, you’ve got an Italian belt on and of course you’re suited up. You muster up some courage and send out the tweet. Boom. Favorited. After the initial excitement washes over, you re-read your tweet (similar to how a pro ballplayer will watch tape of his sixth career minor league home run) and are immediately filled with bewilderment.
How did you spell that word wrong? Of course you spell-checked. Probably even sent that baby to a couple of good writers just to avoid this situation. As the favorites pile on, you realize that you butchered one of the key words in the tweet.
In most situations, you would immediately delete the tweet and re-post it with the correct spelling, but this is not your typical situation. You’re sitting pretty with a half-dozen favorites. So what do you do? You know the favorites don’t automatically carry over (although there should be some rule that establishes this). By re-posting the tweet, you risk losing those favorites you worked so hard to accumulate.
An absolute doozy of a dilemma. Wouldn’t wish it on anyone.
2. The Facebook Birthday Post
The scenario. It’s 12:00 a.m. (EST). You’re in your room, dorm room, apartment complex, piece of sidewalk, frat house, regular house, above-average house in terms of total square yardage of owned land, or wherever you hit the hay like a champ. You’re browsing Facebook and notice that it is So-and-So’s birthday. Immediately, you’re placed in a perplexing predicament. Should you throw them a wall post? Should you not? If so, what should you write? Happy Birthday? Uppercase? Lowercase? Include their name? Don’t include their name? Add a corny pun? Think of a more original pun? Don’t include a pun at all?
Your mind instantly analyzes every face-to-face encounter you’ve had with this person. With this post, assuming you even post, you need to find the perfect median between “I’m being over the top for the extent to which I know you” (example: “Happy Birthday!!!!!” to the mailman whom you exchanged a brief conversation with four years ago… why you are even friends with said mailman on Facebook is a different question entirely) and “I insulted you with a lackluster post because we are closer friends than this” (example: “happy bday” to your best friend, although an exception is when the gesture is meant to be humorous).
After minutes of pondering, you decide to green light the post. But you haven’t decided how to deliver your sentiment. Once again, memories flash in your head. “Did he or she reciprocate my ‘hello’ in the hallway three years ago in high school?” “Did So-and-So acknowledge my birthday?” Which, by the way, leads me to my top two worst birthday posters.
1) That guy who checks what someone wrote to them last year and copies it exactly in order to maintain a perfect balance. Working a little hard there, guy.
2) That guy who always writes to someone who never writes back to him. Have some self-respect, bro.
Yes this is a list inside a list.
3. Follower/Followers Optimal Balance
No situation here. Just a few thoughts. Everyone knows that guy/girl who has approximately 109 more followers than people they follow. Unless you have achieved small-scale celebrity status or are a notorious Twitter kingpin, this should be looked down upon in society. Instead, this person is celebrated for accumulating this many “fans” without being a “fan” to nearly as many people. Classic power move.
These people will do anything to get their ratio up. Follow someone solely to get a follow back only to subsequently unfollow that person? Check. Unfollow one of their best friends because his or her tweets don’t meet their standards? Don’t even think twice.
It’s a game to these people and they make these “should I follow?” or “should I accept their follower request?” decisions based on the coveted ratio. No to the former question and yes to the latter question. That’s the formula for this kind.
My ideal policy? Someone follows you, you follow back. If they tweet in high volume and most tweets are duds, you unfollow. If the only thing they’ve ever tweeted was “I’m a big fan!!” with two too many exclamation points three years ago at Chad Johnson (then Ochocinco) then yes, it’s okay to unfollow. Even if you’ve lost touch with the person you can unfollow them. But not following someone solely to keep the ratio up? Uncool.