Are You Doing Social Media The Right Way?

10:36 AM

A week or so ago, I came across this on the good ol' interwebs. In short, it is an article explaining how to be insufferable on Facebook. Just to give you a taste of what the main argument of the article is about, I have selected this quote taken from said piece (it was already in bold for you, the more douchey to sound, I would guess).

"A Facebook status is annoying if it primarily serves the author and does nothing positive for anyone reading it."

First thing to keep in mind; this was from the Huffington post, so therefore I should probably not take it seriously. However, the author goes on to explain that a Facebook status is only not annoying if it meets the criteria of: funny/entertaining or informative/interesting. Got it. But don't make the mistake of posting about that job promotion, that test you aced, or that road trip you are about to embark on, that is "bragging", not being informative. Don't post about your bad day in hopes that your friends will cheer you up or at the very least send you a funny video, because that just means that you are lonely and craving attention. So when the author means "informative", don't make the mistake of assuming that it is okay to inform people of the happenings of your life. On a social media platform specifically created to "connect people". Got it.

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I have a friend who became a parent just shy of two years ago, and is doing a wonderful job of raising her child. She is also a half-decent photographer, so of course loads of photos of said child appeared in my news feed on a daily basis. Even though I do not have a child, I still enjoyed seeing these photos. If you have to spend 9 months incubating a small person in your own being, not to mention that whole birthing process, I think it is acceptable to post a million pictures of said child. But no, people started complaining and now she rarely uses Facebook. It's okay, she has moved onto instagram, so now I get cute baby pics with a vintage filter in my feed, and no nasty comments. On the other side of the coin, there are parents out there who get flack for posting too many photos/updates of things that are not their children. 

It doesn't just end with Facebook either. Oh no. Instagram is probably one of my favorite forms of social media, shitty filters and all. I like to scroll through my feed and see what everyone is up to, the little snapshots of their lives and happenings. Sometimes it is a picture of a new pair of shoes, sometimes it is a cup of coffee. Other times it is a new tattoo, or a incredibly hot photo of a celebrity. Or, if I am lucky something even more attractive: Food. Apparently there are "rules" for instagram too though, don't post too many pics of the same thing, or too many pics at all. Make sure that the pic is interesting, but not too good because it is just "instagram". Oh and god forbid you post a selfie, you will then go straight to hell in a hand basket. 

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Twitter is another fun one, but proceed with caution. I like twitter because all of my friends follow each other and we tweet to each other, loads easier than texting. It sort-of reminds me of those ancient days in an AOL chat room-sound the alarm, old lady on deck! Following celebrities and the news is awesome too! For instance, I now know that Rivers Cuomo has a non-alcoholic beer gut. My day was made slightly better knowing this fact for reasons unknown. But don't bother getting a twitter account if you are a parent, that is just irresponsible and selfish and you should be spending ALL of your time with your children and when you are not, you should be spending the rest of your time thinking about spending time with your children. Or at the very least, spend some time trying to figure out the correct amount of photos to post on Facebook, because if you get it wrong, the elders of the internet will shame you forever. 

Speaking of shame:

"Any asshole can open up a museum;
put all the things he loves on display
 so everyone can see them.
The house, the car, the thoughtful wife,
ordinary moments in his ordinary life."

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Lyrics to "It's a hit", by one of my favorite bands, Rilo Kiley. I get it, we ALL get it. Sometimes people only post things on the internet that are positive in their lives; the really good photos of themselves/friends/family, the awesome day they are having, their new house/phone/apartment/toilet seat cover/etc. This has actually been a major topic circulating the blogosphere as of recent, and Elizabeth over at Delightfully Tacky wrote a decent post on the subject. Sometimes, between blogging, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. It looks like people want others to think that their lives are perfect. Maybe that is the case for some people, but when we are also told that complaining/expressing a shitty day/etc is "wanting attention", where is the balance? It is probably up there with how many selfies you are allowed to post in a week, what updates about your child are internet kosher (you are NEVER allowed to post that your child is potty-trained. EVER. Because the rest of the world does not actually poop or pee, got it?), whether or not that recipe you posted was an original or not, or how often you are allowed to post that you went to the gym. Oh and don't bother starting a fashion blog, that just means that you are narcissistic (because no other forms of blogging are narcissistic at all). Also, if you are a fashion/personal style blogger, make sure that once you have a child you go on  a giant rampage explaining that now that you are a parent, fashion blogging is trivial and stupid (throw narcissistic in there again for good measure) because those mom fashion bloggers who fucking rock at it can't possibly be human beings.

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It is ALL posting what we want, it is ALL freedom of speech. We are all allowed to have these opinions, yes. good. But isn't social media chaotic enough during election/holiday seasons alone? Why do we have to pick on each other all of the rest of the times? People like different things. People have different lives. The things that you hold important are not going to be the same as everyone else. My uncle who is into hunting could probably give two shits less about what I wore last Thursday, or why the Fourth Doctor is my favorite, but it doesn't mean he has to be a dick about it, and he isn't! He just ignores me, which is awesome! If I don't want to look at dead deer carcasses, I hide them from my news feed during hunting season. I guess if you are an active member of PETA, that might be grounds for war, but still. If something is really offensive, yes, speak up. I would even go as far to suggest calling said offender instead of attacking them for all to see, but that is apparently unheard of in our culture. But the little things, would it really be so bad to just let them go? Is getting off the internet for awhile so inconceivable? Another suggestion: Maybe, just maybe, using all of that energy on something positive instead of attacking someone? Go for a walk, join a soup kitchen, look at pictures of puppies for awhile, buy some hemorrhoid creme, etc.

Don't be a dick. 

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14 Musings

  1. Applause!!!

    I really enjoyed this post Sara - sometimes it feels like no matter what you do on social media, you're judged. You're judged for having a bad day or your judged for having a good day. I have even felt at times I shouldn't use various forms of social media any longer based on responses I've received on things and then I say, no, I'm not letting others drag me down.

    I think the biggest thing is that like you said, if you don't like it, just ignore or don't read it, but so many people feel like they have to have a say or something.

    Overall, I just really appreciate this post, well said, just another reason I relate to your blog so well!

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  2. i love this post (i mean,a side from your awesome shout out). it's so true. i know i have been guilty of thinking some of these things, but then you know what? i just unfollow or hide and don't worry about it. don't we have enough to worry about to not worry about what people are posting on social media? seriously, great post. you should submit it to huff post! :)

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  3. I've been following your blog for a while, but I have never commented before. I needed to today because This Was Awesome!I second that you should submit to huff post!

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  4. Sara, this was absolutely brilliant! You should submit this to IFB! It would definitely be chosen as a favorite weekly read. People will complain and find something wrong with anything you do! You definitely can't please everybody. I feel a person should do what they want and people that love it too will flock to them. If not, just go away! I keep my FB page friends to a minimum and NOW I'm very picky about who I follow on Instagram and Twitter. We all have our quirks, so only follow the one's you can handle. HaHaHa Excellent job my friend!
    http://www.averysweetblog.com/

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  5. You know I worry about the baby thing so much! I only let myself post pictures of Milo to facebook twice a week, and I have even preemptively put people on limited profile because they have complained about baby picture overload in the past. It's silly though, because Milo-based status updates are by far the most popular things I post!

    Also, when great stuff happens to people I WANT TO KNOW! It's not bragging!

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  6. I really love what you said here.

    Last night, I posted this on Twitter:

    "Some people have no class.
    The internet is there for everybody, not just you. What you post matters."

    I meant the ones who post things online and then get mad when people comment on it, generally, or especially disagree with them. People seem to forget that the internet isn't your digital stream of consciousness. It's there with the intended purpose of interaction and to have an audience.

    People also seem to forget that the internet is infinite and it holds all of your secrets for a little while, but it doesn't take much to dig them back up again. You just gotta' be careful what you let loose onto the world.

    But I totally agree. Let people post what makes them happy. If you don't like it, then don't follow them.

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  7. So true!! By the way I absolutely love the print of your dress!! So boho!! :D

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  8. oh..this was so good. I know I don't really participate in the media. Still I like to blog..I like to write.

    Definitely..though..we need to stay positive..and enjoy our freedom of the press.

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  9. So glad you did this. Great post!

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  10. This was definitely a post I needed to read!

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  11. Really loved your pics and the read today too!

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  12. Smart words. You make me proud to be your friend. A post this intelligent should get an award.

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  13. I love you, Sara! What's great about social media is that it is all so off-the-cuff and sporadic {regardless of how annoying some of it may be}. If you actually follow rules like these you would lead the most boring life ever!!

    xx

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  14. I had to LOL over the hemorrhoid cream. Social media should ALWAYS be used as a tool for better understanding and not to destroy people.

    Great read, Sara. Bookmarked this entry.

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Talk nerdy to me.