A friend posted The 10 Commandments of Social Media Etiquette from PCWorld on Facebook, which made me think to myself, “Self, anyone can write an article about things that annoy them about social media. Why can’t you?”
So I did.
Here’s the Apocryphal 10 Commandments of Social Media Etiquette. Because I’m as much of an expert on this shit as you are.
If your online “friends” bore the crap out of you, don’t be friends with them. Seriously, if you’ve never met these people in real life, it’s no loss if you chalk it up to irreconcilable differences and move on. They might not even notice. You probably bore the crap out of them, too.
Facebook and Twitter have settings that allow you to largely ignore the people who annoy you. So if you need to keep your awful cousin Timmy on your friends list to avoid Thanksgiving Armageddon, you can still make it like he’s not there. I don’t see the feeds of half the people on my friends list. (I swear, I’d never hide you, baby. We’re tight.) You can even control the types of things you want to see, that way you can get Timmy’s status updates even if you don’t want to read about his Mafia Wars adventures.
If you’ve given up social media, don’t act like you’re superior to all those plebeians who like to see pictures of their friends’ recent pumpkin-picking expedition. You sound like those douche weasels who go on and on about how they don’t even OWN a television. If you’ve stepped away from social media, rock on. The rest of us will be amusing ourselves with Lolcats.
If someone posts something you disagree with, it’s entirely possible to not respond to the post, or to take the debate to email. You don’t need to kickstart a public holy war over the relative benefits of 2-ply vs. 4-ply.
On the flip side, if you express an opinion online, someone somewhere will disagree with it. Don’t sink into a pit of petty butthurt if the world doesn’t pat you on the head for having an opinion. People will disagree with you. It’s all gonna be OK.
Please, by all means, continue to take your relationship squabbles to the Intertubes. We all love watching marital unions dissolve publicly. It fills us with a giddy sense of schadenfreude that’s difficult to describe. We ALL want to know how that sonofabitch doesn’t pay child support and how that skank made her way through your entire office on her knees. Especially when you inevitably get back together.
One of the great certainties of life is that Facebook WILL fuck with your privacy settings. That’s just the way it is. The service is free, so there’s nothing you can do about it. Don’t post anything online that you’re not OK with everyone in the world knowing.
Don’t get pissy when people don’t send you the nuclear-powered dildo you need for your dildo fusion reactor on the latest Zynga time-suck. Some people just don’t care that much. It doesn’t make them shitty friends. They’re shitty friends for other reasons.
People are annoying. The stuff that’s important to them isn’t important to you. Count your blessings that they’re not sitting in front of you with 100 pictures of their trip to Great Adventure. It’s OK to lie and say you looked at them. You can always go back and eyeball them later if they call you on it.
Ignore all of this if you want to. People can always hide you if they don’t like your shit.