Monday, December 30, 2013

8 Social Media Resolutions for 2014

Consider this a friendly post as the year closes for how to make 2014 a year of winning friends and influencing people. We all see stuff in the social media world that makes our eyes roll, our blood-pressure rise, and our mouth's drop (oh no she didn't). Often we wonder to ourselves (or aloud), " are they clueless?" So as the New Year approaches, I wanted to offer a friendly PSA to perhaps head off frustration from your friends, make you more enjoyable on social media, and keep you from being "that guy/gal."

Some playful, yet kind of serious, social media resolutions that should be made for 2014 (or at least many of us wish you would make):

1. Aim for one less selfie per week

I'm 87.4% sure that the world would be a better place if the number of selfies were reduced. Real statistics tell us the number of selfies taken now outnumber the number of photos of others things. Pretty crazy, huh? We all know you love some you. We also know you love to show your duck face, kitten-purr face (aka the Glamor Shot), and the pretty-smile, girl-next-door face. However, when we go through your pics or see your timeline and there is nothing but selfies on there, we begin to conclude you think more highly of yourself than you ought. Trust me, one less selfie - but don't use one as a rule, by all means reduce the number by more if you are feeling led of the Spirit - will be good for you.

2. Remind yourself that you don't have to post everything you think

You do not have to tell us every single thing you are thinking the second you think it. Some things are actually better left unsaid. Facebook is THE place where the TMI was invented. I know you are behind a screen and do not have to look at anybody, nor do you have to see their staring glares back at you, but when you post how stupid your spouse is, or give us the play-by-play of why you are fighting with your boyfriend/girlfriend, or share your details from your doctors appointment, or tell us some of the 12,000-60,000 thoughts per day that travel through our brains, of which some would be better left unsaid, it is time to learn some self-control. Adopt a Facebook buddy, and give them permission to send you a message, at any time, to say "TMI," when you cross the line, so you know to delete your status. You would find yourself looking a lot less crazy if you did this.

3. Reduce in half your number of food pics for the year.

Everybody has been guilty of the food pic. Let's just all confess together and repent. I think we forget sometimes that everyone has seen food. We are usually not showing anyone something they've never seen before. I say the new rule of thumb is: if you're eating something exotic, something that you won't find at just any restaurant, then post away. But if you are posting a pic of your steak or pizza or hamburger, just remind yourself: I bet they've seen one of these before.

4. Ask a friend to spell-check your angry rant.

Nothing makes you look crazier or less educated than an angry Facebook rant riddled with misspelled words. Your status loses its potency when we read, "I jus wish sumbody wood say sumthang!" We are no longer threatened by your angry rant because we highly doubt you could ever find your way from your house to ours. I know you don't think it matters, but when half of your status is spelled wrong our eyes are glued in on that reality and we forget what you're even talking about.

5. Give up the passive-aggressive pot shots at people.

This one annoys me the most. On social media this form of back-biting is common. When you don't have to see the person face-to-face, or you are sitting behind your screen, it is easy to be snarky to people. But passive-aggressive snarkiness is the worst type. Passive-aggressive pot shots come at you without directly coming at you. These are the kind where you know it is aimed at you, but it doesn't say your name. If you confront the person or send them a message, they can say they weren't talking about you, after all, they left wiggle room in how they worded their status to deny. Hence, the passive-aggressive pot shot. I say we make a rule: if something you are doing is annoying me, I'm either going to A. tell you via private message or B. block you so I don't have to see it anymore. At least that way we can avoid the passive-aggressive mess.

6. Cover up and keep your pics modest

We know you love your body. You're proud of those abs, arms, boobs, legs, __________, but the rest of us don't need to see them/it. While your attempt to get the "Wow, your beautiful" certainly aides the self-esteem, the question you should ask is, "At what price I'm I willing to pay to garner that compliment?" I'm not saying posting a nice pic of you dressed up and looking good is wrong (however, see resolution #1), I'm saying you do not have to flash a bunch of skin for us to notice you or see your beauty. One day you may have someone in your life (or perhaps you already do) who would prefer they be the only one to see your half-covered body. Not to mention, I do not believe you will find your soul mate and best friend via your swimsuit pic luring them in. You'll lure someone in, just not the person you probably want. 

7. Don't be a troll.

This one is almost self-explanatory. Don't get on someone's status and start complaining or arguing with them. This is a troll move. Nobody likes a troll. If you are a troll, people will eventually just block you.

8. Avoid massive religious and political debates.

Okay, so this is the one I want to work on the most. I think Facebook can be a good place to have some discussion, but it is not the place to hash out major disagreements. The best place for religious and political discussion and debate is face-to-face. One reason for this is people talk with less bravado when they are in front of people instead of a screen. Not to mention, it is easier to listen to someone as they talk, as opposed to reading tiny print on social media. I believe Facebook is where we talk about life and culture, and part of that is talking about things like religion and politics, which are a part of our lives and culture. However, I believe at a certain point in discussion, you reach the it-is-only-going-to-be-an-argument-and-nothing-good-it-is-going-to-emerge limit. At that point, I believe it should either go to private message or face-to-face. If you are unwilling to meet face-to-face about what you are so passionate about on Facebook, you probably are not as passionate as you would like to think.

Well, that's my list. What things would you add to the list that are missing from mine? What things do you need to be better at that are mentioned on my list? I'd love to hear from you in the comment. 

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