These days, social media is omnipresent in our lives, regardless of how much time we spend updating our profiles. You can’t watch TV or listen to the radio without hearing the words “Like us on Facebook, or “Follow us on Twitter.” It’s gotten to the point where people are shocked if they find a person or a company that doesn’t use social media. Unfortunately, maintaining an active social media account and ignoring the dos and donts of social media means that you’re guaranteed to encounter some people who make you want to punch a hole in the wall.
Most of us simply utilize our common sense when deciding what to post and, more importantly, what not to post. As for the rest of the social media users out there, common sense is nearly non-existent. Granted, there are no etiquette classes or aptitude tests that one must pass before being permitted to create their account, but these prerequisites would definitely be beneficial.
To help you out, we’ve created a list of tips you can use on the three most popular social media platforms—Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. By utilizing these tips, you’ll ensure that your social media etiquette is on par with what is expected of a “smart” user.
DO: Look Up Old Friends
Facebook is a great tool that people can use to look up old childhood friends or anyone else from your past with whom you’ve lost touch. In fact, many heartfelt reunions have been facilitated by this social media platform.
DON’T: Stalk Old Lovers
If you broke up, then clearly it’s just not meant to be. There’s no need to go lurking around your ex’s Facebook profile, because like the saying goes, “If you go looking for trouble, you’re sure to find it.”
DO: Post Your Thoughts And Opinions
Social, political, and religious issues are continuously covered in the media, and yes, people like to put in their own two cents. Even if people disagree, it’s always refreshing to learn about a topic from a different point of view. So, if you have a random thought or opinion you’d like to share, then go for it. People will appreciate it, as long as it’s brief and not overly intense.
DON’T: Post Long Rants
While personal opinion is welcomed on social media, vicious rants are not. No one wants to hear your opinions if they’re in the form of drawn-out rants, especially if the content proves that you’re ill-informed on the topic at hand. Your Facebook friends will hate you, and they won’t think twice about unfriending you.
DO: Tweet About Fun Activities
Did you go on an awesome vacation? Meet a celeb in Vegas? Lucky you! Surely your followers will appreciate what you’re sharing because tweeting about great experiences is always acceptable in the Twittersphere.
DON’T: Tweet About Mundane Stuff No One Cares About
Are you taking a shower? Eating breakfast? Brushing your teeth? Well, that’s cool and all, but to be brutally honest, no one cares—at all. Save your tweets for something significant, or else you can expect a lot of people to unfollow your account.
DO: Brag About Your Awesome Vacation
Regardless of your destination, vacations are amazing, and for those who have the luxury of traveling, it’s only natural to want to tweet about their jet-setting experiences. Don’t feel bad about bragging, especially if your vacay is something that was achieved by months (or years) or hard work and penny-pinching.
DON’T: Brag About Your Illegal Activity
If your response to this advice is a resounding “DUH!” then you’re not alone, and you clearly have some common sense. But you’d be surprised at the number of people who have a criminal record solely because they chose to brag about their illegal escapades on Twitter. Come on, people! It doesn’t take a social media wizard to track down a criminal on Twitter. That being said, if you’re foolish enough to commit a crime in the first place, then do yourself a favor and refrain from tweeting about it.
DO: Take Selfies In Cool Places
Ahhhh selfies. This term has become infamous in recent years due to the sheer amount of people who have entire albums of photos they took of themselves, with their cell phone. So, while selfies are generally frowned upon, if you’re somewhere awesome then by all means, do it!
DON’T: Take Selfies In Your Bathroom Mirror
Now, by somewhere awesome, we do not mean your own bathroom. For some reason people are super keen on taking photos of themselves in their bathroom mirror. Sorry to burst your bubble, but bathroom selfies are not cool. They never have been, and they never will be.
DO: Add A Couple Relevant Hashtags
Hashtags are great. They allow you to place your photos in trending categories so that people who enjoy those categories can easily see your pics. Is your cat awesome? Perfect, go ahead and add #CatsOfInstagram to your pic. Cat lovers from all corners of the Instagram universe will be thrilled to see a picture of your kitty looking cute.
DON’T: Add Tons Of Random Hashtags
Hashtags are definitely a slippery slope, because people have discovered that they can add random tags to their photos to gain optimal reach. No one wants to go to the #CatsOfInstagram tag and see pictures of food, or a beach, or anything else that is not, in fact, a cat. If you add a million irrelevant hashtags to your photos, then you are a spammer. No one likes spammers, and people catch on quickly so you can expect some serious backlash if you abuse the use of hashtags on Instagram.
Now that you’re well versed on social media etiquette, you can go out there knowing that you’re among the smart ones. After reading these tips, you’ll definitely start to notice people who are guilty of these faux pas, but you can always just send them this article.