This video from Dollar Shave Club, a fun new razor subscription service, reminded me of my dad... he's the only remaining member of my family who doesn't have a Facebook account. I pray he NEVER EVER sets one up.
Why? Because he has no filter.
Dad, when paying at a grocery store, often decides to tell the cashier about his entire marital history (all 4 marriages, and how they ended). Sometimes he gets a little teary-eyed when telling the mailman about his childhood pet. And it's entirely plausible that he would pull up beside another vehicle at a stop light, roll down his window, and tell the other driver about some memory their vehicle evoked in him.
If Dad ever decides to take the social media plunge, I'm going to sit him down and have a serious talk about the top ten unspoken rules of cyber-socializing.
1. Don't fight with your parents. Or your spouse. Or your children. Or your friends.
Seriously, I don't care how mad they've made you. No one does! Posting a status update griping about something your husband said, did, or forgot to do is the modern equivalent of standing in your front yard and yelling at him. Your neighbors don't want to hear it, and your Facebook friends don't either (although we WILL gossip about how tacky it was behind your back).
|And if you really need to release some pent-up rage, just get on Reddit.|
2. Don't update your status with your current emotional state.
Example 1: "I'm having a great day because the sun is shining!" This is borderline acceptable, because it's positive and not attention-seeking. But it's way too chipper, so that's bound to annoy people.
Example 2: "I'm really sad today." A friend comments: "Oh, no! Why? Is everything ok?" You respond: "Sorry, it's private." Then why in the world would you post on social media about it anyway?
|That's probably the stupidest way to fish for attention ever.|
3. Don't share share share share share.
You don't have to share everything - trust me, you don't. Please stop flooding my feed with your lame memes and inspirational graphics! Sharing all that feel-good self-help crap makes us all think you're clinically depressed, anyway. You're allowed one to two shares/reposts in my feed per day. Otherwise...
|This includes Farmville and Candy Crush requests, too.|
4. Don't share some political or scientific statement that you haven't thoroughly fact-checked.
If you do, and what you've shared isn't factual, you are just propagating bullshit. Clicking "share" or retweeting without doing a little fact-checking is just irresponsible.
|Do you really want to be partially responsible for the dumbing down of the human race?|
5. Don't abuse hashtags.
I get that you're trying to expand your post's reach and you see everyone else doing it, but it's just not necessary to hashtag everything. For example: "Went to the farmers market today! It was awesome! #fresh #strawberries #blueberries #romaine #tomatoes #greatweather #greatpeople #smiles #samples #eatfresh #fucksubway." Ok, ok, the last two are fine - you can use those. But try to keep your hashtags down to 1-3 relevant tags; anything more is superfluous.
6. Don't "like" everything.
You don't have to - you really don't! I understand that you want to show support to your friends, but you can actually get blocked for hitting the "like" button too often (I'm not kidding). Also, it just seems disingenuous and sycophantic to like everything. And what if you get caught up in liking everything and accidentally like a post about a friend's dog dying? Not cool.
|Wait, you're glad Scruffy died in a tragic fetching accident???!!!|
7. Accept every follow or friend request, and/or send friend requests to people you don't know.
I know people who've deleted their accounts because they didn't want to accept all the friend requests they were receiving from people they didn't consider to be friends. BUT! You don't actually have to accept all your friend requests! You can just ignore, and if they have the balls to ask you about it in person, just tell them you don't get on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram that much.
Also... I find nothing creepier than getting a friend request from some middle aged man I've never met.
|This leads me directly into point #8...|
8. Don't treat Facebook like a dating website.
Just... no. If you're trying to get laid, there are plenty of other websites for that.
|Please don't do that here.|
9. Selfies, selfies everyday. This includes the outfit of the day.
No one wants to see you that much! If they did, they would be hanging out with you in real life. All it's doing is making you look insecure and attention-seeking. And self-obsessed. And narcissistic.
|Unless you're this cow. Then you should take selfies all day long.|
10. Post pictures of every meal.
Please don't post about the flavor profile of your pistachio-crusted halibut with a fennel balsamic gastrique while I'm eating cold leftover pizza... it just makes me hate you. Get a Tumblr for all your meal photos if you're such a foodie! Unless, of course, you've tried to make a nice meal at home and just burnt the shit out of it... feel free to post a picture in that case. That's just pure comedy.
|And if this happens in the McDonald's drive-thru, you must share it immediately.|
So, what CAN you do? Pretty much anything, really - this list is really just a guideline. Anything in moderation is ok, but try to be considerate of others - just like you would face to face.
Also, you're pretty much safe if you post anything related to Ryan Gosling, weird animals, and cat videos. The internet is powered by lolcats, so remember to do your part.
Got that, Dad?