Social media etiquette

Noor Ashouri

DON'T post pictures after going to the gym. Photo courtesy Facebook
Don’t post pictures after going to the gym.
Photo courtesy Facebook
The ultimate example of a love-hate relationship is our relationship with social media.

I admit, social media can be addicting. Like most of us, I’ve used outlets of social media to find out which of cute guys sitting next to me is single, which couples sunk or swam and which high school classmate was the first to drop out of college. Social media has its perks.

For all the hours I have spent on social media, I have spent a proportionate number of hours complaining about it. The reason I feel the need to be on it all the time while simultaneously moaning about it is simple: Social media allows us to connect with people in the form of words, videos and pictures, but when this idea is put into practice by some tactless people it becomes less than brilliant.

Pic Stitch was not meant for selfies. Photo courtesy Facebook.
Pic Stitch was not meant for selfies.
Photo courtesy Facebook
Because I am sick of seeing news feeds cluttered with filth, here are some etiquette suggestions for you social media users.

The Dont’s:

1. Pictures at the gym
I’m all for physical activity, but I really don’t care about how you look after you’ve bench pressed or how your “diet” is going. If you go the gym, let the fruits of your labor be the only evidence.

2. Outfits of the day
I’m going to assume you wear an outfit pretty much everyday. Pictures of you standing in front of a tall mirror, iPhone in your face with the hashtag “ootd,” are annoying to people no matter how awesome your outfit is (which it probably isn’t). If you really want the world to see your choice of clothing for the day, leave the bathroom and go outside.

3. Selfies
You probably look exactly the same as you did yesterday or the day before, unless your face was mauled by a tiger. So why is it necessary to show your audience something so obvious? Pic Stitch is also not intended for selfies. There is no reason to give your audience multiple facial expressions.

4. Complimenting yourself
Confidence is hot. Quiet confidence is hotter. Hashtagging pictures of yourself with #cute, #beautiful or #hot can be interpreted as arrogant. No matter how attractive you are, a little humility goes a long way.

The Do’s:

Confidence is hot. Quiet confidence is hotter.  Photo courtesy Facebook.
Confidence is hot. Quiet confidence is hotter.
Photo courtesy Facebook
1. Post more often when on vacation.
People want to see activities that aren’t routine. Use vacations as an opportunity to show people the world outside of the five-inch iPhone screen they are staring at.

2. Keep appearances in moderation.
We all know that one person who floods our news feeds. Avoid being “that person” who feels the need to report all their actions to their virtual friends. Although everyone has used social media as a stalking tool, don’t give your stalkees hundreds of notifications. Remember, liking a picture doesn’t mean you’ve just confessed your love for someone. It just means that person is a relatively photogenic human being.

3. Limit you hashtagging.
Consider the length of your hashtags. Long hashtags are aggravating to read and most people just end up giving up. Plus long series of hashtags are just aesthetically displeasing and clunky.

4. Read it out loud: does it make sense?
Spellcheck and be considerate. Not all of your followers are your best friends. Avoid saying things that could be misinterpreted by people who may not know you as well. Consider your tone. What is said out loud doesn’t always read well in text.

According to Pew Research Center, 72 percent of online adults are also social media users. Social media has seeped its way into both our personal and professional lives. Despite my my complaints, I will always be drawn back to social media.

Email Noor Ashouri at [email protected]