With no end to our pandemic-induced isolation in sight, we’re counting on social media to get us through impossibly long, lonely days. Our love for over-posting and over-sharing has grown even stronger, flooding the world’s phones with so much content: photos, tweets, snaps, videos, memes, and TikTok dances, all ranging from the ridiculous to the downright scary.
It can sometimes feel like a virtual cesspool with people doing anything and everything to get clicks and likes. In short, we’re seeing a lot of things we simply cannot un-see. In order to avoid the kind of social media faux pas you are sure to regret, follow this no bullsh*t guide to what’s okay, what’s not, and what’s really not when it comes to posting on social media today.
- Post before-and-after photos. Transformations are cool. Especially for Tuesdays.
- Post GIFs that make you crack up — out loud — in real life.
- Post IG Story games, like a poll, a question, or trivia. Because: fun! Everyone loves to interact.
- Share a #TBT of you with a mullet from fifth grade. No mullet pic? Any embarrassing haircut will do.
- Post a food photo that looks too delicious to be easy to make. Then post that super easy recipe. (Banana bread, we’re looking at you.)
- Unbox something. Nothing to unbox? Order it from Amazon with the unboxing video you’ll make in mind. Who doesn’t want an excuse to shop?
- Teach us something! Maybe you can braid really well? Or you’re great at organizing? Share the knowledge and give us what you’re best at.
- Share a photo (the weirder, the better) and ask your followers to come up with a caption.
- Ask a “would you rather” question. Make it a hard one.
- Recommend the best book you’ve read lately and why. You know, a book? A link to your fave podcast works, too.
- Post nauseatingly cute captions and "inspiring" quotes on Instagram, such as, “Whatever is good for your soul, do that”, “Stress less and enjoy the best”, or “Life is better when you’re laughing.” Commit to posting captions that don't make people gag.
- Use poor grammar. Not knowing the difference between “your” and “you’re” is just kind of ... unattractive when you’re post-middle school.
- Specifically, stop mixing up the words “women” and "woman." SHE is a woman. THEY are women. You do not like "woman," nor are you dating a beautiful "women." Sorry, grammar rant over. I swear Tinder needs to require my matches to take spelling tests.
- Be passive aggressive online. Don’t post vaguely about something that you care about and act like you don’t. We see through you, and all your followers will too.
- Post anything you wouldn’t say directly to someone’s face.
- Post a shot of your feet, even if it's a picture of your pedicure against the backdrop of the ocean. It’s just that ... a lot of people’s feet are really weird, okay? Enough.
- Post bad food porn. Just because it tastes great, doesn’t mean it photographs well. I guess what I really mean is that just because you tried to cook today doesn’t mean we need to see it.
- Be a martyr. No one wants to read a pitiful Facebook post. In fact, they are usually nothing but embarrassing. We’re all in this together ... or not, but we certainly all have problems.
- Post a mirror selfie with a background that looks straight off the show "Hoarders". It'll be hard not judge you with half-eaten pizzas and dirty underwear all over the floor. Learn how to declutter your space or at least follow the most basic mirror selfie etiquette.
- Be self-congratulatory, as in, #randomactofkindnessalert: "I just gave a homeless dude money so I could Story about it cause I really care!"
Absolutely NOT. Really, really DON’T:
- Bully anyone.
- Do anything illegal or dangerous. Please, no licking a toilet seat.
- Get naked and share it. Even if you’ve been working out. You’ll regret it, I promise. From experience, I promise.
- Post excessive photos of your pet. Quite frankly, Fluffy is not that interesting. Unless your 'gram is dedicated to the cat community, once a week is more than enough for the rest of us. Once a month is fine, too.
- Write a public break-up post for your cheating girlfriend or boyfriend to see the next morning. Nothing good ever happens at 3:00 a.m. when you’re sad, angry, and armed with a phone.
- Complain or moan about work, and definitely don’t badmouth your co-workers. Especially especially don’t badmouth your boss.
- Post racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, or otherwise ignorant, intolerant, mean, exclusionary comments. Let's all do our part to keep that inner racism off public channels.
- Establish a GoFund me campaign for your dog’s elective surgery. I’ve seen this, I kid you not. Yes, I unfollowed.
- Post chain letters (i.e., “RE-POST THIS IF YOU LOVE YOUR MOTHER. If you don’t, your mother will die at midnight!”).
- Click bait us. Because when we click on what promises to be a talking squirrel and it’s your grandmother’s cooking blog we get very annoyed.