Five Tips For Being Chill on Social Networks

Some folks can be just terrific in real life, but their positive attributes don’t translate to their Twitter or Facebook accounts for one reason or another. I’ve made just about every social media faux pas there is over the last ten years and, yo! It doesn’t have to be that way. Some simple modifications to your behavior will maximize other’s enjoyment of what you have to share while still letting you feel like you’re apart of the scene.

  1. Don’t be a Feedbomber – There are few occasions where it’s appropriate to Tweet or update your Facebook status more than five times a day. The big exceptions to this rule are major events like an award show or a music festival where live Tweeting and live blogging is a delightful cross between amateur reporting and a game. Other than that, you better be dropping 140-character liquid gold because you’re probably just turning people off by asking them to dig through your garbage. Show a little restraint. Pretend it’s the 1990s and call your BFF or write it in a journal. Practice processing information in a way that doesn’t result in you vomiting it online. Be a real, honest, non-spazzy human.
  2. You hate yourself/the weather/everything. We get it. – For many, negativity and criticism feel like the best way to be funny. But the bottom line is that cynical people are a bummer. Sure, a little bit of snark can be delicious, but if it’s constant, it’s unhealthy. Occasionally I’ll notice myself dragging my social networking pals through my bad day with a series of plain rude observations and if I’m not embarrassed by my attitude immediately, I sure am later. Feel free to express yourself however you’d like, but remember that there’s plenty of people who may think that your self-deprecating, pessimistic tone is what you’re all about.
  3. Play nice – We’re quite clearly fans of constructive and upbeat conversations here on HelloGiggles, but our attitude hasn’t spread to the whole Internet yet. The hatred that spews from some people when hiding behind the veil of an anonymous screen name is practically an epidemic. Why it’s so much more difficult to say to someone, “Hey! I am not a fan of Justin Bieber’s music, but I respect that some people may be!”  than, “Ur fat. Kill urself. LOL,” is beyond me. If you’ve got something to say to someone, regardless of how much you dislike their original statement, try to write exactly what you’d be willing to say to their face.
  4. Give grammar and spelling a shot, please – The Internet is all about shorthand and acronyms and I love them all, but reading a blog post or a Tweet with unintentionally awful grammar or spelling makes me mental. Not only is it not cute, I can’t help but feel that careless mistakes invalidate the author’s opinion. Sure, errors are going to happen (especially if you’re transitioning to an iPhone, which is the worst) but why do I care what you have to say if you can’t take the time to Google the spelling of someone’s name or capitalize a proper noun? While you’re being sloppy and inconsiderate, why don’t you come to my house, track mud on the carpets and then pour a bottle of orange Fanta all over my white duvet cover?
  5. Do you! – This is my rule for all of life, but when it comes to anything creative, I mean it double. Don’t try to mimic people’s styles, never plagiarize. Give people a chance to find out what you’re all about. It also means to tell everything that I just told you to go eff itself if you don’t like it. If you want to Tweet twenty times a day, tell people you hate their face and spill orange Fanta on my duvet cover, then go do it. You may lose some followers along the way, but a young, drunk me once said, “Every time someone unfollows me on Twitter, I’ve just strengthened my brand.”