This article is from Issue 64: July/August 2013

Tweet This, Not That

How to not be annoying on social media.

We’ve all been guilty of it from time to time: bad social media etiquette. Maybe you’ve overshared and regretted it later. Maybe you’ve allowed a passionate discussion about politics to get a little too passionate. Maybe you’ve spent way too much time browsing—and comparing yourself to—snapshots of your long-lost classmates’ now-glorious lives. Don’t worry, it’s not just you—we’ve all fallen prey to the anti-social side of social media.

In a recent study from an organization called VitalSmarts, nearly 80 percent of people surveyed said they have noticed an increase in rudeness online. Two in five said they have actually ended a relationship with someone because of an altercation on social media. Obviously, we’re doing something wrong.

To help you steer clear of bad social networking behavior, we’ve compiled this list of seven, totally hypothetical, online personality types to avoid becoming.

The Selfie Enthusiast

Example Message:

  • Just set a new personal best for my 10K time #feelinggood
  • Today is back and shoulders! Feeling the burn!
  • Rise and grind … 5:30 a.m., time to hit the gym #disciplined
  • [Several nearly identical pictures of yourself standing in front of a mirror taken on different days]

What Is It?

Do you find that your photo albums have an inordinate amount of photos in which you are the only person featured? Is a trip to the beach or pool another opportunity to update said photo albums? Is it possible for you to visit the gym without letting all of your social media followers know about it? Have you ever, even once, taken a picture of yourself with the caption “Looking rough :(” even though you know that you do not, by any discernible measure, “look rough”? You may in fact be a Selfie Enthusiast.

If You’re the Selfie Enthusiast:

It’s a positive thing that you make healthy choices and maintain a fit lifestyle. Don’t make your friends resent you for it. Try turning your iPhone camera the other way around, and find other things in the big wide world out there—that don’t involve your face—to celebrate.

The Vague-Booker

Example Messages:

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