A Dummy's Guide To Social Media Etiquette

Your grandma probably has a Facebook, tweeting about your day has become second nature, and your Instagram is probably a collection of your favorite memories selected especially for your closest 900 friends. With so much social media, you’d expect users to understand the do’s and don’ts of posting. But we all have those friends who use Twitter as a diary and Instagram like a mirror. By Riley Neuheardt

Here’s a quick guide on everyday social media blunders to ensure you don’t make these mistakes:

1. Avoid the overly emotional post.

Taking to Facebook or Twitter to vent about problems or emotions is never a recipe for success, especially when your posts are complaints or vague pleas for attention. Turn to real friends (beyond the internet) if you’re actually distressed. And if your Twitter rant cannot be confined to 140 characters, please avoid the screenshot of the long-form version.

social media etiquette

2. Limit the selfies.

Posting too many selfies on your Instagram or Facebook can make it look like the only person who wants to take pictures of you is you. Try to avoid looking egocentric, and cut down on the selfies. If the front camera is truly your best friend, at least add some diversity to the pictures, and make sure you don’t always look like you’re voguing from the exact same angle.

social media etiquette

3. Take it easy on the subtweets.

For some reason, Twitter always seems like the perfect place to passive-aggressively call out others. The problem with subtweets is that it’s usually pretty obvious who’s being described, and it’s not exactly taking the high road during a conflict.

social media etiquette

4. Don’t Instagram your Tweet from earlier.

Instagram and Twitter are separate platforms for different uses. If you don’t want to annoy your followers, keep it that way. Avoid the screenshot post of your Twitter thoughts. This can look a little desperate for attention, since the tweets are probably ranting about something anyway.

social media etiquette

5. Don’t make your social media a shrine to your significant other.

social media etiquette

Nothing will get under your friends’ skin more than nonstop couples pictures. All social media outlets are great ways to let friends know what you’ve been up to, so make sure it looks like you do more than hang out with your #mcm.

6. Beware of hashtag overuse.

social media etiquette

It’s hard to imagine a world without hashtags these days. It’s harder to imagine a world where your Instagram of a sunset needs 15 hashtags. It may be #nofilter, and it’s definitely #sobeautiful, but the onslaught of hashtags can be awkward and makes the filtering function of hashtags pretty obsolete.

7. Don’t take a satirical article too seriously.

social media etiquette

Although this will entertain your friends rather than annoy them, try not to believe everything you read on the Internet. Some writing is meant solely to be funny, and nothing will embarrass you more than believing an article from The Onion is breaking news and sharing it on Facebook.