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Social Media Manners

It took society seven hundred years to emerge from the Dark Ages. But it took just thirty nine years to progress from a cassette tape to an iPod. And then took less than ten years to progress from Facebook to Instagram and Snapchat. Suffice to say, as the ‘invention vs time’ paradigm goes, we’re moving fairly quickly these days.

Reports suggest Facebook will be over by 2017 due to the influx of older people using it, Instagram is now allowing people to send private videos and pictures, Twitter is used as a reliable news source and Snapchat was just purchased for an obscene amount of money. And then there’s the list of contenders, Vimeo, Tumblr, Blogger, WordPress and Google+ which could all instantaneously be the next big thing or the next big nothing.

While all this happens, most of us are still grappling with correct email etiquette and punctuation since we graduated from handwritten letters to typeface, not to mention the overwhelming amount of these we now receive, which means an abundance of time to get our heads around the rules of each new program isn’t exactly available.

So what is the basic etiquette and how do we navigate these old favourites and new up and comers? Seeing as invention may be moving a little too swiftly for our old favourites Ita Buttrose and June Daly-Watkins* to actually pen books on the correct ettiquette for using such tools, we have put together a simple set of Social Media Manners that can be applicable to across all formats.

1. Value Your Self Worth

Not merely limited to Instagram but instead now to any opportunity where a camera is present, our old friends #duckface, #boxgap, #skinnyshoulder and #selfie are back feeding the insecurities and egos of millions. (For more information on these crowd favourites click here)

Happily for those of us who were getting tired of dislocating our hips to create a #boxgap illusion, we can now also herald the arrival of the #bikinibridge; a newly designed photo that allows us to admire the hip bones and inspect the level of waxing most women go to. It really is about time someone did something to keep those happy waxers at Brazilian Butterfly on their toes, up until now the industry watchdog standards have been simply criminal! The good news is, at least you can take this one lying down.

Much like the box gap it’s another form of photo that isn’t focusing on the main prize, just some of the artwork around it. It’s times like this I wonder if the male approach of just making artwork WITH the main prize isn’t better? What’s next? #crackgap taken looking down the back towards the heels to see how the bathers sit up across the back of the hips before rising up over the rear? Or #humpjunk? A cleverly placed side picture the measures the sheer volume and curvature of the gluteal muscles?

The point of the matter, or perhaps the natter, is that these photos are reducing their takers to mere body parts. And sadly sexualised ones. This may be a newsflash to social media users but the majority of your friends/followers don’t actually want to sleep with you, particularly the ones who are related to you, so spare them the lumps and humps and just show them a photo where you’re genuinely happy, healthy and smiling instead. Unless you wish to spend next Christmas explaining to your Uncle Noel exactly what a #boxgap is and why thirty seven of your closest males friends what to ‘tap that shit’.

2. Nudity

Basic rule of thumb. If I actually want to see it, I’ll go home with you and expose it myself. Until that point in time, put it/them away.

3. Suggestive Nudity

Questions of ‘guess the body part’ are best left in games of Operation. In addition to this, we all have the same bits and pieces so we know what they look like already. Surprising as this may be, you are not, in fact, the first person to discover he has a penis.

4. Spelling and Grammar

The human brain is an extraordinary tool and can decipher words and meanings from a number of markers not purely limited to correct spelling and grammar. That said, it is not a good enough reason for you to create alternate/abridged spellings for every second word and use capital letters and symbols at whim because it looks cool. Believe me, it starts off innocently enough with a few hashtags and ends with you calling your first born La-La (yes, that is pronounced LaDashLa).

5. Taste and Decorum

One word. #neknominate.

This entire movement on Facebook encapsulates how to portray a severe lack of taste and decorum on social media.

You may argue that this is no different to skulling a drink at your local on a Friday night but this is where you are wrong. On social media, you do not simply settle for a bottle of beer, but instead attempt to trump one another with varying feats of alcoholic or bodily fluid consumption. And then, once filmed and posted, you have been immortalised. It can be watched over and over again by friends, family, strangers, potential employers and the woman who once upon a time might have been your wife, but after you drank a cup of your mates urine is never going near you again.

The dumb stuff we do with our mates is best done exactly there. With our mates and then left there. Once upon a time a young lady had her charms to recommend her and a young man his manners, nowadays there are Facebook profiles full of boxgaps and neknominates upon which to build a picture of someone’s character. It’s not worth wasting all of the potential and goodness you do have at the click of a button.

Finally, we should end with this…

6. Purpose

Why do you use social media?

This can be narrowed down to three simple categories.

A. To connect with others and share milestones, moments, laughter and love

B. To seek attention from others to feed personal insecurities

C. To get laid/audition for being a porn star.

If you are struggling with all of the aforementioned suggestions on etiquette, and think they are outdated, conservative, ridiculous and stoopid, then it’s likely you are from categories B and C and will vehemently deny you are and hurl troll like abuse in our direction.  So be it, point made.

But if you have laughed and nodded your way through most of the suggestions and thought ‘Oh my God YES! That is so true!’ then feel free to share the rules around. As my Grandma always says ‘Good manners are always in fashion, and they don’t cost you a cent!’

*I’d like to think Ms Buttrose and Ms Daly-Watkins would heartily endorse our suggestions.

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This entry was posted on February 27, 2014 by in Life, Reader's Favourites.

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