Another year has come to an end. And so, once again, it is time for us to make the exact same empty promises we make EVERY January 1 (go to the gym, eat healthy, only drink on days that start with the letter ‘S’, ‘F’, or ‘T’)…and then totally forget about them by the time Valentine’s Day rolls around. This year, however, I’m making some new resolutions…I’m resolving to be less of a pain in the ass on social media.
I think we can all admit that our obsession with Facebook/Instagram/Twitter has gotten a little out of hand. While there are many benefits to using social media, the unfortunate truth is that it has also become a cesspool of insecurity, narcissism, promiscuity, annoying parents….and that’s just my personal profile page. Sure, I could easily deactivate my account but, much like a train wreck, it’s so hard to look away.
When did it become mandatory for us to notify the general public of our meanderings and obtain approval from others in order to work out, eat lunch or take a sh*t? Do we no longer feel validated unless someone else ‘likes’ our EVERY thought and action? And what kind of message does this send to our kids?
That being said, let’s all reflect on the things we posted in 2014 and make the resolution in 2015 to remove our heads from our asses and follow these Ten Commandments of Social Media…sponsored and approved by the people who silently judge you.
X. Thou shalt not post anything on the internet before proofreading and using spell check. AutoCorrect is a sneaky asshole and will succeed in making you look like an illiterate fool if you are not careful. While we are at it, let’s all make a solid effort in 2015 to learn the proper grammatical usage of their, there, and they’re. Deal?
IX. Thou shalt not give a play-by-play of your daily life via status posts and pics. Obviously some exceptions can be made if we are keeping people in the loop of a serious situation or happen to be extraordinarily entertaining (and use grammatically correct sentences). Other than that, unless we are a publicly traded stock, nobody needs a minute-by-minute live streaming feed of our day. “Rise and shine! #iwokeuplikethis [insert selfie taken in bed]”, “It’s #starbucks time! [insert pic of cup]”, “”Taking a break to grab a smoothie [insert selfie drinking smoothie]”, “Time to get my fitness on! [insert selfie in gym attire]”, (11 seconds later) “Workout completed! Time for dinner. #nomnomnom [insert pic of food]”. Don’t get me wrong, I genuinely LOVE hearing exciting news from friends/family/strangers and creeping on everyone’s vacation photos and baby pics. But too much of the same thing becomes redundant and can get old pretty quickly. If we are going to clog up each other’s newsfeeds, let’s at least give some variety. That being said, I hereby promise that for every 28 pics of my kid, I’ll throw in 1 of my dog.
VIII. Thou shalt not post vague status updates. Let’s face it, these are just sad cries for attention. We are basically saying, “PLEASE ask me why I posted an emoji of a constipated smiley face, a unicorn, and a toaster.” Seriously people, this isn’t f#cking charades. “Say what you need to say.” – John Mayer
VII. Thou shalt stop taking selfies. For the love of everything Holy, can we at least find/pay someone else to take pics of us doing our best “I’m trying WAY too hard to be sexy but don’t want it to seem like I’m trying to be sexy” face? I mean it’s cool if we are on vacation solo or want to take some to private message another individual…but the rest of the virtual world can survive without 967 pictures of us on our way to work/school/grocery store/gym/bathroom/gynecologist. Does this behavior stem from a phobia of people forgetting what we look like or is it just a shameless need for attention? Maybe I’m just jealous because I cannot take them to save my life. Some people look ridiculously gorgeous and I think I might just hate them for it. But can we all at least agree to stop taking selfies at the gym? Back in the days when I used to work out, I didn’t even want the person on the treadmill next to me looking at my sweaty body sausaged into spandex, let alone the entire internet. How about we just go about our daily routines without seeking constant validation from others? I’m so serious. STOP.
VI. Thou shalt not make lofty claims that our newborn is “advanced”. Posts like this show up in my newsfeed on the daily (I really need to stop letting my daughter hack into my account): “My precious angel is only 2 weeks and 3 days old and is already [enter some lame non-milestone here]. Everyone says he is SO advanced!” NEWSFLASH…the voices in our head don’t count as viable references. I consulted with the internet and it clearly states that all children develop at different rates and chances are, you’re raising a plain old NORMAL kid like the rest of us peasants. Unless our 2 week olds are reading Chaucer or being scouted to play pro football, the bullsh*t we incessantly brag about is totally unimpressive.
V. Thou shalt stop abusing hashtags. Here is a brief checklist of hashtag etiquette: 1.) DO NOT make a hashtag into a sentence that takes 3 minutes for someone to decipher where the spaces should be inserted. Example: #nobodywilleveractuallysearchthishashtagbutiamgoingtomakeitupanywaybecauseithinkitissuperclever 2.) DO NOT end a hashtag with the word ‘flow’. Example: #workflow, #gymflow, #auntflow. I didn’t even know what this meant so I did a search for ‘#workflow’ on Instagram. Based on the hundred or so images I perused, I have concluded that it means you either work in a public bathroom or in your car. 3.) DO NOT use 15 variations of the same hashtag. Example: #blessed #soblessed #blessedbeyond #blessedbeyondbelief #beyondblessed #blessedtobeme #didimentionhowblessediam. We get the point.
IV. Thou shalt not post nude pics from our maternity photo shoot to our social media accounts. Listen, I’m not trying to hate on the pregnant body or imply that you weren’t gorgeous and glowing. Personally, by the time I hit the third trimester, I shuddered if I caught a glimpse of my naked self in the mirror while getting into the shower. I give major props to anyone who feels confident enough to actually take their clothes off in front of a stranger with a camera and document this time of their life. HOWEVER, I think this should be pretty self-explanatory…while there are plenty of fetish sites for people who are into this sort of thing, Facebook is not one of them. There is nothing more alarming than scrolling through my newsfeed in the morning and getting blindsided by a naked woman holding baby booties over her tits while sprawled out on a bed in a maternity thong. Save those photos for your significant other. Uncle Marty and Grandma Ruth don’t need to have that visual stuck in their head when they see you at Thanksgiving next year. “Sweetie, your grandpa tells me your breasts are looking very ample! Can you pass the yams?” In addition to this, please do not post graphic photos from your home water birth. I’m sure it was a beautiful event, but I could do without seeing your birth canal and placenta while I enjoy my morning coffee.
III. Thou shalt not ‘Like’ their own photos/comments/status updates. Unless we have an alter ego who maliciously hijacks our account, shouldn’t it be a given that we already approve whatever it is that we post?
II. Thou shalt not brag about losing the baby weight by the time we were discharged from the hospital. Even if that is true, NOBODY wants to hear about it. You are just trying to make the rest of us feel bad. Besides, when did this become a competition? The only people who actually pull off obscenely rapid baby weight loss are the Victoria’s Secret Angels and that’s because they have trainers busting their (nonexistent) asses 24 hours a day. Also, they are aliens. It takes 9+ months to stretch our bodies out in ways that don’t seem possible by the laws of physics, and it will take time for them to (hopefully) shrink back to a size that somewhat resembles our pre-baby self. For a lot of us, the gym isn’t even on our radar. Between working full-time and taking care of a child/children, there isn’t a whole lot of free time available for Pilates classes. Truth be told, my stomach has been looking so exceptionally plump lately that I took a pregnancy test over the weekend to make sure I wasn’t knocked up again. Turns out I’m not. I’m just fat.
I. Thou shalt not start a parenting blog immediately upon having a kid. Seriously, you don’t have a clue what you are talking about and sound like an idiot. #omgitotallydidthisandamprettyshockedthatpeopleactuallyreadthiscrapsoiguessyouareallstuckwithmenow #babyflow #selfie LIKE.
Happy New Year Folks!