10. Beware of Scams
Those crafty, media-savvy thieves, pranksters and general rabble-rousers are now using social media sites, especially Facebook and Twitter, to sucker unsuspecting rubes out of their precious time and money. The more innocuous side of this issue involves chain letters or the “friend” requests of unknown parties in order to promote a business, website or simply have a few laughs. The darker side results in high-jacked accounts, malware infections and even the loss of funds through a “Your best friend is trapped in a Turkish prison. Please send money A.S.A.P.” Here’s a hint. If your friend is asking for money through Facebook, give him or her a call before shelling out cash at your local Western Union branch.
9. Stop the Games
Farmville and Cityville and Vampire Wars! Oh my! There is a nauseatingly long list of inane requests sent out on an hourly basis, and this must stop. It’s bad enough to warrant several pages on Facebook, including “Stop Sending Me Stupid Facebook Game Request Because I Do Not Care!!!!” This group has 75 members, and there are like-minded groups popping up all the time. Take the hint, people.
8. Skip the Twitter Wars
The most diminutive member of the Kardashian clan, Kourtney, and Teen Mom star Farrah Abraham had one in 2011. So did little sister Kim and her BFF Jonathan Cheban. That is two, count ’em two, Kardashians involved in Twitter wars during the same year. That is enough of an argument against these completely pointless, self-indulgent waste-of-yours-and-everyone-else’s-time Twitter disputes. They’re annoying when so-called “stars” engage in them, even more annoying when your so-called “friends” stoop to that level. And under no circumstances should you ever start a Twitter war yourself. You've got better things to do with your time.
7. Don’t Send Out too Much Information
No one cares that you’re watching a Real Housewives of Beverly Hills marathon while crocheting a blanket for your next-door neighbor’s best-friend’s chihuahua. Nor do they want all the gory details about your bowel resection surgery. Here’s a good rule of thumb: If this isn’t something you’d share with your spouse or best friend, don’t share the information with people you’d avoid if you saw them on the street. And even if it is something you’d share with someone close, do you really need to broadcast the details to 250 “friends?”
6. Don’t Go Overboard on the “Like” Button
Betty Sue likes “The Counting Crows,” “Tom Hanks Films,” “Bloomingdales,” “The Novels of Sophia Kinsella,” “Hershey’s Chocolate Kisses,” “Some Random Roofing Company,” “Her Daughter’s Ballet Company”… Do you see where this is going? It’s OK to like several different authors, foods, banquet halls or whatever in your real life. It’s not necessary to share every little “Like” with the rest of the world.
5. Don’t Bash Your Boss Online
An employee at a BMW dealership in Illinois was fired for posting nasty comments on Facebook about the concessions served at an event promoting the brand. The employee was ordered to remove the post, but got the boot a week later anyway. The next time your supervisor tees you off at work, think twice before posting a rant on Twitter. Even the smallest comment about generic hot dogs is enough to get you fired these days.
4. Avoid Inappropriate Content
Here is a brief list of appropriate subjects for your next post on Google+, Facebook or whatever social media site you frequent: How much fun you had at your daughter’s birthday party, the continuation of a clean inside joke shared between two co-workers, information about a cute trick you taught to your dog or congratulating your niece on graduating for college. Now a short list of inappropriate topics: what happened last night in the bedroom, how much your spouse’s recently removed benign stomach tumor weighs, the exact dollar amount of your last paycheck or the ever-popular “My girlfriend/boyfriend/lover/ex-lover is a low-down dirty scrub and here is a list of fake venereal diseases he or she has.” If you have to stop and ask yourself if the comment or post is appropriate, chances are it isn’t.
3. Avoid Insincere Friend Requests
You’re 35 and just received a friend request for a person you spoke to for a grand total of five minutes all throughout high school and suddenly this person wants you on their Facebook friends list. It’s swell and all that you want to reconnect with your roots but do it with someone that even vaguely remembers who you are.
2. Be Careful About Tagging
For those of you unaware of the social media lingo, “tagging” occurs when you specifically name a person in a photo. This is fine when the photo is taken during a recent ski trip or at a child’s confirmation. On the other hand, if you tag your best friend getting drunk at a strip club, it’s probably not a good idea to tag him, especially if this person has a professional Facebook site. The picture will be forever linked to the site where your now former-friend promotes himself or his business.
1. Get Help For Your Addiction
For some people, the word “addiction” is a cute reference to their constant need to Tweet or post every single detail of their existence on Facebook or Google+. For others, the word “addiction” is a serious issue that keeps them on the computer instead of interacting with their friends and family in the real world. If you find yourself strapped to the computer instead of going to your daughter’s piano recital, step away and seek help. True social media addiction is a serious matter that for some requires long-term, professional help.