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The social do’s and don’ts of social media

It’s rare to come across anyone without any type of social media these days. What’s troublesome is it’s even rarer to log on and scroll through without rolling your eyes at least once.

Some may complain that it’s social media’s fault that we over-share for attention, or that constant statuses are a way of getting instant gratification with the likes, comments and shares we crave. But is it social media’s fault or is it the way we use it?


Websites like Facebook and Twitter are great, but the key is knowing what is acceptable to send out into the Internet world.

Here is a list of guidelines, if you will, to keep in mind when you’re engaging in this method of communication:

Shady Statuses – Don’t

Vaguebooking, or intentionally posting a cryptic status that prompts friends to ask what happened, is kind the Facebook version of subtweeting: It is always a bad idea and good way to start a fight.

These are things like “some people are so rude…” or “I’m so done with you…”. A good rule of thumb is just to avoid any status that ends in an ellipses.

Checking in everywhere – Don’t

I don’t care that you’re “studying, then making eggs for breakfast, then going to the dentist, then buying new shoes, then going to work, then eating Chinese for dinner.” Unless you’re bringing me some crab rangoons, I’m not interested.

I don’t need a play-by-play of your schedule. Just thinking about my own is enough stress, thank you.

Selfies – Do and Don’t


If you like the way you look, good for you! Post those gorgeous pictures.

But do not put a self-deprecating caption under it to fish for compliments and, for goodness sakes, make sure we don’t see your gross, dirty bathroom in the background.

Relationships – Do and Don’t

Don’t over-share about your love life. There is a way to keep your friends updated on your major events without tagging your significant other in every picture and status you ever post.

You went on vacation together? You two crazy kids got engaged? I’m so happy for you!

Share great things like that, but do not air your dirty laundry on my news feed. Work your fights out with the people involved. I don’t need to know about it.

Game invites – Just, don’t.

Honestly, why do I still receive notifications from a girl I haven’t talked to in three years to help her raise her sheep?

Listen here, I didn’t play FarmVille three years ago, so why would I want to now? And I swear if I get one more Candy Crush invitation I’m going to unfriend you, grandma.

Poking – No way. Never.

Is this a way of flirting? What is the point of “poking” someone? Just avoid this.

Self-promotion – Do and Don’t

Give your friends updates on your life. They wouldn’t be engaging with you on social media if they didn’t care about keeping up with you on some level.

You got that job? Congratulations, tell the world! You lost 10 pounds? Way to go, you dedicated human being, you.

Keep me updated. Just don’t turn your social media account into an all-about-you brag fest. This includes posting gym selfies every day with workout updates that make me feel terrible about myself for sitting on my couch and eating Nutella instead of sweating for a “bikini body” on a Stairmaster for hours.

Sharing- Do and Don’t

Share important articles, cute videos (preferably of cats or dogs being adorable) and funny pictures.

Just not fake news stories. Please. I don’t need to get my hopes up that Elvis is really still alive.

Unfriending/Unfollowing – Mostly always a do

Do delete people from your social media who annoy you or cyber-bully you. Delete that ex you know you can’t handle seeing updates from anymore. You don’t need to put up with that. Block away.

Just don’t use this as a way to cut people off without addressing the issue with the person first. That’s cold.

Profile pictures – Do it right.

Use a picture of you for your profile. And when I say a picture of you, I don’t mean you as an infant. Or your car. Or your favorite cartoon.

Are you an infant, a car or a cartoon? No. Then why is that the picture you chose to represent you?

Collegian A&E Writer Erica Grasmick can be reached at or on Twitter @E_Graz_.

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