In January, I posted a series of rants on what annoys me. I got such a big response, I’ve decided to continue them. From time to time, I will let you know the things you do that annoy others, so you can stop. It’s about improving you, so my life will be better.
If you’re reading this blog, you likely found it through some sort of social media, namely Twitter or Facebook. In a special Valentine’s edition of People, Please, I will help you all fall in and out of love while networked without making the rest of us want to punch you in the throat.
It helps to think of social media as a cocktail party. If you follow the rules of etiquette for those social engagements, things tend to go much smoother.
- Dress for the Occasion – When you go to a party, the invitation generally gives instruction on what to wear: formal, casual or my current absurd favorite – snappy casual. While you can wear your pajamas while updating your Facebook status and no one will know, your appearance does matter. Your avatar is how you present yourself. This is why your picture should be of you, not your child, your cat, your favorite cartoon or God forbid, your ultrasound. Really, that 4D business is repulsive. The instructions clearly state, “Your photo here.” Just follow the rules.
- Introduce Yourself – At a party, you extend your hand, and give your name. The same should be true for social media. Ladies, if you are married, it’s helpful include your maiden name. Otherwise, I have no idea who you are. This is particularly true if you were born in the mid 70s and are named Jennifer, Heather, Amy or Melissa. I know at least 400 of you.
- Status – At any party, some people arrive single and others in couples. Some people who are part of a couple arrive without their partner. All of these arrangements are just fine. We’re smart people and generally figure it out pretty quickly. Please feel free to update us to a change in this status, but you don’t have to keep flashing that shiny diamond, we know you’re engaged. You don’t have to tell us in every.single.tweet. It’s also generally considered poor form to change your status via social media. People, please, proposals and breakups should happen in real life, not on the Internet.
- Emotional Outbursts – Remember, we can hear you. Flirting is one thing. The occasional kind moment between a couple is sweet. People, please, anything past that should be taken offline. We’re just going to assume you love the person you pledged your life to, you don’t have to tell us over and over. Really, we get it. It’s just gross to go on about it. I don’t want to watch you make out in the middle of the room, either. Some things are just inappropriate. The same is true for the opposite. If your relationship is not going well, you can keep that to yourself. Under no circumstances should you have an actual fight on Twitter. And sweet Baby Jesus, do NOT beg your wife to come home after a fight through status updates. It’s on our phones and computers, we can’t just go to the bar for another glass of wine to avoid the carnage. When you put it out there, we see it.
- Drinking – Always drink from a glass, never a can or bottle. Wait, that’s a sorority rule. Just remember, you are far more likely to say things you’ll regret (or annoy/amuse me, depending on the kind of drunk you are) when you’ve had too much to drink. As my friend Bryan likes to remind people, taking something off the Internet is like trying to get pee out of pool. It just cannot be done. When the drinks come out, it’s best to put the smart phones away.
Now… the truth is, when I fell in love with Baby Daddy, I wouldn’t have listened to any of this. Mostly because I was so smitten I didn’t even know how much I gushed. I was revolting. In fairness, I was also 18, but really, I have no room to give advice. But I do anyway. That’s how I roll.