Did you read that viral blog post yesterday that was making the rounds? The one about 7 Ways to be Insufferable on Faceback?
I did. And I’m pretty sure I went through the same set of reactions everyone else did:
Reaction 1: Ahahahaha! This is so true! I hate people like that. I know at least 10 people who are each one of these and I just really want to unfriend them like every day. I hope they all read this and knock it off. *Snerk* Hilar.
Reaction 2: Actually… Hrm… I maybe do some of this. Like the other day when all I posted was a picture of the dinner I was making and the caption, “I am awesome.”? It’s possible that could be construed as slightly braggy. Oh geez, and the public-private messages? Yikes, that’s like my favorite thing ever. I posted on my sister’s wall that I peeled a used bandaid off the floor in my kids’ bathroom just because I know she’s a bandaid phobic and it would gross her out. I probably could have just texted it to her. And all of my runs and workouts that I autopost and check-in at probably fall in the blue circle portion of the martini with the giant cocktail olive.
I need to go through all of my status updates and try to figure out which ones are insufferable and which are ok so I can be more sufferable in the future. Or maybe I’ll just delete my Facebook account altogether because this is all so stressful and upsetting.
But I love Facebook, so I didn’t delete my account.
I did, however, reread that post and decide that dude has his panties in a twist and needs to take a deep breath. It’s also possible he needs a cocktail, or to get laid (I’ve found both of these sincerely help to unclench a clenching problem).
Yes, there are certain types of posts on social media that make my eyeballs rolly. And there are certain people who seem to consistently post in this way. The thing is, though, there’s an incredibly simple solution to annoying posts: Scroll past them. That’s all you have to do. Scroll past those babies and don’t give them a second thought. There’s not actually any reason to berate people or make them feel self-conscious for posting unhilarious, uninteresting, unengaging things. All you have to do is not engage with them.
The problem with blog posts like this one is they intimidate people. They get in our heads and make us afraid to interact with each other. I’m pretty sure it’s this fear-mongering, not insufferablity, that’s ruining social media. If everyone is constantly stressed about hitting the ‘Interesting/Informative’ or ‘Funny/Amusing/Entertaining’ sweet spot, then we’ll end up with a ghost town of a social network. Not everyone can be these things all the time. Sometimes we need boring stuff in there and between as filler so we can appreciate the really good posts.
Beyond all of this, I actually like quite a bit of the mundane posts. I’m happy to hear someone I went to college with got a promotion. I like to read about moms bragging about how awesome their kids are. I’m sporadically inspired by an inspirational quote. I’m even cool with an occasional, ‘My hubby, who’s sitting next to me on the couch right here, is the sexiest, hardworkingest, best-at-everything spouse who ever lived.’-type brag. If you really can’t deal with any of this, then maybe you need to remind yourself: other people being obviously happy does not detract from your own happiness.
That said, in my opinion, there are a few tips to being likable on social media:
1. Feel free to post your brags, but also post your fails. A good mixture of both ensures your social network knows you’re a real person who has days she rocks and days she accidentally wears her pants inside out.
2. On the flipside, don’t only post your ups and downs. If everything you post swings dramatically in one direction or the other, you’ll lose internet credibility.
3. Be authentic. Use your true voice. If you’re not sarcastic and obnoxious, don’t feel like you have to force it. State your opinions (in a non-dickish way). Share your feelings. Be yourself (unless you’re just really an asshole, or Miley Cyrus, then be someone else).
4. Respect other peoples’ opinions. Because: Duh.
5. Engage. This one is the key to winning at The Internet. You can post almost any boring, rude, uninteresting, braggy thing on a regular basis, and if you Like the photo-montage I post of my 13 year old on his birthday, I’m going to forgive you, at least a little bit. There’s really no downside to being heavy handed with the Like button. You don’t need to Like the stuff you really don’t like (scroll past the stuff that makes your eyebrows angry), but if you think ‘Aw, good for him!’, there’s no reason not to Like it. And if you have a comment, for godsake, COMMENT, man! No one who posts something on a public forum like a social network (or has you as a friend in a semi-private one) is going to think, ‘Dude, why are you butting in?’ if you comment. That’s why they posted in the first place! Interaction unfailingly is a positive (even if it’s not merely positive interaction).
So don’t let cranky-pants blog posts intimidate you into over-thinking everything you want to post on Facebook. We want to read about how you had a really great date with a super cute guy you met on at Game of Thrones fanfiction forum but you’re afraid he won’t text you again because you had cilantro stuck in between your two front teeth at least the last half of the date and you’re super humiliated. We do! Anyone who doesn’t is probably too hipster for Facebook anyway. They’re all over on Vine.