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Social Media Crimes Part Two

Posted: 11/09/2012 00:00

Following social media crimes part one, here are some more suggestions for future laws on the prevention of offending:

Building a palace of self-delusion
It isn't that people have a problem with boasting. What your social media presence must never become is a brick-by-brick construction of a wholly alternate reality in which you are the playboy sun king. Unless your life is a series of endless parties, holidays and photoshoots, it quickly becomes a yawn to read about the ruthlessly selected anecdotes of you with a glass of champagne in your hand, the sun on your face, and some peasant-lackey carrying your luggage to the penthouse when we all know that you work in IT.

If like most of us you slog away at a desk surrounded by empty Diet Coke cans and dust, tweeting every five minutes about the convenient design of boutique Berlin hotels or drip-feeding onto your Facebook page a large cache of sunkissed holiday snaps makes you the architect of your own sad palace of self-delusion. Remember that everyone in the world would rather read about the awkward drunken scene you're witnessing on public transport, how you managed to lock yourself out of your house at night, or see a photo of the object you found in your Chinese takeaway. We meet you in real life, we know what you're like, so please don't invent for yourself a self-unaware nickname which nobody else will ever use. You are kidding nobody, and everybody cringes.

Stating the absolutely bleeding obvious
Nobody ever joined a social network to learn about the weather. Look it's snowing is not a meaningful contribution to the lives of others.

Creating a Facebook page for your child or pet
Thinking that cute little Asparagus needs her own facebook page? Wouldn't it be fun for all your friends if Asti Spumante had himself a blog? The joke will be that it's all actually written by you? Resist this urge. Nobody cares. For the love of all that is sacred, nobody cares.

The idea that your pet deserves a Facebook page to explain just how zany and original their antics are is baffling. I'd rather see a site dedicated to your office stapler: see how long you can sustain that 'comedy' page.

Starting pointless arguments
"I cannot believe that the US voted for Bush! OMG those guys are so dumb!" may be what you think Oscar Wilde might have Tweeted, but you're wrong. If you find yourself using the words "posho" "chav" or making a generalisation relating to gender, ethnicity or nationality in what you think is a serious and insightful comment, go have a cup of coffee and then switch off your computer.

Sometimes we all want to have an argument, but perhaps in the cold unforgiving space of the internet it's best to keep it lighthearted: it's far too easy for a debate to turn nasty, and the worst offenders are the earnest ones who haven't stopped to think about what they're saying. Flick the safety on that 'post' finger.

 

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