Basic human decency is violated often enough on social media that it might be asking too much to expect people to avoid behaviors that don’t rise to the level of noxious racism, sexism, homophobia, and death threats. To say nothing of pathological lying and narcissism punctuated with erratic capitalizations. Obviously those very low bars are already too hard for a lot of people to clear. But here I am, because dammit, a behavior shouldn’t have to be outright offensive to be avoided. From the political to the trivial, here are my etiquette 101 rules:
1) Check the date on that article you’re sharing. It may still be interesting, but if it’s old, flag that fact. The Daily Kos editorial team has a saying: “Death to late tweeters.” It can be applied to other social media, too. Death, I say. Death!
2) Related, was that hoax debunked last week? Then why are you sharing it today?
3) Don’t tell people to call members of Congress from other districts or states. Just don’t. It’s a waste of everyone’s time.
4) If you’re the one Facebooking a screenshot of your oh-so-devastating comeback to your political foe, consider that perhaps said political foe does not agree with you about the winner of that exchange.
5) If you didn’t see that call to action on Elizabeth Warren’s Facebook page, then Elizabeth Warren is not asking you to do it, so quit sharing it.
6) Are the constant pictures of super-healthy food you made and claim to think is delicious intended to convince me, or yourself?
7) Yes, we know you see yourself as a badass, sarcastic, no-nonsense person, but maybe the five memes a day pounding that into our heads are overkill … or even make you look like you’re trying too hard out of insecurity.
8) Do you have the exact same smile and/or pose in every picture? Most of us can agree that duck lips are always a no, but do you paste a very specific grin on your face every time you see a camera? Do you automatically square your shoulders or swivel your body into the best angle? Cock your leg just so? Yeah, stop that.
Was that so hard?