If you're in college, chances are your social media activity has been questionable at some point or another. But don't beat yourself up – it happens to the best of us. Facebook has become as commonplace as owning shoes in the collegiate landscape, and apps like Instagram and Snapchat have started to expand their reach quite dramatically. But with the growing number of social media outlets comes a growing amount of people putting their business out there, for better and for worse. Here are a few tips from NBN about how not to annoy your friends and followers, and a few useful tidbits of advice that may be the keys to your social media kingdom.
- Statuses: Status updates aren’t quite as popular as they once were. They peaked in the days when “is” preceded your update, and that was also the only era when posting melodramatic song lyrics was acceptable (and by acceptable, we mean barely acceptable). Also note that if you are choosing to post a status, it is not the place to vent about your life, preach your political views or let out any hints about your sex life. The bottom line is, if you’re going to make an appearance on everyone’s mini-feed, it better be good.
- Wall posts: Don’t post on a wall what should be sent in a text. As much as you might think other people are interested in what you and your BFF are laughing about, they’re not. Furthermore, if you’re in the same room as someone, a post on their wall about what is currently going on is an inefficient use of everyone’s time. Remember when humans actually interacted outside of a computer screen??
- Likes: The generosity with which you bestow likes is entirely your call; however, the frequency with which you ask for them is another story. Resetting your profile picture simply in the interest of accumulating likes is sure to bother all of your friends. Effective or not, the majority of people will recognize your strategy, detracting from the impressiveness of your 236 likes.
- Name: There are probably some questionable photos somewhere on your timeline, so it’s always a good idea to change your Facebook name slightly while applying for jobs. Get creative – you can do a lot better than “John Jobscantfindmenow.”
- Fishing for likes: “I should walk to the edge of this precarious cliff and pose with a horribly acted expression of terror. That’ll definitely get me Instagram likes.” If anything similar to those thoughts have ever passed through your head, it’s time to take a step back from that (metaphorical) cliff and realize there’s more to life than being socially accepted. Don’t go on specific trips, order specific food or do something dangerous just for the likes. Live your life by your own agenda, not by Instagram’s.
- Followers: We all know "that guy." The one who filters through his “following” list and unfollows his childhood friend and sister in order to improve their followers:following ratio. Maybe his crush will look at their Instagram and think, “Omg, he's so cool, he's following 200 less people than follow him, I should totally sleep with him.” But they probably won’t. So don’t burn bridges.
- Food: We all know how excited you are to eat your quinoa crunch bowl salad from Lyfe Kitchen. It’s healthy, it’s delicious and it’s just the right combination of trendy and posh. But as much as you may think the world needs to see how #sophisticated your culinary taste is, at the end of the day, it’s just a salad. We’re a whole lot more interested in seeing a picture of your face. Food instas are okay from time to time, but don’t drown your page in them. Especially don’t post photos of food you don’t eat. That’s just silly.
- #tbt: Thursdays are often the best days of the week for Instagram, and there’s nothing better than scrolling through embarrassing photos of your friends in their third grade Halloween costumes. But the #tbt can often be misinterpreted. For example, posting a picture of yourself from the past weekend is not a throwback. And there’s a reason it’s called “throwback Thursday” – don’t go posting #tbms or #tbws. If you can’t wait until Thursday to post your baby photo, you might need a lesson in patience.
- Length: Snapchat stories are only public for a 24-hour time period. Yet every day, we still see a guy or girl that managed to document an 150-second story of three-second snaps. If you’re at a party and you tell a story that’s too long, people will start to tune out thirty seconds in. And it works the same way on Snapchat. If you want proof, post a super long story, and watch how the number of views deteriorates from start to finish.
- Drunk snaps: Drunk texts have become the poster boy for bad decisions, but drunk snapchats can be equally as dangerous – and annoying. Everybody knows the feeling of regret after sending the “wher r u” selfie, but even more casual interactions can be bothersome to your followers. If you’re drunk in a cab with all of your friends and you’re wondering whether or not to post a snap story of everyone singing “Blank Space” four notes off-key, the answer is probably no. Unless you’re riding with Taylor Swift herself.
- Time and MPH: I swear to god if I see one more “0 MPH” selfie without any other caption or inkling of creativity, I’m going to throw my phone from the roof of Tech.
- Naked pics: Two words: The Snappening. Don’t be a victim.
- Ignorance: Don't post anything like what you see above. Think of the Internet as your shitty friend group from middle school – one embarassing slip-up, and everyone from here to Minnesota will know about it within minutes.
- Hashtags: Hashtagging is a great tool that has forever changed the world of social media. But don’t be fooled – this is not a pass to use them in excess. Too many hashtags is never a good thing. When it comes to hashtagging, less is more.
- Humor: When it comes to funny tweets, strive to meet a ratio of one in every four. No pressure, of course. But if you’re looking to keep an entertained audience, while still tweeting about things that are actually relevant or somewhat important, one in four is your golden ratio.
- Tweeting at celebrities: The most direct connection you’ll probably ever have with a celebrity is through Twitter. And while tweeting “fuck you” at Skip Bayless 500 times probably isn’t going to elicit a response, something more polite and entertaining just might. You’d be surprised by how many people get retweeted by (modest) celebrities, and those 15 minutes of fame provide the most satisfying feeling one can find on social media.