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How to win social networks (mainly facebook)

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Right so, after I post this I am going to do the brave, the unspeakable; I am going to share my blog on my Facebook. Why? Why would I open myself up to obvious embarrassment and potential ridicule? Well, I guess the simple version of why is as follows: for the craic. This blog is still extremely new but honestly I’ve loved writing all these random little posts so far. Trying to construct wide complex opinions into concise amusing little articles is what I find to be quite an enjoyable challenge.

The thing is though, I’m not really very good, but I thought; if writing has brought so much enjoyment to my life I may as well take the risk and share this joy with others. Share this joy with you. So go on, tease me, at least I know I’m being laughed at for being 100%  me. I guess I didn’t want to be one of those people who use the internet as a veil from society, So that’s why I took the brave step in sharing this on my facebook page, opening up to the 400 people who have a general idea of who I am as a person (and possibly the occasional stalker) as apposed to using a fake name and hoping the occasional stranger would have a look.

Facebook is actually insane if you think about it. In real-life people have a filter, they try and show themselves in the best light possible until they feel comfortable, you’d think that by having control of their own personal profile people would in turn try and do the same, by using select status’s and stuff like that. However, this is not the case. The majority of people truly are themselves online, perhaps too much of themselves; we often see a darker version of people as they feel safer to fully express themselves behind a screen.

When I was younger I used to think about how cool it would be to go to school reunions, but now with social networking the way it is it seems completely pointless. It’s crazy, I know more about people I don’t care about than I ever thought I would. People share too much on facebook, myself included, and why? The answer is simple – attention. I feel people constantly update their statuses to quench that ever-present thirst for attention and sense of importance we just can’t seem to shake. I know personally that if I’m going through a hard time I’ll end up posting more than when I’m happy, not necessarily sad things either, just- well, anything, something to feel I’ve gained approval I guess. I find the psychology behind social networking truly amazing and it’s honestly something I could study for months on end without getting bored.

Facebook has completely changed the world of dating. The whole getting to know you phase is gone and although this saves a lot of time (e.g. Oh… You like Black Veil Brides in a non-ironic way? I don’t think this will go anywhere….) I do think it’s kind of sad. The mystery and enigma of the human brain is broken down into a single web page. Technology is basically fast-forwarding human relationships; whether this is good or bad I just feel people should be aware of it.

Also, it makes falling outs and break-ups impossible. You can’t get away, even if you un-friend there’s still photos, it’s still available for viewing (because let’s face it; you’re going to facebook stalk them). Seeing all these photos of friends on a night out, when you weren’t invited, it’s upsetting and leads you to feel excluded and unloved, but we look through the album anyway. It’s as if our curiosity has beaten our desire to be mentally sane. The more time you spend looking at photos of people enjoying themselves, the more alone you will feel.

I think having a lot of “Friends” on facebook is a lot like hoarding. You know you don’t really know about 75% of those people, but you like having them there… just in case, at least that’s what it’s like with me. You don’t really care about your cousin’s ex girlfriend and her new puppy, but you keep her there in your friends list, in case she posts a status about free concert tickets, or you end up becoming co-workers and actually becoming friends, you don’t want to have to do that whole awkward “re-adding” thing.

So… That was a ludicrously long introduction, but here are a few things to help you win at social networks.

  1.  If you have all your networks linked, make it so they don’t post on your behalf, I’m sick of seeing constant Instagram updates on facebook, and tumblr things on twitter. You liking a photo on an app I don’t have should not be included in my newsfeed. That is all.
  2. Think very carefully about what you post, on facebook especially. So what if you are listening to a great song, does the world really need to know you have good taste in music? Leave a little mystery; leave something to talk about to newcomers. The amount of times I was about to post a status, realized how pointless it was and deleted it is actually kind of humorous. Filtering is key, if you can’t do that than get a twitter. (We all know that’s Twitters real purpose, to make people less annoying on Facebook.)
  3. Don’t change your relationship status without informing your family and close friends first. Seriously, I hate finding out about stuff like that online (okay, fair enough if I barely know the person…)
  4. Your, you’re, their, there, they’re. It’s not that hard.
  5. Stop sending invites to pointless things…
  6. If you’re good-looking try and have at least one decent picture available for public view to avoid the “I promise they’re better looking in person” sentence…
  7. No more vague I’m upset status’s. If you’re upset bloody talk to someone about it, don’t post some bullshit wish-y wash-y status hoping someone will ask what’s wrong. You’re more likely to get decent conversation with those who care by just being honest, without the use of social media.
  8. Only use hashtags on Twitter and Instagram. What’s up with hashtags on Facebook now? I WILL NEVER ACCEPT CHANGE!
  9. Stop being ashamed of stalking people online. It’s fine, we all do it.
  10. Be weary and cautious that the facts you see on tumblr, twitter, 9gag, whatever, are not exactly coming from the most reliable source.
  11. Make sure you have a profile picture of you enjoying yourself with friends. You are 90% more likely to get asked out on a date if your profile picture is of you and your friends.  That’s not true; I just made that up, see above. Anyone can just do that. This isn’t a tip; I just wanted to make a point. Ignore 11 entirely, I don’t give a damn what your profile picture is, as long as there’s no genitalia it’s all good.

We live in a constantly updating world, one that we need to accept as normal (otherwise we’ll go insane), the best way to win online is to try your best to be careful with what you put out there. Every now and again go through your various profiles and delete what could be potentially embarrassing. Before posting anything think “would it be the end of the world if my employers/girlfriend/boyfriend/parent/whatever were to see this?” (Note: Being slightly embarrassed is different to being the end of the world.) I know all this is rich coming from me; the girl who has a blog, the girl who when upset will tweet it to the world, but I could be worse and, like in most areas of my life, it’s a topic in which I think a lot about and am trying to improve in.

Basically, you win online by not being a complete stupid annoying little shit (which I guess sometimes is harder than it sounds).

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About saoirse

A young adventurer like yourself.

2 responses »

  1. Fantastic article! Ah, good ol’ Facebook eh

    Reply

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