By Khaula Mazhar

Social Media Dos and Donts

Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Really depending on how you use it, social media can be a trustworthy tool to advance or enhance whatever it is you need to do. Or it can be an enormous time suck that results in turning you into a narcissistic monster that no one likes, but everyone likes to talk about.

Mr. Hyde is not exactly everybody’s favorite person. Don’t be a Mr. Hyde on social media. In fact don’t be a Mr. Hyde off of social media either.

How do otherwise normal people get duped into downing that obnoxious concoction that turns them into annoying health hazards? The same way charming Anakin Skywalker turned into Darth Vader, Tom Riddle turned into Lord Voldemorte, adorable lion cub grows into hateful Uncle Scar etc.- they had too much “me” juice. As in it’s all about me, listen to me, look at me, it’s not fair to me, me is all me is concerned about.

Some do’s and don’ts to think about while cruising the social media road:

Do post pics of last night’s dinner that you made yourself! (or that mom made for you):
Yes we all make fun of each other for posting dinner pics, but we all really want to know what you had for dinner. It gives us ideas for what to cook tonight. And the next night.  And the next. Keep those dinner pics coming ladies!

Don’t post pics of a ridiculously expensive restaurant dinner that you spent half your life savings on.
That is too much “me” in a selfish way. There are actually people who even after working two jobs are still struggling to pay bills. Don’t be an inconsiderate show off.

Do post the recipe to that dinner you made from scratch.
We all really want that recipe.

Don’t post pics of yourself waiting in line to by the latest iPhone.
Especially when the last present you gave cost only $10. Seriously.

Do post the latest DIY project that you successfully completed.
We all need some inspiration. And we have so much stuff to recycle we could build a castle out of it.

Don’t post statuses complaining about how much housework you have.
Newsflash: we all do. No one wants to know how tired you are because you had soooo much laundry.

Do post pics of the mess your two-year-old made with the spaghetti dinner you cooked.
That is an all time classic.

Don’t post your very negative comment on someone else’s status!
I really feel this should be number one on everyone’s don’ts list. A status is something personal, it’s the right to freedom of speech. If you call someone a bigot just because they expressed their opinion or belief, what does that make you? Exactly!

Do scroll down and ignore if there is a status you don’t agree with and can’t make your point politely.
In fact of those 500 “friends” there will only be handful that you can be frank enough to talk openly with, only a handful who respect your opinion and only a handful that would actually care about your opinion.

Don’t ignore cute animal videos.
Spend a couple of minutes watching, liking and then sharing. Anything that makes you smile is not time wasted, it is time well invested. Share the investment of happiness brought on by furry, purry, fluffy innocent creatures.

Do turn off that infuriating auto update thingy on your phone.
No, we don’t want to know where you are and what you are doing every second of the day. Not the coffee you drank, the shirt you bought, the feeling annoyed at your boss/husband/brother/kid/mother-in-law emoticon etc. If you are really aggravated please phone up your bestie and have a good rant. If you had a nice cup of coffee thank your boss for the coffee break.

Don’t post graphic videos without a warning.
Not everyone has the ability to watch some random guy eating a squirming live squid dipped in soya sauce. Warning the viewer is the proper thing to do.

Do post petitions of issues that concern all of us, but don’t badger everyone to sign.
The post will let us know, that this is an issue we can do something about. Whoever feels they need to get involved will.

Do NOT post pics of your kids without making sure your privacy setting are on friends or family only.
Don’t post pics of them on public platforms that don’t allow you to change the settings.
Not everyone out there is your friend! You don’t know all of those people personally, you don’t know who they are “friends’ with. Your kids, your family, they are your treasures. You don’t put them on display for the world to ogle at. You keep your treasures safe.

Do categorize people into lists on places like Facebook.
Make sure the random friends of friends or people you don’t know that well are on the acquaintance list. You don’t need to put your personal stuff on display for everyone. Take care of your privacy! Can’t stress that enough!

Don’t accept every friend request on Facebook!   
Facebook is not a competition to see who can get the most friends.  Places that share an interesting hobby like instagram and flickr where you don’t post personal stuff are fine to have lots of friends. But not Facebook.

Don’t post pics of those duckfaces.
No. Just no.

Do post pics of beautiful sunrises and sunsets.
Yes, just do it.

Don’t be mean and rude when commenting or posting an opinion.
Your words are a reflection of you, your upbringing. Don’t let people think you are a Mr. Hyde if you are not.

Do get involved with worthy discussion.
Don’t argue if you don’t know about something.
Unless you have a solid argument and knowledge  on the issue don’t get involved in arguments, you will end up looking silly. Don’t let the argument or discussion become an ugly brawl with insult hurling. Don’t be the one hurling insults, be the one to say “name calling just means you have no valid points and I am right. I put my case to rest.” Then stop. Walk away, never argue with idiots, they just drag you down and waste your time. Be above that.

Lastly always remember …

social media

About the Author:

Khaula Mazhar, author of Mama Loves Me, has written for Dawn Pakistan and now bestows her wisdom upon the world at her blog. Last time she counted she had five kids, however the vast amount of laundry has given her doubts. This is a cause of constant distraction as she tries to finish writing the next NYT best-seller.