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Columns

The Ten commandments of social media

Friday 26 June 2015

1. Facebook is the God of social media.

 

The people you follow on Facebook are your demi-gods. 

Their gorgeousness, goodness, intelligence, success is unmatchable. Do not even attempt it. 

Always remember to like their posts devoted to empowering adequately Instagram-photogenic calamity-stricken countries/women/children. Don’t worry this may lead to a display of opinionatedness (opinions are a tricky business; something only Lena Dunham should do.) Legions of media advisers, whiteshoe law firms and DC lobbyists compose what the demi-gods post, so you are safe liking and sharing it. 

In any case, it’s not just Hillary who knows the power of selective erasing and apologizing for past endorsements of little things, like wars. 

 

2. Do not post pictures you may ever want to be forgotten. 

We are not Europeans (the EU recently forced Google to implement the “right to be forgotten”            for any Europeans who had stuff—from convictions to bad selfies—they wished to relegate to oblivion.) 

Ensure that anything you share on Instagram/Twitter/Facebook etc will not put present you or future you or any of your family that you care about in a “challenging” (it’s Park Slopean for “compromising”) position. 

If you must have it spelled out for you, everything can be “challenging”. Exceptions: food, flora, fauna, and the Brooklyn Bridge. Never underestimate the career-building power of these categories. Pictures of cute puppies, well-lit images of the Brooklyn Bridge, and pithy captions to ethnic food-porn of yet one more New York restaurant will take you places—unlike your resume. Unless of course you’ve gone to the right schools. In this case, you do not have to conform to any of these rules. Or any others for that matter.

 

3. Do not take social etiquette in vain. 

Downton Abbey is a hotbed of anarchy compared to the conventions of social media. 

Favoriting but not retweeting makes you out to be a calcluating creep. Liking the post of a Facebook friend whom you do not know in person is OK. Sharing it, is not. Especially when it’s a pic of their girlfriend in negligible attire.

Poaching the friends of your friends is NOT OK. Unless you appropriate them entirely, and then some. If you are capable of this, then most of the other rules do not apply to you, either. 

 

4. Remember the sabbath day. 

It’s the most-read, most-posted day. Heaps of free time, no Sunday paper or brunches. A whole day of quality time to expend on posting our lives for the world to observe and envy, and for us to feel important and meaningful.

 

5. Honor your father and mother. 

Deliberate at length whether they are mature enough to be thrown into the multiverse. 

If they have reached the necessary level of self-knowledge, respect and yoga, lift the age-restrictions and limits from their computers and smartphones. 

Monitor them frequently. Otherwise you will create a Frankenparent (= a parent who—consider the monstrosity!—becomes more than just your parent.) There is no telling what worse horrors this may lead to. Think Bernie Sanders.

 

6. You shall not unfriend (social media equivalent of “kill”.) 

Exceptions to this rule may be granted in the case of some heinous breach of social etiquette. Prime example: a friend has sent you a direct message asking for something—from sex to a job. Anything, basically, that you are not at all disposed to provide. 

Following is another animal altogether. You can follow, unfollow and re-follow at your will. Even skilled users of social media (the psychiatric term is “egopaths of sociopathic dimensions”) cannot keep track of those who are following them, at any given moment, on each app, throughout the social media universe. 

It’s just too exhausting to even try to follow who your followers are.

 

7. Do not commit adultery. 

Not on social media anyway. 

For more cautionary advice, just tweet out to Carlos, otherwise known as Anthony Weiner. For those users suffering from early onset of dementia due to spending too much time on social media, Weiner is the husband of the woman running the Presidential campaign of the woman whose husband is famous for his Presidencies and notorious for his behavior which may allow him to empathize with Weiner. 

If all this appears to be too obscure and convoluted, you should not be reading this at all.

For those in the know, yet still compelled to indulge in online adultery of an epistolary nature: Gmail is a far, far better thing to do. Just ask the ex-boss of the CIA, David Petraeus. He got away with it. Kind of. 

 

8. Do not steal. 

An allusion to all content (pictures, links, stories) other people post. 

This content belongs to the world. That means Facebook. Not you.

Also: do not steal other peoples’ identities, or parts of them, to create your own fictional one. 

You may become the subject of a lengthy New York Times diatribe that will in turn inspire a book. It will inevitably become an instant bestseller. This will magnify and infinitely multiply your feelings of insignificance and shitiness. Yup, those that led you to steal another’s life in the first place. Ironic, huh? Welcome to the real online world, dude.

 

9. Do not bear false witness.

Especially when tagging people to pics. You will enrage those you did not mention. You will also enrage those whose names and presence you appropriated. 

Despite the hillbilly rhetoric, privacy settings on Facebook are not an urban legend. 

People will be notified. There is a reason this can sound ominous.

 

10. Do not covet. 

Anything. Including lives, property, friends, family, food. As touted by your friends, friends of friends, ex friends, followers, anyone with an account, profile or avatar. 

It’s not worth it. 

Behind the veneer, we are all dogs.


 
My beloved terrorist
Published by: LIVANIS
First printing: 2001
Pages: 403
Hellenists: Greece does not wound them
Published by: LIVANIS
First printing: 1999
Pages: 314
 
 

 

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