The Social Media Etiquette Bible: Part I

And on the third day, He said, “Let there be the internet and copious amounts of social media tomfoolery.”

Just kidding. But really, here is Part I of my specially selected rules for rocking the social media sphere:

Thou shalt be selective about who you friend and unfriend.

It’s always good to connect with people but as we, as college students, move into the professional field, we need to start being more selective. At some point, possible employers will check out you social media pages and unless you don’t really want that job, it’s a good idea to have a nice, clean profile. Case in point, we all have that Facebook friend who posts questionable material and lord knows even we cringe seeing it, much less an employer. And hey, if you can’t quite bring yourself to actually purge them from your friend list, there’s always ‘unfollowing’ them. Kristin Appenbrink, a contributor for, says the next time you see an unsavory post from that one friend, “click on the drop-down menu in its upper right-hand corner and unsubscribe from her post[….]That way you can declutter your page without hurting anyone’s feelings.”

Thou shalt not be a oversharer.

“Be careful not to abuse the five most obnoxious kinds of updates, according to Real Simple readers,” says Appenbrink. “Intentionally vague posts, chronic complaining, meaningless calls to action, over sharing, and posting too frequently.” Though we all slip up from time to time, I personally think the best way to catch yourself is to take a sec and think about why you’re posting something. Is it about something you really care about? Or are you just looking for attention or maybe feeling a bit cruddy? Don’t forget that sometimes just talking to a friend is a better way to share something on your mind.

Thou shalt tag with care.

Remember that any photos you post on social media are a reflection of what others see you as. So don’t post a pic that isn’t flattering! A good phrase I’ve heard is ‘Don’t post any photo you wouldn’t want your grandma to see.’ Pretty good advice, eh? Similarly, don’t post unflattering photos of your friends that you know they’ll be pissed to see. Because they’ll legit come after you with a hammer. Also, on pictures where there was alcohol invloved….just don’t do it. Even if you weren’t juiced up and it’s just an empty beer can, just delete the photo. Potential employers, even though you might be of age, might think poorly of you if there’s booze in the pic. Just delete, not worth it, trust me.

Thou shalt not follow everyone on Twitter who follows you.

Reason being, there are some crazy people out there, true story. And a super easy way to catch the crazy people is to check out their profile when they follow you and see how many people actually follow them. If they follow 100 people for example, and 100 follow them back, I’d say that’s legit. But the person with all of 3 followers who follows 400???? Yeah…..nope. Also, check out what they’re actually posting. Good stuff? Then carry on, my wayward son.

Thou shalt spellcheck.

Oh Spellcheck, you wonderful tool, you. Seriously, if you’re not spell-checking all your stuff already, I hope you jump on board soon. Unless you’re texting, most of the time, people will perceive you as a more intelligent person if your spelling and grammar is on point. And we all want to be perceived as smarties because that’s what we all are right?

Above all, thou shalt be respectful.

[Insert crash course on how to be a relatively decent human being.] Just remember to be respectful of others online and don’t forget that just because you can hide your comments behind a computer screen, doesn’t mean that you should abuse that. Never forget that there is always a real live human being with thoughts and feelings on the other side, and that whatever you put out on the web can always be traced back to you.

Thanks for reading and comment below if you have any thoughts! Part II is coming next week 🙂 


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