Because Rules: Social Media Commandments for the 30+

Background

When you’re over 30, you grow. And with that growth, your social media behaviors should shift as well. People in their 20s are crazy AF. They don’t give a f*ck. They don’t have to yet. But we do. According to the Uses & Gratifications Theory research, human beings use social media with the following motivations in mind:

  • Social and affection
  • Need to vent negative feelings
  • Recognition
  • Entertainment
  • Cognitive needs

So I’ve compiled a list of commandments for us to follow. Here goes….

  1. Thou Shall Not Be Passive Aggressive.

Get the h*ll off the internet and have a conversation. Even though the person you’re upset with is fully present in your mind and that’s where your energy is….in reality, you are talking to like 790 of your closest, personal friends. Stop sub-tweeting and such. Have a conversation. On the phone. Or in person.  If you can’t do that, send an angry text message essay. As an adult, you look crazy. I wouldn’t lie to you.

2. Thou Shall Think before Posting.

Life moves fast, we all desire instant gratification. But remember social media is permanent. You can’t undo it. Even if you delete your post, remember this:

It still shows up in the news feeds that it hit initially I know this because I try to act like my typos didn’t happen and they STILL come up hours later and you’ve more than likely been screen shot and become fodder for the social media audience. The ppl that love you may encourage you like:

“That’s right girl! Just pray about it!” Or “We got your back!”

But the people who know both sides are watching. And probably judging.

We all need validation from time to time. When I’m upset about something, I usually text my friends on the GroupMe thread. They give me the validation or reality-check that I need and the need to say it to hundreds of people online subsides.

Key Takeaway: Some things are better said in a GroupMe thread.

3. Thou Shall Not Use Memes as Relationship Therapy.

If your significant other is not treating you right, subtle Memes are not going to cut it.

He’s NOT going to see a meme and be like “Hey wait. This meme is calling out my behavior. Wow I need to treat her better. This meme is about me!” A person that isn’t interested, simply isn’t interested.

Memes and posts do not change this. It makes you look sort of obsessed. Keep it together and love yourself. Text your friends. Buy some wine.

4. Thou Shall Not Envy.

Stop being jealous. Just stop. It’s weird. Social media is fiction. Watch social media like a movie. Not a documentary. A movie. A scripted reality show.  I constantly want to shake sense into the people who admire the lives of others online. Who doesn’t know that social media is a highlight reel? No one says “my credit is f*cked up and my mom gives me $500 a month to survive but I’m desperate for you to think I’m well off because I truly wish I was” as a status update. Nobody. Well, not many. Instead, they project their insecurities by posing in Louboutins and Hermes belts and photos of their meals at Oceanaire. In fact, at this point in life (30+), it’s a red flag for insecurity.

No shade to people who post these types of things sporadically…or even people that consistently do interesting things (I actually LIVE for some of you and your posts)!

I’m really talking to the excessive posters that give you the feeling they are fishing for compliments and all that humble-bragging sh*t. For example, if you post/check-in at the Palm tonight for your birthday or a surprise party for your grandma and the very next night attend a beautiful gala at the Nigerian Embassy, I’m not talking to you.Your life seems great. Bon appetit. I’m talking about those who feel compelled to “check in” or post every time they go somewhere “fancy” or “fancy-adjacent.” It may not be conveying the message you think it is.

5. Thou Shall Choose Thine Battles.

Every fight/post/comment is not worth your time or energy. Maintain control of the narrative of your life and stop handing control over to other people. Every time you get sucked into a social media race war, war on misogyny or political movement you give your energy. You give valuable parts of yourself that could be better used in REALITY, in meditation, or simply nurturing you spirit.

Seriously. Imagine the impact you’d have on the world if you donate your time to feeding the homeless or hugging baby goats instead of ranting about how much Obama has destroyed this country, or how much Hillary sucks? What if we took time to facilitate positive relationships between the police and the under served communities instead of criticizing and stereotyping ALL police officers or re-sharing memes that amplify the situation? What if we donated time or funds to abused animal shelters instead of arguing about why someone shouldn’t play football? What if we mentored a millennial instead of posting memes about how lame and entitled they are?

Keep in mind, this space is a judgment-free zone and I am not being accusatory nor inferring that I haven’t engaged in the behaviors myself, just posing a different perspective to consider, you know?

Consider this:

When something strikes a chord in you, acknowledge it and process it internally. Think about what it means to you and the true meaning of what it triggers within. Once you do this, take some time away from it. You may find that you’re not as upset after all or it may trigger some unresolved issues within-and it may be better to work through that with a good friend or significant other.

(See “some things are better said in a GroupMe thread”).

Yeah…and while we’re on it….that brings me to number 6.

6. Thou Shall Do Thine Homework


Memes are not automatically factual. Nothing destroys credibility more than posting or re-sharing something that isn’t factual. You have to be responsible for the energy you bring to the world and this includes the internet. There are a number of satire sites that just create stories for the hell of it. Where do these mf’s find the time???There are also plenty of articles with catchy headlines just to attract clicks. PLEASE read articles and vet the sources before posting them.

Once you have vetted the story/meme/information, think about whether or not it is inflammatory, will it offend people? Is it worth it? After you have done all your vetting and you’re ready to post, stand firm in it but don’t spend your day arguing with other people on the thread.

People that don’t agree with your posts SHOULD have the maturity to keep scrolling. If someone does feel the need to express themselves on your post, you can choose to ignore. Do not take the bait. If I went back and forth with everyone who ever heckled me or disagreed with my posts, I’d never get anything done. Remember that you are in control of your power and your energy. Use it responsibly.

7. Thou Shall Use Thine Resources

Most social media platforms allow you to control what you see and who sees what of yours. Take advantage of this. You can’t get upset with your radical atheist Facebook friend if you don’t have to see their posts all day long.

Key Takeaway: You have options. Take advantage of them.

If you want to say “Gays suck,” you can say it and you can also ensure that your LGBT or LGBT-adjacent friends don’t see it and aren’t directly hurt by seeing it in their news feeds.

8. Thou Shall Not Drink and Post.

Believe me. Let’s just leave it at that. When you’re drunk and emotional, just give your phone to Wumie a friend. It’s for the best.

Conclusion

Okay, those are my commandments. I hope that this resonated with you. As always, I would never recommend anything to you all that I wouldn’t do myself. Sometimes, I look back at my previous posts before I was “enlightened” and I literally CRINGE at some of the sh*t I used to say/do. However, all I can do from here is own it, grow and be mindful of my actions and intentions going forward. So, of course, I want to know…Did I nail it? Did I miss anything?

Thank you for your energy.

 

-RLC

Photo cred: MTV.com

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