Spoiler alert! We all spend a lot of time online. (Is that how spoiler alerts work?) It seems that we fill every waking moment on one social-media site or another. Waiting for an elevator? Send a tweet. On the toilet? Check Facebook. Avoiding actual work? Get sucked into a YouTube vortex of "Macho Man" Randy Savage videos. These social-media sites are like the 21st-century town square, so you need to behave accordingly. You wouldn't choose to embarrass yourself by releasing your bowels in public, but things are a bit more complicated online. So by sharing my tips, I hope to help you avoid taking virtual dumps all over the social-media town square.
1. Have a real picture of yourself as a profile pic. I need to know what you look like. It's only fair. If your Facebook photo includes a picture of your significant other, I know that you are seriously codependent. If it is a picture of your baby, I know I'll have very little to say to you at a dinner party. Also, offer me a few options. If all of your pictures are from the same angle, I know that you are ugly and have figured out that one angle that makes you look less ugly.
2. Don't give me constant updates of where you are eating or shopping. The only person who cares about that is your stalker, and the real joy for him is the hunt.
3. If I send you a text and you don't respond and then I see you tweet something or post something on Facebook, I know that you are straight up ignoring me. Just remember that everyone on the Internet is taking note of your goings-on and judging you all the time. Isn't that comforting?
4. Be aware of @Humblebrag, created by the very funny Harris Wittels. There is no better police for the bullshit way that we have chosen to boast about our lives with a totally false sense of humility than @Humblebrag. The economy is falling apart, nuclear reactors are prone to meltdowns, and the Chinese are taking over the planet, but the only thing I truly fear is @Humblebrag.
5. Sign up for Myspace now because it's gonna be cool and retro before you know it, like roller skating or having a Sega fucking Genesis.
6. When someone dies, don't immediately reduce his or her entire life down to 140 characters of snarky dismissal. Remember, they were someone's son/daughter, brother/sister, etc. The only time it's okay is if your post is really funny. Alternatively, nobody cares about your heartfelt "RIP" tweet. Truly, the only place I want to see "RIP" is on one of those foam-gravestone Halloween decorations from CVS.
7. I can't stand when people make plans on each other's Facebook walls. Do that nonsense privately. Either I am not interested in what you are up to, or I am very interested in what you are up to and feel incredibly left out.
8. If you write LOL in a tweet or status update unironically, I will immediately assume that I am smarter than you are.
9. When you comment on a current event, please make sure it's accurate, because at this point I get more than half of my news from piecing together the story from people's Twitter jokes about it.
10. Let's take it easy on the hashtags, folks. It's fun to build on others' ideas, but the long-hashtag-as-a-punchline needs to be well thought out. And, BTW, capitalize the first letter of each new word.
11. If you are posting an event for a concert or show, give me the most basic information I need. I used to associate the word "event" with things like a wedding or an inauguration or the Oscars, not your improv class's "graduation" at 3 p.m. on a Sunday.
12. Do not tag me in photos that I am not in to get me to look at them. This little game does not ingratiate you to me, it makes me hate you. All I do all day is look for photos of myself on the Internet, and when I am pic-teased, I get super-angry about it. Do not be a pic-tease.