June 24, 2017

I’ll Social Your Media: A Top 10 New Years Resolutions for Online Etiquette

New year, new ME! Yup…it’s that time of year. New Year’s Resolutions, though sometimes misguided and not totally invested, are proof that people want to be better…well, people. It’s three weeks in and a lot of the New Year’s Resolutions have fallen by the wayside. Today’s society is more connected to social media than ever before. People are developing neck issues because they stare at their phones so much. Heck, when’s the last time you watched TV or a movie (at home, not in the theater you douchewagon) without having your phone or laptop going as well? We all do it. We all hate it. But we all do it.

Politics in this country are…a little volatile right now. The most polarizing election in recent U.S. history has people’s emotions really shaken up. Finding your way in this world can be difficult enough, but now people have to deal with the most charismatic President since JFK being replaced with a guy with no political experience that acts like a real life social media troll. So yeah, you might not agree with someone’s political views, but you need to respect their opinions, fears, and emotions right now. It’s like the end of a relationship for some.

As for the social media troll…thing. There are a few things that we could all do better. Things that should be part of a social media New Year’s resolution to do better. And…here…we…go!

1)  Correcting misspelled words on social media.

Noone cares. If you care, good for you. Correcting someone who has misspelled a word, or used the wrong tense is like being the “office computer guy” character that Jimmy Fallon played on SNL. You look like an ass. This is the internet. We constantly change words to fit into a character limit. Let’s face it, most people are using their phones while doing this, and autocorrect is a freaking nightmare. Do you really double check every single word before you post something? I doubt it.

Stop ignoring what people are saying because THERE not spelling words right. Sea what eye did their?  Exactly. You understood what I was saying. It was snarky, but you got my drift. When you focus on the minute detail you miss the overall picture and the overall message. The message is bigger than one misspelled word. Just like this country is bigger than one person.

2)  The whole bias, bias

Everyone has a bias, including you. It comes from your environment. It has to deal with your social connections, your family upbringing, what you get from media and entertainment, and overall, what you are exposed or expose yourself to. You have experiences, fears, thoughts, beliefs, emotions, and questions. Everyone has these. Some of them are similar, some are different, some are completely unique, some can be uncomfortable. Your opinions are largely based on your experience and environment. Understand that other people have biases. Understand that you have a bias. Try to move past that.

When you go to the grocery store do you go to specific items. Of course, you like them, and they are familiar. A lot of the bias is the same. It’s familiar. It feels natural. Just because someone has a bias does not mean they can’t understand or sympathize. Someone can see your opinion and not agree with it. That’s not a knock on you or anything personal. People aren’t always going to agree wit you. If they agree with you on everything, I suggest finding another environment.

3) Stop posting videos that embarrass your children

You’re an ass. Seriously. Do you need attention so bad that you are going to record your kids doing something embarrassing, and then take the time to post it on social media? You need to find a hobby. Kids have no filter, and that can be hilarious. But when your kid is upset that his team (and probably your team) lost, posting a video of him/her online crying, is ridiculous. Heck, maybe it’s a form of child abuse. You are using your authority to inflict damage and pain to a child.

How about this? For every video you post of your kid, we post videos of you in college or adulthood when you’re really drunk and stupid. Americans are fully aware of bullying in schools. How the holy hell isn’t this bullying?  What are you going to do when your kid has to deal with being teased and mocked for days/week/months/years because their role model, their parent posted a video online? You’ll probably be pissed that someone is picking on your kid. Which…you created the problem in the first place. Stop using your kids to get the attention you crave.

4) Posting your kids life on your social media page

Dave the accountant has a page for Dave the accountant. You follow Dave the accountant because you like Dave the accountant. You like what he posts about sports, movies, culture, music, life, comedy, art, and such. You like when he posts things about restaurants you like. You like Dave because Dave is cool. Then Dave has a kid and you can’t find Dave any more. It’s a million pictures taken in a four-minute stretch of Little Bobby eating food and it got all messy. OH MY GAWWWD. Giggle giggle giggle.

We used to have scrap books and photo albums. You’d take a picture or twelve at a birthday party and then go have the film developed. You’d pick up the film and then pick the photos you liked best. Those would be the ones that would go into the photo album and you would look at later. Now we have smart phones that take higher quality pictures that can be instantly uploaded. Heck you can upload a whole album in less than a minute. Now that photo album is online for everyone to see – forever. And it clogs up your profile and news feed.

We all do this, but we tire of it too. I want to know if Dave the accountant saw Rouge One and what he thought about it, but I can’t find it because I don’t want to spend ten minutes scrolling through pics. But there’s a solution. Dave the accountant should set up profile for Little Bobby. All posts of Little Bobby doing Little Bobby things go online and then the grandparents, friends, and family can check in on Little Bobby. It’s nothing against Little Bobby. The kids a beast, but I want to know what’s going on in my friends life. And stop taking pictures of every meal before you eat it. It’s food. We get it.

5) Bringing up things that happened 10 years ago

This happens a lot in political elections. “But in 1992 you voted to…” Guess what, times change and people change with it. Ellen DeGeneres was damn near crucified for coming out on a magazine cover and saying “Yep, I’m gay.” A lot of America, mostly conservative, lost their collective minds. Flash forward to today. Those same people are watching her show daily and love everything she does. Especially with the complete change in Presidents that we are currently experiencing, it’s easy to only see the worst in people and fear they cannot or WILL not change. But, this is irrational and short-sighted. Will EVERYONE change? Hell no. But the majority of people are still good people that may think differently than you. And that is ok. People’s opinions change as the world changes. As a wise man once said “New shit has come to light.” So when you accuse someone of “flip-flopping” maybe they changed their mind. Maybe they considered the fact that they were in fact wrong (Walter), and are moving forward in a better direction.

Why don’t we bring up your clothes and hair from 10 years ago while we’re at it?

6) Posting lists

Well….ah crap.

7) Thinking the hypocrisy of someone else makes you right

I’m a hypocrite. You’re a hypocrite too. Just like having a bias, this is unavoidable. We all get upset about idiot drivers doing idiot things on the road. (If you know me on social media/real life, I do this a LOT). Yes, that dude in the Dodge Ram with a sticker of Calvin pissing on a Ford symbol failed to use his turn signal. Yes, it’s dangerous and breaking the law. But….do you speed?  Do you talk on the phone? Do you come to a “COMPLETE STOP” at a stop sign? Hell no. You follow the flow of traffic (usually 5-10 mph OVER the speed limit). And you don’t come to a complete stop because, honestly, who does that? (This has gifted me a $125 ticket before). But stop thinking that you “won” an argument or that you are better than someone because they are a hypocrite. If you need that to win an argument, then your argument may not be as strong as you thought in the first place. If someone is egregiously hypocritical on something, by all means, point it out. But to use that as the point you can drop the mic and walk off, is short-sighted. Once again, people change, their opinions change as well.

8) Saying things online you’d never say to their face

You are a good person. You like your friends. You want them to be your friends. Arguing online can make it tough to be friends. If you think something and wouldn’t say it to their face, there is probably a reason for that. You don’t want to hurt their feelings. You like them, you just disagree with them. Or you’re afraid of what will happen because you say something. If that’s the case, then maybe you need to think about what you’re saying. You might be wrong. Or you just might be an ass. This is hard in sports. Joe Maddon’s use of Aroldis Chapman in Game 5 of the World Series had nearly every Cubs fan asking, “what the hell is Joe doing?”  Though NONE of them would say it to his face. Why? They like the guy, they trust him, and he’s smarter than them. It’s still OK to wonder what is going on because he’s doing something that’s unexpected and maybe not the popular opinion. Questioning him is fine, but wanting him to be fired is not.

Trust is a big factor. Trust is also something you don’t want to lose with a friend. If you post something online, then you might lose their trust. If you say the same thing to their face, you will definitely lose their trust. If you really disagree, direct message, Facebook convo, or text them. You don’t need to broadcast that to everyone else. It’s between two people and should stay that way. Also, if you do it that way, you are forced to realize your words have consequences.

9) Posting clickbait

I posted this on a blog and…it’s amazing.

Stop. Stop it right now. It’s really not “mindblowing” and “OMG I CAN’T STOP SMILING” is a lie and you could totally believe what happened on #14. We like to be entertained. We like to connect. We like to be validated. Clickbait PREYS on this. Stop being the prey. Clickbait is changing the media, and…what happens next, will completely terrify you. Newspapers, magazines, and radio are all starting to fade and in some instances, die out completely. It’s instant gratification. It’s really not a good thing. Clickbait is easy, low hanging fruit. It’s the lowest common denominator. Stop making the minimum the expected. Just freaking stop. Or you’ll have bad luck for 2038 years. Also, can someone define what is “viral”?  TV stations have run news stories on YouTube videos that have a couple hundred views. Is that really “viral”?  I would say “Gangnam Style” by Psy with 2 BILLION views is viral. Seems like you can “go viral” just by declaring it.

10) Using the word “obsession” and all of it’s forms

So and so is “obsessed” with this or that. Because you don’t like someone, they are automatically “obsessed” with it. They can’t be just fans of it like you. They have to be “obsessive” meaning that it’s beyond just being a fan, they are an unhealthy lunatic. They can’t control themselves. They are an addict. They are addicted to it. Your team’s fans are “obsessed” with the refs. Trump is “obsessed” with professional wrestling. Your team’s fans are “obsessed” with defending their crazy coach. It’s all a bunch of crap, but much like Clickbait, it’s a word that grabs your attention. There are instances where obsession rings true. Skip Bayless with Tony Romo, Stephen A. Smith with LeBron James. But genuinely, if someone like something more than you like it, that doesn’t make them obsessed. Oh and stop knocking people for “not being fan enough” when they don’t feel as passionate as you. There is no award for being the “best fan”. You cheer for the same damn team. Act like it.

J.T. Nutt 15 Articles
Staff Writer

JT "the" Nutt graduated from UNI in 2006 and worked at WHO-TV for a few years including Soundoff. JT then spent the past five years covering UNI most recently for On Press Row. He works as a cameraman for the Iowa Wild, Iowa Energy, and Iowa Barnstormers. JT loves the Cubs, UNI, Avalanche, Chargers, beer, hockey, the WWE, and cat memes.

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