As I’ve mentioned, I’ve taken up an account on Gab and have been using it mostly to re-post my daily entries from here. But this, my first real foray into social media, (and, honestly, I’m pretty disappointed) has left me with some thoughts on how one might make effective use of this kind of social platform. So, without further ado, here are some thoughts on things I think you should and shouldn’t do on social media.
- Present your source. If you’re referring to a news story or piece of commentary, link to the original source. Don’t make people dig back through another blog post through a Twitter post through something else to find the original article. If you can’t find a source, don’t post.
- Add some of your own thoughts. Don’t just present a piece of news; tell people what you think of it. And tell people why you think that.
- And as to that; don’t tell people how you feel. Tell people what you think. If you don’t know the difference, well, you need more help than I can give you in a blog post.
- Point and laugh. Stupid people should be conspicuous; feel free to point out stupidity wherever you find it. And, sadly, there’s plenty of it to go around.
- Honesty matters. Tell the truth. Always. Bill Whittle has already given the reasons for this better than I could.
- Before pulling the trigger on a post, think for a few moments about counter-arguments someone might make. Address them in advance.
- Use emojis sparingly, if at all. Unless you don’t mind looking like a twelve-year-old girl texting her friends.
- Use proper spelling, grammar and punctuation. It’s not about being a spelling or grammar Nazi; it’s about not looking like a moron.
- Make shit up. Seriously, it’s bad that this even needs to be mentioned, but it happens all too often that people just make crap up out of whole cloth. People on all sides of the political landscape do it, and it makes all of them look like idiots.
- And as to that; if you’re suspicious of something you see, look into it a little bit before posting it. If you can’t verify that X actually said Y, don’t post it. If you post something that’s easily dis-proven, again, it just makes you look like an idiot.
- Post a dozen or more dumb memes a day. Once in a while, sure, but if all you’re posting is memes, you really need to re-think your online presence.
- Add “Like and re-post if you agree!” to every post. It’s annoying.
- Overlook stupidity in favor of The Side. People who you would otherwise agree with who are posting stupid shit should be called out, perhaps even more than people in opposition; they hurt, not help, your causes.
- Re-post everything in your feed. It just clogs up the feed of anyone who is following you.
- Announce when you’re muting/blocking someone. It doesn’t help anything and looks petty. I make very sparing use of those functions and do not believe I have ever mentioned doing so, even back as far as Usenet.
- Belabor the obvious. Especially one-sentence posts stating something that everyone on the planet already knows. It’s just useless clutter.
My first foray into social media has left me with… well, mixed opinions. The noise-to-signal ratio is really bad. On the other hand, there are some little groups that I enjoy; one on rural living, for instance, and another for Alaska residents. While I never was on Facebook or Twitter, I tried Parler briefly until it was taken down, and now on Gab, and honestly I don’t know how long I’ll bother. You have to wade through a lot of real crap to find any honest content, and I have plenty of good, intelligent sources – just see my blogroll for a few.
All in all, I think I’ll just keep Animal Magnetism going. I like it here. I hope all of you do too.