A Fraternity Man’s Guide to Social Media

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Scientists will tell you that social media is unhealthy for you; the Fraternity Man says your vices are your own and it’s not Facebook’s fault you have FOMO or needlessly gloat.

Am I a social media expert? No. Probably not. But you’re here – stay a while.

Without frills: The uses for a variety of popular social media channels and tips to avoid upsetting yourself and your pals.

What it is: The gist of it is that Facebook is Myspace but bigger than Myspace ever was and so it’s death is slower and more destructive. Myspace was “A Place for Friends” that turned into parents and people bullying each other online. Then Justin Timberlake bought it and everyone remembered he was a jerk to Britney Spears and it failed again.

What you should use it for: Staying in touch. Share pictures of life events, connect with friends old and new about inside jokes. Basically it’s a great place to connect with friends while connecting to the internet. If Google search was entirely curated by people you know and (some) people you respect.

Don’t be a tool while using this tool:

  • If you attended a friend’s wedding or birthday, thank that friend on their timeline. Stop making everything about you. “Loved going to my nieces baptism!” with a photo of you alone in front of a church can be, “Thank you for having me; it was wonderful!”
  • It’s not all about you 2: If you have an opinion or product, set up a page, invite people to it, and advertise to the people who chose to opt in to whatever you’re doing.
  • Don’t hunt down others who post things you disagree with to make a public spectacle. If you disagree, and you want to come to a point of understanding, reach out via text or Facebook message. If not, move on.
  • Everything you post is Facebook’s, so make your page public and post only what you want people to see. Privacy policies are smoke and mirrors to get you to share more. 

What it is: Sort of like going to a conference of peddlers and one-uppers with your profession tattooed on your face and a deep desire to look professional in spite of whatever you send to friends on Snapchat.

What you should use it for: Exploring topics that interest you and conversing about it. You’ll still see people share things that are political or outside of your areas of interest, but it seems as if people are more genuine in seeking out conversation on LinkedIn.

Don’t be a tool while using this tool:

  • Talk about things that genuinely interest you; things you would consider passions or professions. You can write articles on LinkedIn and it’s easy to send someone a message or get lots of feedback on an idea. Save casual life moments for your friends on Facebook.
  • Don’t connect with people just to peddle your product – unless you’ve met and talked about it beforehand.
  • LinkedIn people are better at self-policing than on other networks. If you go too far politically you will be reprimanded. Keep it professional, but professional doesn’t mean boring. 

 

 

What it is: People attempting to get companies to pay attention to them and give them free stuff or to get celebrities to apologize by bombarding them with 140 character messages and politicians saying absolutely nothing of value in 140 characters. Also Ellen Degeneres.

What you should use it for: It’s hard to say. You’ll encounter a lot of crap. Twitter is a great place to learn new jokes, watch live streams, poll an audience, partake in a poll, and be angry.

Don’t be a tool while using this tool:

  • Fight the urge to respond to political tweets of any kind
  • Block every news source on twitter and mute everyone with whom you disagree. (If you block them they’ll screenshot your page and make a huge spectacle out of it to pretend like your blocking them is a trophy)
  • Use gifs, learn to enjoy sarcasm, develop thick skin and refer to yourself as a warrior in the mirror before logging on. (It’s rough; that’s why it’s the least cool of all of these)

What it is: People trying to be famous by making their lives look exclusive and unattainable and succeeding.

What you should use it for: Being creative. Instagram is a great place to let your geek show; people are looking for images or videos that’ll make them feel something; so don’t just repost whatever you put on Facebook or Twitter on Instagram.

Don’t be a tool while using this tool:

  • Show the real side of you once every so often. Let a crack in your perfection show here and there. You’ll better connect, even if your “brand” is perfection.
  • Don’t repost what you post on Facebook or Twitter, because it’s probably political and we want art, not something you thought was “important to share” because you want all of your friends to look up to you as an influencer.

The gist of maintaining your cool on social media is finding a way to mind your business and using these channels to connect with friends or people you may like.

You’ll never be perfect, just try to say “no” to your impulses once in a while.

The general rule of thumb is share what you like on your channels and respect what other people share and expect them to respect what you do. If you have too many opinions, create a website, like I did, and allow people the option of tuning in.

On that note. . .  you can subscribe to FraternityMan.com. Did you know that? Top-ish right.

Also, I didn’t include Snapchat. I still don’t get it. I need a youngster to write that one for me. Send it to [email protected] ;).