Every day when I peruse Facebook, I find myself asking an important question: Whose content am I going to block today? I’ve been blessed with a good number of friends, but unfortunately not even half of them are any good at online sharing. It’s not that they’re bad people; they just don’t understand some very important tenets.
It is a commonly held misconception that sharing should only be about what you find interesting. If that were the case, the only person you’d be sharing with would be yourself. That would be weird. It shouldn’t merely be about what you care about, but what you think others will find interesting or benefit from.
The rules of sharing are quite simple. In fact, I could sum them up with one statement: Stop sharing crap. I understand that may be a little broad, so let me carefully articulate what I mean. A simple definition should get us rolling. The second and third entry for crap from dictionary.com:
2. Slang: Sometimes Vulgar.
a. nonsense; drivel.
b. falsehood, exaggeration, propaganda, or the like.
3. refuse; rubbish; junk; litter. [Will you stop putting that crap on Facebook?]
That’s right — drivel, junk and falsehoods are the majority of what we have to dive through every time we log on. Now that we have a definition, let’s take a look at what might constitute such an offense.
Status updates should confer either original, pertinent or useful information. Any one of the following would be considered an offense:
1. Song Lyrics
You’re not deep and we’re not feeling your angst.
2. Statements That Lack Context
Reading “I’m sooooooo happy ;)” just wasted a small part of my life that I will never get back.
3. Cryptic Messages
We know you want us to, but we’re not going to ask.
4. Anything Written In All Caps
Your parents couldn’t keep you off Facebook, but I’ll keep you off my news feed.
5. Vitriolic attacks aimed at a particular race/religion/political party.
Although ignorance is the pervasive internet culture, it shouldn’t be.
Videos should contain content that instructs, entertains or inspires. Videos that do not count toward these goals include:
1. Videos of Your Kids
Unless they are tightrope-walking across a pond of saltwater crocodiles, I’m not interested.
2. Any Popular Artist’s Latest Music Video
I already saw that on Youtube, plus, I’m going to navigate away from this page in about 6 seconds.
3. Anything taken with a feature phone. Especially live concert shorts.
The video is too grainy and the sound is too muffled. Please learn what the rest of us knew 5 years ago.
Pictures are similar to their motion-picture counterparts, i.e. they should entertain, inspire and so forth. There are a few more rules to consider when dealing with this particular medium.
Images of the following type constitute an offense:
1. The same scene two seconds after you took the first picture.
I don’t care if you look better in this one, everyone else looked better in the first.
2. Pictures that are devoid of value, yet you post them anyway because your boobs look better than usual.
It’s distracting, and there are better, healthier ways to gain self-esteem.
3. Anything horribly disgusting. This includes pictures of birth, surgery, death, mutilation, and various bodily fluids.
I shouldn’t have to explain this.
I’d like to say that these are the only rules necessary to learn, however we’ve only begun to scratch the surface. People are finding new ways every day to post disgusting, offensive or valueless content. Please report sharing habits that you find offensive in the comments. What are people sharing with you?