By Miriam Hammer
I have often been told that I am a rather opinionated person. I cannot argue this fact, and while my outspoken personality can sometimes put me in unfavorable situations, it is an advantagious quality when writing for the Opinions section.
As our generation has become completely immersed in social media, I have developed a certain attitude towards what I like to call “Social Media Etiquette.” Like much of our generation, I look forward to reading my Twitter, Instagram and Facebook feeds as a way to pass time and catch up on what my friends are doing. I have, however, become increasingly annoyed with some popular trends that have inundated social media as of late.
I will start with the clichéd and completely impersonal birthday collages. Holy shit, people. Relax with the birthday collages. First of all, we get that it is your friend’s birthday. We understand that you two may be close and perhaps you have shared a lot of memories together, but please stop posting proof of this on Instagram and Facebook for everybody else to see. If you want to let your best friend know that you love her, how about writing her a birthday card or paying them a phone call? Finding the prettiest pictures of you two together and arranging them into an aesthetically pleasing pic-stitch is unsentimental and more than a little narcissistic. I very rarely see these posts as being heartfelt, but rather as a way for individuals to call attention to themselves on a day that is actually meant for something else.
Let’s move on to “Throwback Thursdays.” I respect a good ‘tbt’ just as much as the next guy, but there is absolutely no need to post one every single week. Yes, you were cute. News flash! All babies are cute. It has gotten to the point where I avoid social media all together on Thursdays so as to not be bombarded by heavily filtered Instagram photos of already faded prints. I appreciate an entertaining tbt every now and then, but I find most of the baby pictures that flood my social media feeds on Thursdays overkill. People will find any excuse to post pictures of themselves, and the tbt trend is no different.
The last social media trend I find unnecessary applies only to Instagram. It really confuses me that people continue to tag #nofilter underneath their pictures. What are you bragging about? That your picture is so great it doesn’t need an Amaro or Valencia filter? I mean, before Instagram existed, every picture was #nofilter. This hashtag is yet another pointless trend of the digital age.
I know that these trends are never going to stop in their entirety, but all I ask of my readers is that you think about what you are putting up on social media before you do it. Think about whether or not it is going to benefit your audience in any way. Much of the time this will not be the case.
There is no denying that a lot of what people love about social media, myself included, is that it promotes your life experiences in a rather self-absorbed way. But, maybe try to limit yourself to one birthday collage or ‘tbt’ a month. Next time you want to celebrate your friend, take her out to lunch. Next time you find a really cute picture of yourself, send it to your Grandma. I, and the rest of the internet-loving world, will thank you.
Fun fact I learned while writing this article: Unlike the words “Twitter” and “Facebook,” “Instagram” has yet to be accepted by the Microsoft Office Suite dictionary.