"People still use Facebook?!"
Facebook is an interesting place. The big move today is the push to do and say whatever you want wherever you want because... well, freedom of speech. Unfortunately, Facebook is one of the top places to catch yourself in a world of heat because it's not like other forms of social media occupied by younger people. It's full of fiesty suburban moms and grandparents writing "What a beautiful picture. Love, Nan XOXO" under your recent sorority photo.
It's also still heavily occupied by us: 90s babies transitioning from a world of nostalgic memes into the adult world.
There's just one catch: we don't want to let our childhoods go, and it can become painfully obvious via status updates. So, here's a few unwritten rules of Facebook to keep you from coming across as less than your age.
1. Always like your mom's family posts.
If she puts one up for your birthday, you should also acknowledge all her friends who wished you a happy day and have been watching you grow up over the years.
2. Don't troll someone you haven't spoken to in years.
Especially if you're not on good terms. It's one thing to roast your best friend, but trying to roast someone you haven't talked to since freshman year of high school is the equivalent to honking at the person in front of you the second the light turns green; all it does is furrow brows and ruin the next two minutes of someone's day.
Plus, that person is now going to dread looking at your name every time they see it on their feed. They used to associate you with that one conversation at so-and-so's birthday party, but now they just associate you with having nothing better to do than be rude. Keep scrolling and leave it alone.
3. Avoid profanity when you can.
I swear like a sailor, but the whole "if it's posted on the internet, it never really goes away" thing? That's legit. Joking around with your friends around a bonfire is one thing, but including all the words the FCC has banned from broadcast in your shared meme about a side chick is not something for Aunt Barbara to read over her morning coffee. Keep it classy.
4. If you'd wear it on a resume, don't wear it in party photos.
The last thing you should be associating with alcohol is your job or school club logo. Unless there is a specific benefit or event for said organization, leave the logos at home.
5. Don't post jeopardizing photos of anyone.
If it could cost them a job or they simply ask you to not to put it up for whatever reason, don't. If you tag someone in a raunchy or harmful post and they ask you to take it down, do it. There's no reason to jeopardize someone's future in exchange for a quick laugh.
6. Adding an ex is asking for drama.
Whether it's your own or your new SO's, the majority of past relationships should remain just that-- the past. I'm not talking about your two-week middle school fling, but when it's a legitimate adult relationship with legitimate feelings, trying to maintain a "friendship" with said person is just asking for ill feelings somewhere in the triangle. Not worth it.
7. Don't roast a significant other, delete the post and reconcile soon after.
Don't post a long status exposing your cheating dirt-bag ex and then delete it when you decide to get back together three days later. First of all, why are you getting back together with someone you felt compelled to expose to the entire internet? Second, weren't you "so much better off without him" five minutes ago? It's no one's business but your own and a public feed is no place for your intimate problems.
8. Be mindful of your internet friends.
Yes, it's your profile and you can post whatever you want. Just be mindful of the consequences and who you may or may not be pissing off in the process. If you feel the need to restrict yourself because of one or more of your "friends," consider doing some spring cleaning with your friend list-- which leads me to my next point...
9. Purge your profile once every couple years.
I like to use the "On This Day" feature to cleanse my profile of those awful song lyric posts in high school. Facebook makes it clear that no one on your timeline can see it unless you share it, but it doesn't change the fact that it's still on your profile.
We all did dumb things when we first got on social media, but now we're all trying to get and maintain jobs. So go ahead and unlike those weird pages and delete those uncomfortable CamWow selfies from 8th grade.
Thank me later.