Friday, August 21, 2009

Bougie Etiquette Lessons: Social Media 101

This is the world we now live in. I have "friends" that I haven't talked to live in years but we have emailed each other religiously. People that I was happy to leave behind have tracked me down via Facebook or Linked in. And just when I believe I'm "plugged in" enough, someone sends me an invite to some new thing. Seriously now, I have Twitter, Google, Yahoo, digg, Facebook, Blackberry Messenger, AIM and LinkedIn. Today I got an email about something called FriendFeed. I currently have nine (yes 9) email addresses, 2 websites, 3 phone numbers, one physical address and a P.O. Box. Do I really need to be any more accessible than this? I think not.

It does occur to me (regularly) with all of this social media out there that people have seriously (egregiously) relaxed their standards of etiquette when it comes to "new" communication. Being a helpful sort, I've compiled a few tips to steer folks back onto the right path. And yes, all of these examples are real:

  • Who you callin' a B*tch?: What's up with the language, people? I'm posted up in Twitterland (via Tweetdeck) the other day when someone apparently got a little ticked off at a follower. The torrent of language that spewed forth was impressive only in its creative viciousness. Just because we can't hear you say it, doesn't mean we are not offended. Whew! Don't type angry!

  • TMI! (Too Much Information): Why are you all flagrant with the pictures and descriptions of you and your latest boo's weekend away? "We had a nice time" with a picture of you two by the shore is perfect. You and he dry humpin' on the hotel mattress… not hot.

  • More TMI: I know some of ya'll can't get through a day without constant validation that you are important. This means sharing every waking second of your day with folks you really don't know. ETIQUETTE FAIL: Do not tweet anything about your digestive functions… ever. And ladies, we know you are following the ballers thinkin' to catch one but broadcasting your XXX-rated promises of what you will do if he gives you a try? That's skanky.

  • Speaking of Ballers: Ballers, don't get mad that folks are following to see how you act before drafting you for their fantasy football league. It took me two days of following Reggie Bush to see that he is spending more time watching TV, sleeping and making cyberdates than he is working out and hitting the playbook. Ocho Cinco was eating beignets less than four hours before kickoff a week ago. I know this because ya'll steady tweetin'. I cannot draft you if you don't show dedication to your craft, son!

  • Stop begging: Begging, bribing (and threatening) people to follow you on Twitter, accept your Facebook invite or return your text message is just a little bit pathetic. Wouldn't you rather have 6 loyal friends/followers/connections than 6,000 folks you don't know or care about? No? Okay, that's just me. Regardless of what you're being told, it's not a popularity contest. Quality over quantity.

  • Speaking of Quality (FAIL): What's with all the porn chicks on Twitter? At least three times a week, I have to make sure some chick with an "exclusive exotic" website isn't following me and spamming all my followers. I inadvertently clicked on a "Check this Out!" link the other day and all manner of surgically enhanced cleavage was up in my face. Me no like.

  • Get some 007 about yourself: Fellas, your girl can read. And yes, she is checking your Facebook page to see if you've changed your status from "in a relationship" to "it's complicated" after your last fight. She knows who you sent cyber-drinks and cyber-flowers to. She sees you cyber-flirting with HotGirl06. If you are receiving instant messages and text messages after midnight, this is no bueno. No one needs a burning bush to read those signs. If you gotta creep, remember how easy it is to get busted in this day and age. Embedded video (Rated R for language, not work appropriate) below satires folks getting busted because of their Facebook pages…

  • Speaking of CyberFlirting: Watch yourself out there. Some of the things that you say and do "just being friendly" may be interpreted differently by the person who reads them. I had an email earlier this week from a girl who was "heartbroken" that her cyber-fling was cyber-dating someone else… publicly. I had to remind her not to confuse the Internet with real life. They can complement and reflect each other but only one is real. If you've never laid eyes on the person, that's not your boo.

  • That's just rude: Let me see if I understand… you just updated your Facebook and sent twenty tweets but you're not answering your cell? Okay, now you are texting back but still not calling? Someone left you a message two days ago and you respond on Facebook by saying, "Hey what's up, missed your call." This is the number one complaint I hear about the media outlets… people who will tweet, post and text but not talk. What's that about? Tacky, people. Verbal communication still trumps cyber contact. Respond in kind, media to media. That includes the one dude who dumped his girlfriend of 3 years via Facebook also. Cyber equivalent of post-it note to front door. Not classy.

  • GRAMMATICAL FAIL: When you are tweeting and texting, you can say things like CALL U BACK N 2 SEC. But you cannot type like that in your professional correspondence or even your personal email if you want to be taken seriously. U R 2 HOTT 2 BE TRU is not a compliment to anyone over the age of 16. Please use your words.

  • Inappropriate YouTubing/UStreaming: I touched on this earlier with my Why Nekkid rant; let me take it one step further. We don't need to share every moment. You and Pookie and dem ridin' up to the 7-11 for a Slurpee – no one cares. Stop broadcasting your life… it's not that interesting. If it was, they would've optioned it for a reality show by now. (and even then...)

  • No Stalking: If someone hasn't returned your text, email, voicemail… there's probably a reason why. Do not cyberstalk folks by tweeting every hour, SCREAMING (why the ALL CAPS, why?) at them on their various pages and blasting them on your blog. Do not lie in wait on AOL (Yahoo/Google) Messenger for them to login so you can vent. Just move on, people. Just move on.

So in conclusion, let me say: Behavior that is unacceptable in a "real" social context is still not a good idea in cyberspace. I would also advise against thinking you know someone just because you've exchanged tweets for two months straight. For obvious reasons, people tend to get very brave when you are not looking them in the face. They adopt traits and characteristics that may or may not carry over to reality. Not me of course, I'm too busy ironing out the one persona I've got. Only got time enough each day to be Michele. J

Can you think of any social media faux pas that I missed?


SpitGameSpeakTruth said...

LOL! Video was on point! But what IS that when you call someone and 2 seconds later they text back?

Max Reddick said...

Ms. Bougie, I am going to have to insist that you quit reading my mind! I'm with you. Some of what I see just on Twitter is straight foolishness. There is no other way to describe it.

First of all, I little cyber flirting is fine. That's cute. And even a little clever innuendo is acceptable when it's understood that it's all in fun. But full, detailed propositions ain't even cute and ain't sexy. It's downright frightening. I had to shut down my computer and completely unplug it from the wall hiding from @tightnnappy. I knew I shouldn't have been following her anyway, but I was curious.

And then I clicked on a link from someone who wanted me to check out their "site." Well, by site I thought they meant blog. How was I to know that they were an inspiring internet porn star?

But this is the thing. How you going to charge someone to gaze upon your naked splendor when your naked splendor ain't that splendid? I'm preparing my invoice now for even having to see that. Ugh.

Oh, I could go on and on. But I don't want to hog the mike, so I am going to stop now. But I just wanted to get my two cents in.

Max Reddick said...

And another thing. Quit trying to sell me stuff or trying to become a part of your MLM schemes. I understand you are using social networking to expand your business, and that's cool, but no means no. Once I've said no, there's really no need for me to reconsider.

And if I receive another video or audio file from another tone deaf singer or wig-a-dee, wig-a-dee, wack rapper, I am going to do something I might later regret. And don't ask me for my honest opinion if you don't really want honesty.

I'm going to stop for real this time. I'm just monopolizing everyone's time with my rant.

OneChele said...

@Max- no you did NOT just say wiggady-wiggay wack. Since you and I and maybe TWO other readers can name that tune! Ha!

Glen Antoine Palmer said...

LOL. I thought that only happened to me. I will call a friend. No answer. 2 minutes later, I will get a "what's up text". I hate when folks send me invitations to clubs on seriously get my tail in hot water...type clubs. Join "I'm in love with a stripper" club, "I'm a lover of big butts" club, or "Do I have to choke a trick" club. Stop sending me that. My group of friends on Facebook is exclusive to family, close friends, and co-workers. Last thing I need is to get fired or divorced for joining some crazy club.

OneChele said...

@Glen - or shot. The Lady seems like she'd be good for a pellet or two in your hindparts... gracefully done of course ;-)

StillTracie said...

I LOVE this blog, this is GOSPEL right here. Church! Tabernacle! folks have lost they mind with this stuff. Trying to be 2 or 3 different people when the first one wasn't worth a nickel. Um!

uglyblackjohn said...

This (Stalking) and your "Statute of Limitations" piece are one in the same for me.

I was on one of the social networking sites and noticed that the Black girls that I dogged still held a grudge.
I get sent so many angry e-mails asking "Why" that I usually just hit "ignore".

The white, Hispanic and Asian girls were all looking me up and asking when I was coming to visit Cali, Hawaii or where ever.

Is this a cultural thing?

BougieSis said...

UBJ - I'm trying to figure out if your stereotype is based on who you choose to date or not. Could it be that you are not selecting Black and Bougie when you date? I'm just speculating here....

uglyblackjohn said...

@ BS - Maybe...
But I was just curious as to why so many sista's stay mad after a bad break up.
Being that I went from girl to girl or race to race - I just thought it odd that even years later, most of the Black girls were still angry about being dumped for someone other than Black, while the non-Blacks thought nothing of being dumped for a Black girl.

I'm not saying that all women act in this way - only the majority of those who I've dealt with.
The Black women stalk to get even,
The others stalk to get more.

Girl7 said...

@UBJ- What kind of sisters are you messing with? Stalking someone and getting mad about their behavior are worlds apart. I think OneChele's article a week ago about women scorned proved that women of all races can get angry and take it too far.

I am curious to know what you did to all these woman to make them all so angry?

Citizen Ojo said...

UglyblackJohn international lover.. ha ha. I was wondering where all these porn"ish" tweeters were coming from and why they felt the need to reach out to me. Sometimes you sign into twitter and it's late night cinemax...

Anonymous said...

Aw, don't be too harsh about responding to calls with texts or twits or FB updates.

Sometimes Im not in a position to talk on the phone, but I can send a text.

I can send a LOT of texts while driving, in line at a store, waiting at the DMV, at the Dr's office etc. But because Im otherwise engaged, couldn't hold a conversation without having to tell both the person on the phone and the people Im dealing with- hold on, wait etc.

And I know its the same for a lot of other people.


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