Taking It Back to the Old School (2004)

Facebook turns 11 this month. Happy birthday, time suck!

Lately I’ve been having a Facebook issue.

Not a “what the EFF have you done to my timeline, now, Zuckerberg??” issue. More like a “What the EFF is this even all about?” kinda issue.

I’ve never been one to hair-flip off of social media when someone pissed me off. I enjoy social media, and for a while, it even paid the bills.¬†But lately, I’ve been thinking about the relationships we form on Facebook and how that carries over into real life. The beauty of Facebook is significant, I think. Keeping up with friends and family, old and new, in a way that would never be possible 20 years ago. Celebrating our achievements and milestones together. Reaching out when times are bleak. Reconnecting with lost loved ones. Hell, laughing at George Takei. Those are all good and real things.

But then there’s the bad. So much bad, sometimes. Ugliness, drama, annoyances, VAGUEBOOKING. All of that can make us all SWEAR we are DONE with this WASTE OF TIME and we are NEVER logging back on AGAIN. Except, we do. We always do.

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The Rules of Photo Sharing

So I don’t blog any more, but when I do blog, it’s to complain. I don’t ¬†mean to not blog; I actually think daily of something I’d love to write about, but then I have to finish up work, and then go pick Simon up and pray that he didn’t maim somebody at school that day, then go home, then go get Declan and spend 30 minutes herding him and Simon out of his school, then cook dinner, then go to the gym/drink a beer/lay on the couch and die. I’ve been busy. Please forgive me.

As a token of my regret, I’d like to offer a service, FREE OF CHARGE, to all my friends out there. Now that I work as a “Social Media Coordinator,” (yes, that is my actual title, which I love) I can say that I “Facebook for a living,” which means I’m an expert and you should listen to me. As the holidays approach, you guys are going to be cooking and traveling and decorating and doing all kinds of shit that you want to photograph and Instagram and post all over the place and that is GREAT. However. Based on what I’ve seen so far, and it’s only 5 days out from Thanksgiving, some of y’all are not clear on the rules of Facebook Photo Album Sharing. So today, I’m taking the time out of my very busy life, to explain how to share your photos in a way that won’t make your friends cuss you from their computer monitors. Because they have been. I promise.

  1. We’ll start with the easy ones. If it’s blurry, don’t post it.
  2. If it’s too dark, don’t post it.
  3. If you have to explain what it is because no one can tell, don’t post it.
  4. If in doubt, don’t post it.
  5. Limit tourist attraction shots. Yes, seeing the Eiffel Tower or Statue of Liberty or Grand Canyon is AMAZING and I’m happy for you! So one shot of it will do. Because you know why? I have Google.
  6. The number of photos in any given album from an event or trip should be less than 100. Truly. I enjoy my friends’ photos of vacations and parties and events. I really do. But I don’t have time or energy to scroll through 265 photos of “Day 1 at the Beach!” or “Mamaw Opens Presents at her 95th!” Pick a few of your best to post and put the rest on Shutterfly or Snapfish or even just a folder on your computer. Because Facebook isn’t for photo STORAGE, it’s for photo SHOWCASING.
  7. No excuse for sideways photos. None.
  8. Don’t include the outtakes. If you are trying to get a good shot, but in the first 16, eyes are closed, someone sneezes, a car drives in front of you, or you forget the flash, just delete those. Nobody wants to see how the sausage is made, remember.
  9. If it’s a bad photo of yourself, you don’t have to post it! I look GREAT in all of my photos. BECAUSE I AM IN CONTROL. Don’t post a photo of yourself and then go “Ugh, this one is horrible!” Delete it, move on.
  10. Have the same respect for your friends/family. If the photo is great of you, but your wife has her eyes closed and is looking down so she has a triple chin, be nice. Crop it or delete it. Come on.

This about covers it. Photos don’t have to be perfect or staged or filtered or edited. But they need to be pleasing and interesting. Remember your audience and their time. If you want me interested in your life, make it appear interesting. Fake it til you make it! We all appreciate it.