All right, people. Google+ is up and running, so now is your chance to start fresh, and to create your network the right way. Here are eight rules to keep you from screwing up your online presence like you did with Facebook and Twitter.
- Remember your friends’ political views before following them. This isn’t a question of whether you agree with them in general. It’s a question of if you love them enough to tolerate the inevitable disagreements. Even if you agree with 99% of what your conservative friends think, you’ll still have to put up with them citing Sarah Palin as a source; likewise, your liberal friends are always a risk for messages about saving the endangered whooping-cough bacteria.
- Don’t friend everyone. On Twitter, some people follow back everyone who follows them. On Facebook, some people accept every friend invitation. If you’re guilty of this, and you’re too scared to unfollow or unfriend, you now have a clean slate. Be selective. Choose wisely. Remember the old adage, “You can pick your friends, and you can pick your nose, but you can’t pick your psuedo-friends’ posts off the page without a big hassle and a guilt trip.” (Sarte, No Exit)
- Don’t invite your mom. This one should be obviou–oh crap. You already did, didn’t you. Geez. Want to talk to your mom? CALL HER. …Fine, whatever, just don’t complain when she starts posting messages like “New Cellphone Virus Can Infect Your Liver”.
- Ladies, no cleavage pics. Honestly, the picture-of-yourself-from-a-high-angle-so-we-can-see-down-your-tanktop? Yeah, you don’t need to do that. We still like you for who you are. Get some self-esteem, and a pic that won’t get your friends in trouble for viewing it at work.
- Men, keep your shirt on. YES, you were at the beach, or jogging, or working on your car and it was really hot out, but 1) it makes you look like a douche, and 2) you’re not Taylor Lautner.* You want to impress the ladies? Wear a tie. They’ll probably imagine your abs even more toned than they are.
- Don’t integrate foursquare. foursquare is fine for letting friends know where you are – if they’re also on foursquare. If you’re posting it outside of foursquare, you are presuming an awful lot. Unless you’re a major celebrity, nobody cares where you’re having your coffee. Especially if you didn’t invite us. Man, that just hurts.
- Stop whining. This is the toughest one. We all do it. I probably do it more than anyone, because my life is so hard. Whether it’s being an orphan, or my chronic pain, or the unfair way– aw, crap, there I go. See? It’s hard to avoid. But it’s also not much fun to hear. If you must complain, at least frame it in a joke, or with some sort of positive spin. Example: “I still can’t believe she dumped me. Well, I guess I better get to work making up crap about how crazy she is.”
- No plagiarizing. If you want to share something, do it the right way. Google+ has a “SHARE” button. It’s right there. Click it. No, don’t copy the message and post it into your own status. No. No. Stop it. Just click the button, you moron. Omigosh I hate you so much. *UNFOLLOW*
* Note to Taylor Lautner: Dude. How do you do it?**
** You’re still not exempt.