MYGirls: Let’s Talk About Social Media Etiquette

Hello young girls!!

So as I previously stated in the introduction to the “MYGirls” Blog Series, we will post various blog entries over the next few months (or how ever long it may take), on topics like Social Media Etiquette, Appearance & Personal Hygiene (and our blogger Emily Jean is ideal to follow for beauty & skin care tips), Academics (our blogger Christina is ideal to follow for education tips), Leadership & Self-Esteem, and more! These blog entries are here for you to read while you are still on summer break (as well as while in school), will serve as helpful guides filled with knowledge, typically gained from experience, to assist you as you leave your mark in the free world of “cyberspace.”

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Social media are very powerful tools used to make personal, political, social, fashion, religious, educational, and familial statements . . . through a wide range of discuss topics. All forms of social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, etc.) allow users to reach out to a large group of people, depending on the sizes of their friendslists, in a short period of time. And depending on the size of a user’s following, said statements can be made on either a national or international level. Imagine the amount of social power!!

The power of social media is so strong, that it can make you . . . or break you. The power of social media can build up or tear down your reputation. The power of social media can leave others thinking your are pretty awesome, or believing things about you that go against your character.

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Have you taken the time to assess what’s in your social media?  Our online profiles allow us to display parts of us that we want others to see and know.  However, some people might gather different messages–you want people to see or know vs. who and what you really are–and the confusion eventually makes its way to the surface.  And that is how others form their perceptions of you.

So, what kind of social media users are you in your friendslists?

  1. Do you know the Over-Sharer?  She’s the one who shares every waking moment of her life, from the time she yawned when she first woke up in the morning, to the color of toothpaste she uses, to the temperature she set the oven on to bake biscuits for breakfast.  Note how those three examples are just in the morning . . . because the Over-Sharer will also have a list of afternoon movements, and evening step-by-step commentary.  People are interested in current happenings, but nobody needs to know how many steps there are from your bedroom to the bathroom, or any other behind-the-scenes footage of things majority of your friends do everyday.
  2. Do you know the Semi-Celebrity?  She’s the one who makes it a point to share celebrity-oriented status updates.   She may or may not do any real work in the entertainment industry, but that does not stop her from blasting her industry involvement to her world of viewers.  She wants to feel important, like a hot topic (perhaps influenced by gossip media), so majority of her posts are of pictures posed with celebrities, parties, events at which she managed to walk to red carpet, and anything else that can persuade people to identify her with Hollywood.  She looks for haters for self-validation.
  3. Do you know the Bragger?  She, similar to the Semi-Celebrity, makes it a point to post everything new in her life, especially expensive purchases.  She will make sure to post pictures of the new items purchased by her, her parents, or even her boyfriend:  wardrobe selections, expensive designer labels, new or newly-washed car (particularly if she or someone in her life has managed to purchase a Mercedes, BMW, Lexus, or any other luxury vehicle), her new hairstyle, her new makeup collection or makeup job done by the makeup artist from the makeup store.  Unfortunately, her aim is to build herself up by making others jealous or envious, with various status updates and photos uploaded in the spirit of “I have one, you don’t.”  She, like the Semi-Celebrity, also looks for haters for self-validation.
  4. Do you know the Pessimist?  She is the one who sees everything negatively in life.  Nothing positive comes from her.  Instead of being happy for waking up in the morning, she is irritated that she woke up a few minutes before her alarm.  Instead of being happy about heading to work, she is frustrated about traffic (something completely out of her control).  Every post has #FML, “forget my life” (even though the F word isn’t exactly “forget”) attached at the end.  A neighbor is always bothering her.  A family member is always getting on her nerves.  Everyone is hating on her.
  5. Do you know the Argument Lover?  She’s the one who debates every political bill, every current event, every news story, every historical fact, every theory, every social construct, every double standard, every form of racism, prejudice, discrimination, and social injustice, for the sake of forcing her views onto others with no regard to differences in views and opinions.  She does not rest until everyone with whom she is arguing (though she might think she is “debating”), sees her point, and she does not understand how people are allowed to “agree to disagree.”  She may feel threatened by someone who does not share the same views and opinions as hers, and quickly shuts downs if she cannot dominate a discussion.
  6. Do you know the Over-Sexual Attention Seeker?  She is the one who dresses way too sexy (short shorts, tight skirts, dresses & jeans, low-cut tops exposing her cleavage, wearing only bra & panties, etc.), not appropriate for her age, and takes suggestive photos to upload in order to get attention from boys.  She sees how some women conduct themselves in entertainment media (music videos, magazines, TV shows, movies), and attempts to emulate what she sees, because she feels that is what gets boys to like her or find her attractive.  Unfortunately she gets her self-image of beauty from the way others see her . . . sexually.
  7. Do you know the Know-It-All?  She is the one who feels as though she has the answer for everything, much like the Argument Lover.  With the exception of things that have only one right answer, she feels as though her answers to various topics are the only answers that anyone can, or should, be able to think of.  She always “knows” about everything, has seen and done everything, and can give you a better recount of everything than if you were to try anything yourself.

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I think at some point, everyone can find at least one person in their friendslist who fits into one of these descriptions.  Be sure to assess your friends, and then see about yourself.  Check how YOU utilize social media.  Why?  Because people are watching, and not just your friends.  Your family members are watching.  Your teachers, school officials, and/or coaches could be watching.  The founders and presidents of your clubs & organizations could be watching.  If any of you managed to get summer jobs, your bosses could be watching, and many companies will hire or fire you based on your online profiles.  Be mindful that you could very well fall into one of these descriptions.  From experience, I’ve fallen into at least three of these categories before!!

Use social media to your advantage.  Make the most of your online profiles, in a positive light.  Let people know you know goodness, not drama.  Let people see you as a person to whom they can come for inspiration.  You’re an awesome young girl . . . show the world!!

-Kahlelah, “MYGirls”

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