Another year has come and gone, and it’s time to get excited about 2013. Before you do, however, you also need to leave some stuff behind – namely, all of the horribly annoying things you’re doing online that used to be funny or acceptable and simply aren’t anymore. Not at all. Not even a little bit. Seriously, I’m going to strangle every last person with a USB cord if they do any of these things come January 1.
Consider this fair warning. These are the things you’re longer allowed to do on the Internet. Ever. Never again, OK guys? I beg of you. Onward and upward!
Stop incorrectly using hashtags
The hashtag has reached a sort of social ubiquity despite the fact that it’s not functional everywhere. Seriously, people are starting to say the word “hashtag” in conjunction with what they believe is some sort of clever or trademarkable term. It’s terrible. Stop it. Just stop it. The hashtag was an incredibly simple, elegant function that Twitter first popularized thanks to the ingenuity of its early users, and now we’re all ruining it.
So stop updating your Facebook statuses with them or littering your Tumblr posts with them. And if you’ve synced Twitter to outside sites and it’s pushing them right along, just go ahead and un-sync. Or diligently delete. And for the sake of all things good in this world, please stop saying it out loud.
Check out the first minute and a half of this video. This guy knows what’s up.
Stop Instagramming screenshots
As someone who finds herself incredibly hilarious, I understand the drive to share the witty things you and your friends say to each other with the rest of the world. We are all privileged to read these gems. However, there is a time and place, my friends, and it is not Instagram. The app is supposed to be filled with lovely pictures of sunrises, elegantly set tables, and adorable cat upon adorable cat. Seeing the filtered (seriously?) conversation you just had with your best friend somehow ruins the experience. Yes, you two are very funny. Yes, I appreciate that topical reference you made. No, you do not need to throw on a Walden filter and add some blur to it.
Stop demanding the Dislike button
I love to hate on Facebook posts as much as the next person, but it is time to give up on the Dislike button. It seems like every few months, someone says something about a Dislike button, and then the rumor spreads like wildfire and all these users come out of nowhere begging for the feature. There are a ridiculous amount of groups dedicated to promoting the Dislike button. C’mon, world. We’re better than this. There’s already so much hate-spewing going on, do we really need to introduce a non-committal, passive way to tell people we dislike them and their food photos? Just bad mouth them behind their backs. Some things are sacred.
Stop making fun of Myspace
We get it, Myspace was of a different era. For many of us, it was our first stab at social networking. It came about when a certain age group – many of Facebook’s inaugural users – were in middle school and high school. Meaning we were the worst and we made it the worst. It’s not Myspace’s fault the place was riddled with selfies taken in front of bathroom mirrors and moody song lyrics and creepy 8th graders asking for your a/s/l. We were those creepy 8th graders, guys. Any social network that gave us governance at that point in our lives (which, might I add, was during our Internet innocence too, so seamless posting and app integration was but a twinkle in the Web’s eye) was going to get similar results.
Sure, it’s hilarious to look back on what Myspace was and get a chuckle out of it, but there were a lot of reasons why the ridiculousness of it culminated the way it did. Just … people in glass houses, OK?
Stop not using your Spotify private session option
When Spotify first launched in the U.S., its tight integration with Facebook meant many of us were unintendedly sharing our listening habits with our Facebook friends. “Yikes” doesn’t begin to explain the potential embarrassment. However, Spotify heard our pleas and introduced an option for private listening. It’s right here. It looks like this. All you have to do … is click that. Then listen to Justin Bieber all you want.
Now you have no excuse. So please, if you’re going on a marathon Spotify session during a long drive or while you’re at work, hit that toggle up.
Stop updating your status in third person
I distinctly remember sophomore year of college when Facebook first introduced the Status Update bar (man, the way my generation dates itself gets weirder and weirder). Facebook prompted you to add something here next to your name, and it seemed natural to type in third person – i.e., “Molly McHugh … is eating cereal and watching Roswell with her roommates” (just a safe assumption).
But that was a kinder, simpler time. Now, we all know that doesn’t fly – and just makes you look like a crazy person. Just start posting links to Game of Thrones meme blogs and telling us how your vacation is going in first person, like everyone else. Weirdo.
Stop believing those “see who’s looking at your profile” apps
Because they won’t let you see who’s looking at your profile. As with the Dislike button hype, every few months a social site – usually Facebook – is subjected to some sort of spam post that goes viral, linking users to a supposed application that will show them who’s stalking their Facebook. This is pure nonsense. You know what actually happens? You click that link; you download malware; you start unintentionally spamming the bejesus out of your friends. And they will hate you for it.
Also, it makes you look a little needy. You were so desperate to see who’s been combing through your profile that you clicked what obviously reads like a bot-posted update? I mean, we all want to know (don’t deny it, you’re not above it), but it’s best to leave some things to mystery. And not to download malware.
Stop overloading on emojis
Emojis have somehow made their way into pop culture en force. First, they became a staple of texting (at least for some of us. I think I used a smiley face emoticon once in 7th grade and promptly hated myself for it and swore off all that), but SMS wasn’t enough for them. Oh no, not even close: They’ve taken over Facebook chatting, and most messaging apps in general. Instagram is increasingly full of them too – and sometimes, it’s just too much. Do we need an applause emoji? One of a guy riding a horse? What is this nonsense? What emotion, exactly, does horseback riding convey? Let’s all just calm down on the emojis a little. Everybody be cool.