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You wouldn’t invite one of your co-workers to stroll into your bedroom when you and your babe just got done bustin’ it up. You wouldn’t allow your next door neighbor to sit in with you while your feet were in the stirrups during a visit to the ob/gyn. You wouldn’t give a friend of a friend of a friend the green light to rifle through your W-2s and take a peek at your checking account. So why oh why oh why would you voluntarily broadcast all of your personal affairs and publicize your innermost thoughts on Facebook or Twitter?

Put your hands in the air and step away from the keyboard, ma’am. You need a social media time out.

The statuses I’m seeing as of late are appalling, and they aren’t all coming from 13 and 14-year-olds, either. They’re being slapped up by grown, bill-paying men and women who, in a moment of fury, frustration, or complete and total cluelessness, use their 420 or 140 character limit to say exactly what’s on their minds, exactly what’s going on in their lives at that very moment, or exactly what they’re feeling deep, deep inside. That can be funny if they have a witty observation to make or a random question to ask. Love those.

But I get nervous when someone fires off all kinds of emotional mess and gets to tagging folks in the post. Then, when I come back 20 minutes later, there’s a string of 118 comments and she’s got two less friends than she had when I was there the first time. Yikes. Don’t love those.

Social media is not a journal, y’all. And the world—or your 1,346 friends or followers—don’t need to know that you’re over in your corner of the country having a Snapped moment. You, in essence, are opening doors to every part of your you-ness for just any ol’ body to walk through. It’s not the place for you to air the same kind of grievances or offload the same kind of tales you would share with your bestie during girl talk time. I don’t care how many lists or what kind of privacy settings you have. Some things are better left unsaid… at least on social media.

Hell, if you ask me, it’s not even the place for you to post pics of yourself in your itty bitty teensy weensy string bikini that you took while you were on vacation in Acapulco. Who wants Peanut and Boo Boo from your neighborhood back home leering over your boobs and forwarding the shots to all of their nasty friends? Fool around and end up on World Star Hip Hop in a Photoshopped sex pic. No thanks. And even if that never happens, that is just TMI. Every pic you ever take does not need to be uploaded to the web and everything you’re thinking does not need to become public knowledge.

That’s especially for the gals who like to complain about their baby fathers and brag about the prowess of their current boyfriends. But, for my sake and yours, if you’re going to do it, can you please run it through spell check first? A please and a thank you.

When you whip out your phone to launch into a multi-message rant—because we all know somebody on Facebook or Twitter who will pimp smack your whole news feed, going off about something that you have to scroll 15 posts back to even begin to figure out what they’re even fussing about—you’re acting on impulse, and a bad one at that.

And sometimes, bless the Lord, folks aren’t even upset and they’re saying off the hook stuff. They’ll try their hand at sounding flirty and just come off like everybody’s favorite good time girl. They’ll rant about their jobs knowing full well they have co-workers in their digital midst, just waiting to copy and paste that joint into a the body of a fresh email and circulate, circulate, circulate. Or they’ll have an argument with someone in real life—maybe in person, maybe on the phone, maybe over email—then take to Facebook or Twitter to vent about the very same individual, who’s also one of their friends. One can only talk covertly slick but so much before the other is hopefully bright enough to make the connection between that conversation and the thinly veiled posts and tweets.

So please, I implore you, adult woman with Facebook and Twitter accounts, please use restraint and discretion once you put that username and password in. When you’re happy, the whole world is happy with you. When you’re sad, we’re sad with you. When you’re mad or when you’re off the chain, we just want you to take a moment to breathe deep and regroup before you square off on your status.

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  • JS

    I think social media is a way to express yourself and for others to express themselves as well. Do some people take it too far? Of course, but ultimately it is their page and you control whether or not you see their posts. If you don’t like it, unfriend or unfollow. But you can’t tell someone what to post just because you don’t agree with it or because you wouldn’t do it.

  • Candy1

    That’s why I don’t really do Facebook too much. I had deactivated my account, but I logged back in so I could get updates on my favorite local club. I don’t really use it anymore. I have my page as private as possible, and the only time I update my status is when I have a funny or profound observation to put out there. I don’t want people knowing when I have a conflict with my man, bedroom activities, or if my kids are acting up. I also don’t post those “hidden messages” aimed at people because I’m not a punk, don’t need 20 people to make me feel like I’m right in the situation (that is so pathetic), and can easily call the offender up and confront them about the problem.

  • Social Media is what you make it. There’s no etiquette book. What you don’t like delete. You’re just as bad complaining about things that can be changed.