Norms and
Etiquette for

Social networks, dating apps, WhatsApp chats and Internet forums have turned into a dumping site of awkward, offensive and dispensable remarks. Talent –which abounds– goes unnoticed among the great deal of opinions nobody asked for.

Not only are we getting used o empty criticism, free judgement and hyperbolic headlines: we’ve completely grown accustomed to bad manners. People that disappear from a chat without saying goodbye, people that share contents without saying where they were taken from, people that only exhibit themselves… People, to be honest, that are quite unbearable.

If you don’t wish to appear as unbearable to your fellow being, I invite you –with care and a lot of respect– to follow this easy norms and etiquette principles for men in this our digital age:

Norms and Etiquette for Technological Boys – O Production Company

GIF by Luis Mazón

1. If you have the same followers in all social networks, don’t share the same contents in all of them. You might be very proud of that still life that looks spontaneous but has a fake rural background, but your colleagues might not value it as it deserves if they see it in Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

2. Leaving without saying goodbye is very ugly, in life, and in chats. If you are going to abandon a conversation, bid farewell before doing it, please. 

3. Don’t drink alcohol. Well, do what you please, but not when you have social networks at hand. You can make a big fuss. Be careful, because by the time you are sorry, it might be too late. 

4. Don’t buy drugs. I mean, if you want to, look for them in your local black market, not social networks. In Grindr, Blendr, Tinder and so forth it’s relatively frequent, but they might be of poor quality, and why taking unnecessary risks? 

5. Those meant-to-be funny games to know “Your superhero name”, or “Which would be your political party” or “Your porn star name” based on your initials or birth date are funny (and not that much) the first time round. Abstain yourself from posting them if they have been going around your profile for a week. It’s better not to add anything to a boutade that isn’t even viral than to do it late and badly.

6. Stealing is very bad per se. We’ve been taught this forever and should have internalised it by now. So please do not get hold of what isn’t yours. This means: cite the source from which you got your content, include hashtags or even tag it. We don’t need to go as far as Cabronazi, the rough humour web site that includes its name and logo everywhere so that everybody knows the joke came from them (even if they stole from somewhere else in the first place).  

7. Giving likes right left and centre will make you appear like a person with no judgement.  

8. Never giving likes will make you appear like a hermit. One of those sinister people that live life without living it. One of those people that fixedly stare at other people on the bus. One of those that hide a katana sword under the bed. Yep, one of those.

9. LinkedIn is a social network to date, haven’t you found that out already? Yes, it’s the only one in which etiquette prevails and where you know the status and cultural level of your possible partners.  

10. Dating apps, like Tinder, are the perfect example of bad manners, barbarity and blocking. There is a popular  that compiles all sorts of outrages published on it to know what you might find in there. What Tinder hides ranges from kind of “rough” sexual proposals or insults… to big time sentimental desperation. If you’re going to use that blessed app, treat others the way you would like to be treated. That is the secret to become a successful seducer. And patience, a lot of patience.  

11. Don’t be silent. Having Twitter account not to use it, being on Facebook like a statue or sharing WhatsApp chats but never saying anything will have you catalogued as an anti-social individual, a gossip or a voyeur or have you forgotten to the point that even if you die it will be months before anybody finds your corpse because nobody will miss you. 

12. Your online life is your online life. By which I mean: it’s not your son’s, no matter how cute he appears every time he grabs a piece of bread or wears a cap. It’s not your cat’s either. It’s not even your life: just a projection of it. It’s generally a lot sadder than that: is the way of life you’d love to lead, the one you want to exhibit but don’t have at all. Take care of it and don’t show how sad your real life is, please. 

13. Read previous comments before posting anything, please. People repeating things are very tiresome. People joining conversations of people they don’t know without having a clue whether the ones talking are islamic terrorists talking in code, members of a bdsm society or a bunch of close friends, are very awkward indeed. Sometimes they even become very aggressive, blowing up conversations on other people’s walls! Please don’t do this. 

14. Not all selfies are bad manners: but they imply absence, emptiness, worries and/or lack of security in oneself. Bear in mind that behind a focused image, with the right background and correct expression, there is a great deal of work on composition, a great deal of time spent practising an absurd amount of Zoolanderesque expressions and more than thirty deleted previous photographs. Is that what you really want others to know about you?  

15. We all have a very clear notion of what stalking, and also cyber-stalking, is. I’m sure you find it a disgraceful and horrible notion. But think about what you do when you like someone: checking their last WhatsApp connection, looking at their profiles, seeing what kind of things they like, opening every link they post, giving them “likes” as though that gave you more numbers in a sort of date lottery… What do you call that again? 

16. Even if you’ve known someone through Badoo, the most horrible app to find a partner, you should send this person a message the day after coupling. This should be taught at school and at home. It’s not that difficult to send “I had a lot of fun yesterday”, or “I’d love to see you again”, or “Oral sex is not your thing”, but something, for god’s sake!

17. Changing your profile pic every ten minutes makes your followers dizzy, apart from implying a sense of insecurity and lack of something better to do.  

18. Sending too many emojis, talking about future drunkenness or posting pictures far too “casual” will make you appear not too formal. We live in an unfair world, I know, but you need to adapt: be rigorous and formal with your social networks or don’t add your boss, in-laws and the likes. You won’t have to put up with their reproachful looks. 

19. If you are a creative type (that means, neither a tax inspector nor a prison warden) don’t devote your social networks to promote your work. Someone else’s self-promotion can be very tiresome. If, like a good hipster, you’re a bad photographer, journalist, designer and bike mechanic (this is now very hipster and trendy), don’t show up your feats every three and a quarter hours, please. I recommend you to create a professional profile to separate your followers (if you have any) and your friends (if you still have any). It’s a lot more practical.  

20. We know everybody does it, but it’s a bit awful to post more and more pics every time you get out of your village. It would seem you’d never seen the sea, or a sunset, or five people together celebrating something before. Please don’t be a peasant and learn to admire the wonderful routines that surround us. You need to be consistent. 

21. Pictures showing feet at the beach or the swimming pool are particularly punishable; and if, on top of that, there’s a book, it could be indictable. Good taste is as necessary in social networks as in the rest of your life.  

22. Be careful with empty sentences that say nothing at all. Don’t create more rubbish. “I’m going to sleep. Zzzz” or “It’s raining lots in Madrid!” are not necessary. Because you might get some kind of answer like the one Alejandro Sanz got when he asked in his Twitter account “Hello, what are you doing?,” “Paying our taxes in Spain, what about you?”

All these commandments can be reduced to two: respect technological networks above everything else and love thy neighbour as you do yourself.

That is to say, make responsible use of your devices, the information you manage and your life, above all for it to appear a lot less miserable. If we all did, life would be a much better place.

Diana Aller