As an incoming college senior, I look back on my freshman college orientation weekend with a degree of embarrassment, and I’m sure I’m not alone. It’s probably a proven scientific theory that when thousands of 18 year olds are thrust into an awkward social situation, human instinct kicks in and everyone becomes overly enthusiastic about everything. During freshman orientation, you were probably best friends with everyone you met, and that guy you met on the first day? Was he really “The One”? Please tell me I’m not alone here. Unfortunately, that sickening enthusiasm usually spills over into the social media accounts of college freshman as well. Before discussing some huge social media blunders every college freshman commits, please know that I am speaking from personal experience on a couple of these. Here’s what you can do to avoid being the most annoying person on the Internet for a week:
- Cut back on the inside jokes. While #Ginasredshoe might symbolize something hilarious that happened to you and your freshman orientation best friends, I have no clue what that means. It’s okay to occasionally reference an inside joke via social media, and it’s even more okay to apologize to everyone else that kind of hate you for it. However, if you Twitter conversation contains more than 15 Tweets between your friends using the hashtag “Ginasredshoe” – your freshman is definitely showing.
- Don’t create an album with 16,047 webcam pics. Oh, you bought a new laptop with a webcam? Please don’t remind me by inundating my news feed with albums called “My webcam takes pictures.” While it’s sometimes fun to publish a few goofy webcam pictures with your friends, I don’t need to see the same thing in sepia and pop-art style. Except for the other people in your album, no one really cares how big you can make your eyeball with that one feature.
- Don’t sync all of your social media accounts together. If your Facebook timeline includes pictures that you Instagrammed and Tweets that link to said Instagrammed photos, you’re doing it wrong. Syncing all of your social media accounts together will annoy people who follow you on multiple media outlets. If you feel the need to share something on another social media outlet, try to keep it to one other site.
- Don’t jump on the social media bandwagon if you don’t know the topic. Did a presidential candidate or a celebrity speak at your university prior to your freshman year? If you weren’t there for it, don’t try to pretend you were. Stay out of social media conversations that are not relevant to you. This is especially true concerning tragedies that might have previously happened on your campus. Offering commentary on these will put you at serious risk of offending students who were on campus for the event.
- Please, PLEASE, keep those party pics off your timeline. These pics don’t necessarily have to include alcohol – any photo of you posing that includes a peace sign, duck face or sticking out your tongue will almost definitely become embarrassing and unprofessional in three years. Those pictures are the reason people are reluctant to adopt Facebook timeline. In addition, photos like these will most definitely warrant a comment from one of your parents who has Facebook – and it will either say “Those were the days!” or “Let’s talk about this when you come home for fall break.”
Come on – I know you want to reminisce about college now. From Aug. 20 to Sept. 21, we’re channeling our inner college student here at Formstack. We’ll be posting helpful college-themed form (and life) tips. Oh, and we’re also giving college students our Starter Plan for free. Check out Formstack’s Back to School campaign page for more information.