I Blog

I Blog!
I love it—it’s my week 9 of the In Print ABC Blogging Challenge, http://inprintwriters.com/2013/01/12/the-abc-blog-post-challenge/
and even though I’m not blogging about blogging, I couldn’t resist the title.

Instead, I’d like to introduce, I is for the Interwebs
Isn’t that what the “old” people call it? You know, your grandma and great aunt Ethel. Despite being on the internet daily for the last seventeen years, I’m totally making fun of myself here, too. The older I get, the faster it gets, the further it reaches, the more I find my life engulfed by it.

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The internet is AWESOME! The internet is abysmal.
The internet is a giant time-suck.
The internet is a large community, the largest! with social playgrounds and communal bulletin boards. There’re global news updates, sports, politics and cartoons. You can find validation and outrage here. You can learn how to do anything on the internet! Cooking, crafting, writing…

I’m still learning about the internet—there’s so much to learn! Like I recently found out that when you post a link on Facebook, if you wait till the link is loaded, you can then erase the original code! Crazy!

There are a few things I do know (you probably know these, too) and try to practice, so as a reminder to all, I’m going to state my “rules” for healthy social exchange on the internet. To hopefully encourage validation and fight outrage (over the little things. It’s always the little things that trigger us).

Mary’s Basic Rules for the Internet:

Rule #1 (only because it’s first on the list, not because it’s of first importance—they are all equally important—well, maybe not): NO HASHTAGS ON FACEBOOK.*

Rule No. 2: Avoid cap lock unless making a VERY important statement. Or shouting. Or both.

Rule Three: Don’t sign up for a Pinterest account and then not pin. You keep coming up in my recommendations and since I like you and appreciate your taste in art, food and humor, I’d like to follow you…. Except, you have two boards, both empty. No pins. Don’t do that. Or more importantly, how can you do that? Have you not been on Pinterest? How is it possible that you have empty boards?!

Rule D: “Reply all” is not necessary unless it’s necessary. If someone posts good news and you want to congratulate them, do it. To them. If you must decline (or accept) an invitation, it’s really only necessary to tell the host. Or the person you normally carpool with. But not everyone. You are not RSVPing for everyone, therefore no need to RSVP to everyone.

Da. If, indeed, a “reply all” is necessary, add your name at the end. Yes, we can all look up at your email address and see who it is from, skinnybutt32, but why should we have to? You had something to say, you must want us to know who said it! ‘K thanks, Mary

*Did I mention no hashtags on Facebook? #donotdothisonfacebook

Rule 5: Do not forward spam or chain letters. Come on, this is not junior high. I promise no bad luck will come to you, no one will die, no money will be made, and no graphics of dancing bears will pop up on your screen by forwarding to ten of your best friends within the next three minutes.

Important addendum to Rule No. 5—Always delete previous senders’ information when forwarding something. It’s not only courteous, but it helps your recipient cut right to the funny, topical, or relevant reason for the forward.

If you have a stream of emails from the same person, or regarding the same subject heading, read through them all before replying to each individually. What is asked in email one may have been addressed by email five. Or not, but there’s no rule that says you can’t sum up your responses to all emails in one. Actually there is a rule, #6, read first, reply in toto.

And the number one rule for internet etiquette? Take a breath, count to ten. Log off if you have to, but never, and I mean NEVER respond to something that presses your immediate emotional buttons. Once you hit send, there is no recanting. Trust me on this one, I know.

Which leads us to the final rule—say what you mean and mean what you say. Despite all caps, emoticons and the intent of your words, it’s easy to misconstrue a message in print. I make assumptions based on my interpretation, experience, and let’s be honest, mood. Beware the distance and implied anonymity of the internet. Only say here what you would say to someone in person and in a way that leaves nothing open to interpretation.

There you have my eight rules (give or take) for courteous posting on the Interwebs.
Social on!

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Counter-relevant to my I Blog, but I like this historical comic.

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About Mary Fran Says

I am an artist, crafter, designer and writer. I enjoy working with mixed media-- applying visual and tactile manipulations to telling a story. Not a lot of market for that, though, :), so I'm focusing on short story submissions and novel completions. Yes, plural. Lots of beginnings, too many ideas, not enough focus.
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