Attention, ladies: A few rules for your interactions with social media

Local residents Brittnee Williams, Ruth Sellers, and Stephanie and Christin Raffanti demostrate the various selfies women have perfected over the past 10 years. They illustrate the 'With Cute Kid Selfie,'Ducklips Self,' 'Almost Ready (Bathroom) Selfie,' and 'Stunner Shade Selfie.' Photo montage by Thomas Sellers Jr.

Last week I tackled the issue of social media etiquette, addressing men.

I gave the fellas a few rules to help them better navigate their accounts to limit issues like losing a job or even dying. To be fair, I have to take some time and space in this publication to address a few grievances with women.

The men had to take their medicine. Women, it’s your turn to suffer with my tablespoon of social media do’s and don’ts.

10. Limit selfies in public

Women, I know selfies are a major part of your life. If you are under the age of 40, it is vital to your daily routine. I just want you to know ... you ladies look silly once you pull out your phone and go into “Selfie Mode.”

I’ve witnessed girls spend close to an hour at a Memphis Redbirds game trying to get the perfect selfie. I know their facial muscles had to be sore from all the perfect smiling, mean mugs and duck lips. Those girls missed the game and all the action going on around them just to take a selfie.

Women love taking selfies before they leave the house. That’s cool because it is in the privacy of your own home. But what you do in private looks crazy in public. All the twists of the head and face changes are hilarious. So, ladies, here is some advice: Put your phone on a self-timer. Then prop it up to capture a picture of you. Step back a couple of feet and start doing all those poses. Get back to me on how silly you look.

9. No bragging

Social media has given us a forum to stick our chest out and shout, “Look at me!” Men have been bragging for centuries about creating wonders of the world. On the other hand, men have also wanted the spotlight for some of the dumbest reasons. Welcome to the club, women.

Females are enjoying the ability to let the world know how awesome they are or how they don’t care what you say.

Proverbs 27:2 says “Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips.” We all will have that moment and post something in pride. But when you do this consistently, you are not coming out of the right spirit.

8. Promote others

To continue the point in No. 9, let others brag about you, ladies. Then you’ll have more time to shine your spotlight on others like your family, friends, coworkers, employees and those who make you the awesome woman you are.

I don’t mind seeing your child’s latest award or hearing about how you reached a major job goal. If you are the woman in charge, let us know about your smart hires through showcasing the workers.

Your page should be an outlet of positivity. A good way to do that is bragging on others and building up their self-esteem.

7. Children are not a prop

I’ve noticed women doing this more than men, using their children to get a laugh. I enjoy seeing a natural moment of innocence with a child or baby. Most of us remember the viral video of the boy who came home from the dentist a little dopey – super funny.

But let’s not set up children to cuss the camera, play with guns, drive a car or put their little lives in danger.

6. Vaguebooking

This term is described as the Munchausen’s syndrome of social media – people posting ambiguous messages, just trying to draw in attention or sympathy. Examples include: “You never know who is out to get you,” “I hate when people do that thing that we all hate” and the classic “I’m dealing with too much right now.”

Vaguebooking is not a good look on anybody. If you have real friends, go to them in real life to talk about real issues. Or just admit you like attention and will do anything for it, from crazy pictures to vague posts.

5. Not reality TV

Your life is not a television show. Most of us are not interested in your comings and goings. We don’t lose sleep over not hearing your thoughts and opinions. And the only time you are worth watching is when the police are involved or you’re close to death.

But there is no director to yell, “Cut!” When you mess up, you have real life consequences to endure. I know many of you women idealize these reality TV “stars.” That stuff is fake and for entertainment. Although your life can be enjoyable to watch, that usually comes with a very expensive price.

So be sensible when going live or recording things to post. If you go too far, we’ll all be watching as you go to jail and court.

4. Not a runway

Several women list their profession as model on Instagram. I guess taking pictures all the time and constantly posting them makes you Cindy Crawford, Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell or Ashley Graham. You have to be paid for your appearance in merchandise in order to be a real model.

Just because you wear swimsuits, show off your body or have a million likes on a photo isn’t license to stop working a regular job in order to chase a dream shared by thousands of women.

I appreciate tasteful beauty and artistic photos. It’s good to treat it as a hobby that might catch on one day.

3. No restroom selfies

I’ll keep this one short, women. Don’t take pictures in a bathroom or restroom. What makes you do that in the first place? You’re at the movies and you make a quick stop into the ladies’ room. That’s your cue to pull out your phone and get another snap of you in that outfit?

2. No duck lips

This pose is not cute, women. It’s not flirting. Actually, duck lips can make a beautiful woman appear ugly. It makes you look stuck-up and self-involved. Here’s another suggestion: Next time you’re at the office and you see a co-worker, greet them with duck-lips face.

When a loved-one wins a prize or award and they make eye contact with you, pop those duck lips. Even better, when you are at church and your preacher asks you, “Do you love the Lord?” Put on your duck lips and say, “Yes, I do.”

It’s not a natural face, and it would ruin moments in everyday life. So, ask yourself this: Why do you go straight to duck lips when it’s selfie time?

1. Stop, look and reflect

Finally ladies – before you hit post or send, read your message. Just make sure it’s worth sending out to the masses forever. Once you hit send, there is no going back or deleting. So, your heat-of-the-moment post can cost you spiritually, mentally, emotionally, physically and financially. One dumb post could cost you your life.

After composing your deep thoughts via the keyboard or touchscreen of your device, wait 10 seconds. Then read the message. Finally, read the message out loud. If it sounds dumb to you, it will sound dumb to us as well.


THOMAS SELLERS JR. is editor of The Millington Star and both the sports editor and a weekly personal columnist for Journal West 10 Media LLC. Contact him by phone at (901) 433-9138, by fax to (901) 529-7687 and by email to thomas.sellers@journalinc.com.