The 10 commandments of social media etiquette

Are you a social media sinner? If you regularly violate any of these commandments, the answer is probably yes.

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Commandment #5: Thou Shalt Not Pretend Thou Art a Guru

Fun fact: No one wants to read the fun facts or inspirational quotes you post on Facebook every morning. Hey, I'm not knocking the notion of inspiration. But seeing 40 bazillion Einstein sayings every hour doesn't inspire me to do much other than smack my face repeatedly on my keyboard. And you can quote me on that.

Commandment #6: Thou Shalt Keep Thy Size Obsessions to Thyself

O to the M to the G! Did you hear that @MajorBlowhard is just four people away from hitting 400 followers? Stop the presses, Gutenberg: It's time to drop everything and help this dude achieve his lifelong goal.

I kid, of course: The truth is, no one gives a tweet about how many followers you have or how close you are to hitting that breathtakingly beautiful number. Sometimes, size really isn't everything. Just ask @KimKardashian.

If you're bragging about how many friends you have or using software to artificially inflate your numbers (yes, we all know about automated following apps), the only impression you're making is that you're a total tool who's trying to compensate for some other, ahem, shortcoming.

Commandment #7: Thou Shalt Not Be a "Social Media Expert"

The rise of Twitter brought about a new type of nuisance: The "social media expert," also known as "the guy who lost his real job six months ago."

Hallmarks of the "social media expert"--a term that always calls for the use of heavy air-quotes--include spamming people about one's stupendous social marketing skills, using social media to discuss ways to effectively use social media, and trying to start painfully forced discussions by posing clich餠questions (because, you know, "engagement is everything").

Other related behaviors include overusing lame social media lingo (honestly, is there ever a valid reason to use the word "tweeples"?) and putting a hashtag in front of every word you tweet.

Commandment #8: Thou Shalt Not Put Social Media on Autopilot

The only thing worse than being annoying on social networks is setting up automated systems to be annoying for you. Just because you can turn your account into a glorified bot doesn't mean you should.

One of the most common botlike offenders is the automated cross-posting of updates from one social network to another. Sure, keeping up with 27 different sites can be a time-consuming chore--but is setting some on them on autopilot and then abandoning ship any better?

Your unattended retweets stick out like a sore thumb on Facebook, and believe me, they aren't fooling anyone into thinking you're actually there.

Equally unwelcome are automated updates about your mayoral "accomplishments," music-streaming activity, or anything--and I mean anything--related to Farmville.

Commandment #9: Thou Shalt Not Share Information That Maketh Sense Only to Thyself

We've all experienced the cryptic sharer in our streams--the gal who loves sending vague and context-free messages like: "Wow...I can't believe that just happened."

Here's a little secret: Social media isn't a private diary. If you're going to share something with your friends, make it something they'll actually understand.

And make it in intelligible English, too: Even with 140 characters, there's no excuse for omitting half the letters in your sentences (tlkng lk ths isnt gd 4 ne1).

Commandment #10: Thou Shalt not Show Thy Friends Images That They Shall Regret Seeing

For the love of all things sacred, please: No more kissy-face self-pics (ladies) or shirtless mirror photos (gentlemen).

Srsly, ppl, wut ru thnkng?

Follow JR Raphael--if you dare--on Google+, Twitter, or Facebook (he promises to keep all kissy-face photos to himself).

This story, "The 10 commandments of social media etiquette" was originally published by PCWorld.

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