The holidays are upon us, and if there’s one thing we have grown accustomed to doing, it is documenting the happy times on social media for all of our friends and followers to participate in the fun. As an actress, writer and social media manager, I know that using social media can be harmless in many cases. But as we have learned with the #ThanksgivingClapback, good intentions aren’t always translated as easily as intended. In order to help your holiday stay as joyous as it can be, here are a few tips to help you navigate social media this yuletide season.
1. Try to be as present as possible. Nothing says you care like paying attention to people instead of your phone. The memory in your head may not always hold up as long as your iCloud, but you will always remember how people made you feel.
2. We all know that relative who intrudes on a fun, organic moment with demands to capture it on video or photo. Not only does this kill the mood, it can cause introverts to be even less comfortable in large settings. However, if you must document a candid moment, make sure it’s a moment people may want to see later, and do so without being so invasive.
3. Speaking of recording people, it can also be problematic if you record others without their knowledge. You may know close family and friends well enough not to have to pass out photo release forms at the door. But if you’re among less familiar company, it’s better to ask.
And always ask permission before posting others on your public pages. Some of your cousins like to run their images through five apps before they go public. Give people the space to be who they want to be online, even if it’s not themselves.
4. Set a timer on your phone to track your use in certain apps. Instagram has a time feature built in that allows you to set a notification that alerts you when you have reached your allotted time per day. While the feature does not keep you from continuing your use of the app, it does help you to be mindful of where you stand in what you set out to do.
5. Last, this tip is one you can use all year, and it may be the most important: Do not compare your life to highlight reels others post online.
If people posted their bad days, all of us would be online a lot less, but don’t assume for one second that everybody online has their lives together. Expect numerous proposals to happen around Christmas. It’s a way for men to get an engagement ring and a Christmas gift all in one. Expect for baby announcements to be made around the holidays because families are together. If these are things you are still praying for, it may seem like everyone has them and you don’t.
The most important thing to remember is that time is precious and finite. Do your best to enjoy yourself and the time spent with family. And remember, just because you caught it on your phone doesn’t mean you have to share it with the world. Happy holidays from the upscale family to yours. -Tiffany Black