An A-Z Guide to Unhelpful Social Media Posts

We are all on social media a LOT at the moment. It’s our primary form of social contact but it is, as ever, a double-edged sword. What used to be a means of distraction has become an amplifier for the current crisis…our news feeds fail to take our minds off things like they used to because every other post seems to be Covid-19 related. Now, I’m not one to dictate what anyone else posts on social media but it’s worth remembering that we are all suffering some level of anxiety at the moment and we’re all processing this anxiety in different ways. So your manic homeschooling timetables might be triggering someone else’s non-schooling guilt. The rules are straightforward enough – consider who might see your post and whether they’ve requested to hidden from anything C19-related. Custom Privacy is your friend right now. A little bit of research among my imaginary friends has suggested that certain types of posts do tend to be more triggering than others and so I’ve put together An A-Z Guide to Unhelpful Social Media Posts. But just so you don’t think I’m all about the negativity, I’ll shortly also be posting An A-Z Guide to Helpful Social Media Posts. Ready? Let’s start at the very beginning….


A Apocalyptic Posts

Yes, this feels like the End of Days but it’s not necessarily helpful to keep reminding people of it, unless you have some kind of get out clause. Is there a Vogon construction fleet passing ahead? Do you have the intergalactic equivalent of a raised thumb? Well good for you. Don’t forget your towel.

B Bad Science

We all want to understand this virus better but that doesn’t mean sharing anything which has even the vaguest of scientific credibility. Fact check, look at the background of whoever’s written it and don’t believe them just because they’re wearing a white coat.


C Conspiracy theories
Similar to the above, we all want to know more. But blaming the virus on 5G, the KGB, the FBI or anyone else isn’t necessarily helpful.  If Big Pharma really invented the virus to sell more medication, wouldn’t they have…yknow….come up with a cure by now?


D Daily Death Toll
No one is scrolling through their Facebook feed waiting for you to publish the latest death stats. If they want the information, they will go looking for it. We all know that lots of people are dying but we don’t all need it all over our newsfeeds because that is hugely triggering.
Think before you post.


E EU Baiting

Is now the time? Really? Do you think this would have gone better if we’d have left the EU two years ago? Really?


F Fake News
Obviously everyone loves a bit of spoof news and I’ve been known to dabble in the writing of the same myself…but I’m talking about news which is close enough to real to fool people with dangerous misinformation, especially when it comes to relaxing the lockdown restrictions. April Fool’s has been and gone…trust me, I know because the stuck-at-home kids had a lot of time to plan pranks this year.


G Guilt inducing memes
“This is what happens to your child’s brain when they spend 90% of their day watching Netflix/using laptops/massacring people on Fortnite”. Yeah, it is probably is. Pity I don’t have many other options for keeping them quiet while Mummy takes her 50th conference call of the day.


H Hearsay
This can be as dangerous as fake news. Just cause someone heard that something was happening doesn’t mean it’s true.


I Irrational Advice
“Just carry on life as normal. It’ll be fine” It probably won’t. Please think it through before posting.


J Judgy posts
Especially on local groups. So you saw two people from the same household shopping together? Well maybe ask someone to make you a purse with “Observation Award Winner” written on it. The majority of people are trying their best to follow the rules as best as they understand them and you don’t know everyone’s circumstances. Try not to judge.


K Kid Shaming
Our kids are doing incredibly well in the face of very tough circumstances. Go easy on the kid-shaming memes.


L Links to phishing sites
This should be self-explanatory but you’d be amazed. Check where a link goes to before sharing a post, especially if it’s promising incredible riches.


M Misreporting
As ever, the media tell you what they want to tell you. A particularly virulent story recently managed to change a budgetary adjustment for MPs’ staff equipment into some kind of NHS-dissing MP payrise. The result pitted hardworking nurses against hardworking constituency caseworkers. Think about the implications before you share.


N Nostalgia
“In my day, we never died of viruses”. No, YOU didn’t because you’re here, posting on Facebook. Others did. Move on


O Out of Date Advice
Guidelines change quickly these days….always best to make sure it’s the most recent version before sharing.


P Parent Shaming
Like their kids, parents are doing their best in difficult times. Now isn’t the time to tut about our shortcomings.


Q Queen is Dead
OK, so maybe I was struggling with a Q. But there are always rumours about Her Maj during a pandemic. Of course, feel free to listen to the classic Smiths albums if that’s your lockdown jam of choice.


R Rumours
Other, non Queen related rumours are also unhelpful…celebrities that you think might have the virus, celebrities you think might have died…speculation isn’t particularly useful at this time. Similar to the above though, if you want to listen to some classic Fleetwood Mac, go for it.


S Supermarket shortages
It was interesting for the first week, seeing our local stores stripped of food. But now it’s just kinda depressing. Let’s move on.


T Threats of revenge
Yeah, some people think they can beat sense into this virus. Don’t be one of those people.


U Unverified Updates
Like rumours, check sources of any updates before sharing


V Violence
Lots of us have a low emotional capacity right now. So sharing violent content can affect people more than usual. I’ve tried explaining this to the tween child but, as mentioned above, he’s too busy killing all the dudes on Fortnite.


W World War II comparisons
WWII was a national crisis. This is a national crisis. Why do we need to weigh one against the other? They’re both bad, OK?


X Xenophobia
Anti-Chinese feeling has shot up since the start of this crisis. Make sure you report it to Facebook as hate speech if you come across it.


Y Youth Shaming
Our teenagers are having a tough time too, with their uni applications thrown into uncertainty and not being able to see friends. Try not to add to that pressure by attacking them on social media.


Z Zoom Derision
Yes, I know it has security flaws (though the irony of posting this on Facebook…) but a lot of us are pretty reliant on it right now, so unless it’s really, really important to say, consider not saying it.
So, bottom line is….post whatever you want to post but if you want to emerge from this with the same number of Facebook friends as you went in, it might just be worth skipping out a few of my list. And don’t forget the A-Z Guide to Helpful Social Media Posts if you want what my niece would call “inspo”…
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