Hashtags are everywhere these days—from the Oscars #BestDressed coverage to a pamphlet I got from my doctor’s office. Whether you like it or not, Twitter’s taken over the way we communicate. Last year, a Rhode Island theater gained fame for designating “Tweet Seats,” where show-goers could tweet reactions during the actual performance. Closer to home, a Temple University professor encourages his students to tweet during class. Live-tweeting, it seems, is everywhere.
But is there anywhere that you shouldn’t tweet? Though it’s harmless enough to share your Oscar fashion commentary with the world, parents of young tweeters worry that their kids will overshare personal information. (Seriously. Google “keeping kids safe on social media” and see the hundreds of billions of results. Literally.)
As anyone under the age of 45 can tell you, kids are way savvier when it comes to knowing what to share. And more importantly, what not to share—at least when it comes to social media’s social graces. Adults‚ who are often late-adopters when it comes to social media, make bigger, more obnoxious faux pas. Here, 10 times you should resist the urge to live-tweet. (Think these sound like common sense? An informal Twitter poll tells me that people have seen all these awkward mistakes happen on their feeds.)
A non-celebrity funeral
Unless you are attending the funeral of Amy Winehouse or Whitney Houston, you shouldn’t share details of the memorial. (But if you are at a celebrity funeral, definitely tweet at me about it.)
Feel free to send a tweet saying that you’re on the way to the hospital and then later to announce the glorious news. But that play-by-play in between? No thanks. Save the part about the icky afterbirth for a more appropriate occasion, like Junior’s 16th birthday.
Guaranteed way to not get a second date.
This is one of the rare instances where tweeting is expressly forbidden most of the time. Which is a shame, because I would’ve loved to read the tweets pouring out of the Casey Anthony trial.
If your wife finds out you lost your job because she happened to check Twitter—and not because you called her to break the bad news—you are definitely sleeping on the couch. Not to mention, your future employer is not going to love seeing this when HR inevitably stalks your tweets.
Scripted TV shows
There’s arguments aplenty to be made about when etiquette requires you to use the phrase “spoiler alert,” but a good rule of thumb is to wait at least 24 hours before announcing that you’re so upset about Matthew Crawley’s death on Downton Abbey.
Unless your last name is Obama or Springsteen, I probably don’t care about every waking moment of your life. So please, cut out the extraneous tweets about getting gas or going to the grocery store.
We’ve all seen couples who passive-aggressively socially network their way through fights. But one friend confided that she watched as one couple announced their divorce on Twitter and then proceeded to suss out custody agreements. TMI, people.
Your bowel movements
Indigenous to a particular type of young adult male, this happens more often than anyone should know about. Actual tweet from my feed last week, “I just dropped the biggest deuce. Good thing I’m at work with industrial toilets.” (Unfollowed. Instantly.)
In the movie theater
Yes, some live-action theaters are encouraging tweets. This does not apply to the movies. And if I see you with your cell phone glowing, I will absolutely kick the back of your seat “accidentally” until you move out of my sight line.