Social Media guru, Debbie Downer, has just finished a groundbreaking study into how well social media etiquette translates into ‘real world’ scenarios.
Can we all learn something revolutionary from the Twitterati, the Instagrampions and the Facebookers?
Debbie reveals all…
‘I spend a lot of time on social media, primarily due to my complete lack of ‘traditional’ social skills’, she explains, her eyes darting from side to side with the look of fear reminiscent of a mole exiting its hole for the first time.
‘A lot of things are just easier on social media. If you don’t like someone you can block them. If you’re bored of a conversation you can just stop replying without explanation. If you want more fame you can slag off celebrities and hope some of their followers will bite back.
If you want some attention you can blurt out a status to say you’re at hospital, even if you’ve only popped in for a milkshake at the cafe there. Most importantly you can just ignore all the notifications you get and pretend you never received them’, continued Debbie, who has 5,000 followers on Twitter.
Debbie came up with the idea to ‘test’ out some common social media behaviours in the real world scenario of a dinner party to see if they could help keyboard warriors overcome their social awkwardness.
‘We invited 50 people to a dinner party, including 10 of us who are quite a big deal in the social media world, to see what would happen’, Debbie explained.
These were some of her findings:
* Ending sentences with a witty hashtag didn’t go down quite as well with the ‘normal’ guests as might have been expected #awks
* Walking off mid-conversation without warning and not returning made the other party feel bad
* Recreating humorous GIFS or memes in leiu of using actual words proved to be challenging and often impractical
* Introductions involving the terms ‘multi-award nominated’ or ‘PR Friendly’ didn’t go down too well
* Running into the room unannounced and showing strangers your rash / something you wrote 3 years ago about Christmas / genitals was generally frowned upon
* Covertly recording private conversations about other people and then running off to play the recordings to aforementioned other people to stir up trouble generally led to someone being punched
* Shouting at a group of strangers about your recent traumatic trip to A&E and then refusing to give any details generated a lot of frustration
* Showing people photos of your dinner when they were sitting next to you as you were eating your dinner and could see it for themselves was considered odd behaviour
* Befriending someone, then insulting them, then befriending them again, then insulting them again made people look like massive cocks
* Pouting whilst wearing cats ears or comedy glasses whenever someone took their phone out of their pocket was felt to be ‘weird’
* Holding up a photo of yourself with no make up on, ill-fitting clothing and poor posture in one hand and a green milk shake container in the other hand whilst repeatedly inviting people to ‘PM me, hun’ was not a successful business model
* Shouting insults at people who didn’t agree with you at such a volume that everyone else at the party could hear them was not a good way to make friends
Debbie explained, ‘It became clear as the evening went by that to my surprise the skills that made people experts at social media weren’t quite as successful for face-to-face interactions.’
Out of the 10 social media gurus at the party:
* Four were punched at least once (various reasons – all perfectly valid) and left in tears
* Two spent the evening photographing their dinner / flowers / walls / bowel movements and spoke to no one
* Two did nothing but wave a printed copy of their recent article about sparrows repeatedly at the other guests
* One took selfies all evening using a variety of animal masks and forgot anyone else was there
* One refused to leave the toilet due to their social anxiety but posted 11 Twitter updates to say what a great time they were having
Unfortunately, no people shacked up together in hotel rooms and no Juice Plus subscriptions were sold during the evening.
Asked if Debbie would be repeating her experiment in the future, she stated that she would rather continue to build her social media following through her unique blend of honest, gritty, realism and would leave the so called ‘real world’ to others for now.
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