Dear @nna is an advice column for the digital age. Got a digital dilemma of your own? If you have a question involving technology, the internet, or online etiquette, shoot it to [email protected] with the subject “Dear Anna.”
If you have multiple social media accounts (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc.), is it okay to cross-post everything, or does that bore my followers? — Instagratification
I’m a fan of things crossing generally — cross-country skiing, “Hot Cross Buns,” the Red Cross, etc. — so I’m inclined to say it’s fine. It won’t cross me. And honestly, because sites such as Instagram and Twitter share posts based on chronology and in “real-time,” unless your friends are rapid-fire clicking on all social media sites one after the other, the chances of them seeing your posts a bunch of times are slim. The exception being Facebook, which only highlights content involving recently engaged people spooning on fountains, misattributed Gandhi quotes (“Be the change you find in the fountain, you crazy lovebirds!”), and everything George Takei shares.
To wit, it’s not that big of a deal. On the scale of social media offensiveness, with the least being “whining that someone put too much frosting on your brownie” and the most being “whining that [racist or misogynistic slur] put too much frosting on your brownie, which proves [9/11 conspiracy theory], and ends with [creepy baby animal onomatopoeia],” hapless cross-posting is pretty low on the scale.
That said, I do think we run into trouble when we use apps that cross-post all of our content to a variety of different mediums willy-nilly. For instance, if you use an app that posts every Twitter status — littered with #hashtags and @ replies and acronyms that only seven people get — onto Facebook, it looks lazy at best, and indecipherable at worst. Your mom, who just figured out LOL does not stand for “lots of love,” will leave bewildered comments. Your dad will think you’re swearing at him. That person from OkCupid who friended you, but then you decided he was creepy so never met him, will think “Ooh, great, another platform to stalk that girl who stopped returning my messages but must be secretly into me.” None of these scenarios is desirable, in other words!
So don’t be thaaaaat lazy. It’s fine to post a photo on Flickr and then later to Facebook. It’s even fine to do so while wearing a floppy hat. Just don’t go all uncensored Cher and post a hundred rambling screeds in a row, such as “I need2 talk 2 ppl Who DONT LOVE ME 2 ! Im a Fighter!” Unless you are, in fact, Cher. Then you can do anything you want. Post the letter L. It’ll get retweeted hundreds of times.
L— Cher (@cher) September 27, 2013
Grain of salt caveat: I cross-post regularly and have totally been unfollowed and unfriended for it. Luckily, my training as a writer who is also a lady has prepared me for stunning feats of cruelty. Also, I write about beer for dogs and alternative pubic hair sculpting! If you don’t want to read about those amazing topics, then you don’t deserve to read my tweets anyway.
In short, some people will undoubtedly be annoyed by your cross-posting. If they’re that aggrieved by your sharing of cute bear attack videos, then that’s their prerogative, and they can unfollow. As it is yours to tell them to Zuck off, as you merrily go about Twinstagrambook the day away.
Not sure if this qualifies as a “digital” dilemma, or just a plain ol’ one, but I “met” a lady on Tinder (we haven’t met in person yet), and am stoked to take her out. But the earliest we can meet is next Saturday, which is Valentine’s Day. That seems like a lot of pressure. Should I postpone to another day or just weather the potential storm of candies and long-ass restaurant wait times? — V-Day Blues
Bless yer tinderrific heart. It’s only a pressure-y situation if you make it that way. If it were me, I’d be cheesy and get her a bear from Walgreens that sings Justin Bieber, or one of those chocolate roses that won’t decompose until 2052 (I have one from high school and it’s still going strong!). But really, a sense of humor and a tacit acknowledgement that you are meeting on the Hallmark-sanctioned Day of Love is all that’s required of you. You don’t have to shell out hundreds of bucks on some prix-fixe dinner and a cocktail with more than fourteen ingredients just because of am ill-timed scheduling situation.
You’re right, however, that if you try to eat out without a reservation, you will most likely get stuck waiting a horrifically long time, or outright turned away. So you can either make a reservation (zzzzz) or do something more casual that requires little waiting (picnic at Lake Merritt? Gondola ride? Hiking Panoramic Hill in Berkeley?). Or take her to a low-key bar that is mostly populated with grizzled, solitary men. You’ll know them by the prison bars on the windows (if there are windows at all), and their draft beer selection of Coors and Coors.