So I recently had the chance to attend an event that was kind of a big deal. You know the ones. Glamorous, fancy and, best of all, free! The ones where you get to wear a fancy dress and you spend the whole night walking around with that fake stylish swagger that shows all the other punters you’re like totally supposed to be allowed at that event. And better yet, because your dress is so long and the event so swanky, even a short trip to the toilet can mean face planting right in front of some famous guy whose name you can’t actually remember. Or worse. Dealing with a pee stain later cause you simply can’t unbutton the damn dress fast enough (that did not happen I might add – for those who don’t know my style of humour!).
So yeah…..you want to know what the event was now don’t you? Come on. Of course you do. Guess you don’t follow me on twitter, instagram or Facebook if you are still trying to work it out, cause I was all over them like a chubby puppy to a cookie jar….do puppy dogs eat cookies? I guess they do.
Back to the point. So I went to this massive ridiculous F-off event in LA and as soon as a respectful amount of time had passed – 12 hours – I was on social media sharing my post to anyone and everyone. I sat there clicking away to see who saw it, who had liked it and what they thought. Blah blah yada yada ya. The usual social media frenzy ensued. Once I got to somewhere over 200 likes on FB I decided I could call it a day and consider myself a full fledged unknown celebrity. We all know the drill. It’s [insert social media preferences] a kind of need to be noticed that actually doesn’t warrant any real truth, and isn’t really an honest reflection on one’s actual real life that is taking place.
But the point was, it was a really great event and it was really really worth showing off. There are directors and Casting Directors and Producers who are my friends on Facebook and who follow me on Twitter, and it is good to know that they might have snuck a glimpse at where I was and may have thought I garnered the invite off my own back or that I deserved to attend such an event (I was a plus one!). There was also a PR company to thank for the dress and a photographer who papped us. So I had some cool reasons to post. But it’s not always like that.
Mostly I’m just sitting around on set wondering if they’ll get to my scene before the lunch break, or if the makeup artist will end up having to reapply my lipstick after I get stuck into catering. But more often than not, I’m just sitting around hoping I can get access to a power plug to recharge my nearly dead iPhone. But this isn’t the sort of stuff you want to see on social media now is it?
See social media is this beast of a thing nowadays. Everyone feels they have to be on it, but often people don’t know how to use it. If you spent just five minutes scrolling through my FB feed you would immediately identify who the desperate wannabees are, who needs a cuddle, and who tries way too hard…sometimes maybe all three.
If you post every audition you ever go to, I will know your conversion rates.
If you share every film set you’ve ever been on and they don’t ever include Pinewood, Disney or Fox Studios (and other studios of a similar level) I’ll start to suspect you are, or were, a D-list indiegogo only actor.
If you brag over and over about being spotted in a film and you didn’t have any lines, it had better have been The Artist.
If you say #Blessed as an actor, then I’m going to assume you just went to church.
If you keep hashtagging #actorslife, you will wish you stayed in that church if I get to you.
What is my point in all this social media name-calling and finger pointing?
I posted my event the other day because it actually made sense and I don’t do it often. It was noticed and it was useful and now I move on. But I earnestly believe that at least 20% of actors use social media incorrectly every single week. I believe they don’t know how to share the right stuff, or they #humblebrag way too much for their level in the pecking order, or they don’t know when to let go of the twitter handle #actorslife, and they definitely don’t have any clue on how to gently ask for help, followers or support.
For a while now I’ve pondered whether to boldly write this post and share what I really think, or if I should just leave it and assume that those annoying social media muppets will slowly die out like a used pair of ikea shelves. But today I decided it was finally time. It was prompted by a recent visit to see some non acting friends and hear them chat about mutual friends on Facebook and Twitter. What I found most interesting was that non actors find the tweets and shares and posts I dislike, even more annoying than I. Can you imagine? Hearing your pals tell you that such-and-such is a bit douchy, and such-and-such needs to stop sharing this and that. Wow.
And at that point I decided enough is enough. If I get out there and say it and 10 of the people who read this post share it with another friend, and then they share it with another person then eventually we will all be less inclined to spread douchy news about ourselves every single waking moment of our lives and instead be more inclined to chill out and actually live in the real world.
So please take notice and reconsider your next post. And when you do, mind these 14 hefty road rules to tweeting and Facebooking your way to a less self indulgent life.
Here are my rules for OUTSTANDING and AWESOME ENGAGEMENT on TWITTER
Rule 1. Talk about yourself only 20% of the time.
Rule 2. The more comments you offer to others, the more engaged your own audience will be with you.
Rule 3. If you think your mates might think you’re humblebragging, you probably are. Skip typing that bit of the tweet and refer to rule 1.
Rule 4. If you think your mum will think your post is dumb, it is probably fine to post.
Rule 5. Have an opinion! AnY opinion, that isn’t over the top whining or excessively miserable, is better than no opinion. (I get the most comments and tweets when I really get stuck in on this blog!)
Rule 6. You can’t please the world so stop trying to make your fake tweets seem like you’re being a chorus-girl crowd pleaser. Refer to rule 5.
Rule 7. It’s good manners to respond to other people’s comments when they comment to you [unless you’re Ricky Gervais cause he is one popular man on twitter.]
Rule 8. Ignore Rule 7 if the person has been stalking you.
Rule 9. Use twitter at times of the day people will actually see it. Unless you are using clever hashtags that you know people are scrawling through at all hours of the day and night. [
Rule 10. Don’t ask famous people to follow you back so you can DM them. That just looks stupid AND DESPERATE.
RULE 11. Tell someone else how awesome they are or RT their news.
Rule 12. Get a hobby. It will give you something new to talk about and also help you meet like minded people.
Rule 13. If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t post.
Rule 14. All of these rules can be applied to Facebook.
I would love to see everyone try to post a little less about themselves (Rule 1) and a little more about others (Rule 11) and humblebrag a little less (Rule 3) and have more fun (Rule 12). Gosh wouldn’t that be great.
friends agonising over what to post and feeling like they have to. Before food porn, we were all perfectly happy just eating our supper. Before selfie sticks we used to get our faces squished into the corner of the camera screen image when we tried to guess where our heads would be lining our cameras up backwards, and we loved it. If you don’t want to be on any of these sites, it actually is okay.
And my final, absolute last thing is, if Anna Kendrick wouldn’t post it, neither should you. (seriously, click on her twitter above. That girl is someone I would love to sit down and have a martini with!)
* Disclaimer: I love selfies by the way, so don’t you dare go getting all judgy pants on me when you start following me on Instagram. That’s one of the things insta is for. See picture on the right. -> Yeah. Judge that B.A.B.E.’s.