8 social media no-nos on Christmas Day

social-media‘Don’t make a fuss online about all the stuff you’ve been given.’ Photograph: Alamy

1. Don’t take pictures of your presents. Christmas is a minefield of potentially botched etiquette, and social media only makes it worse. And, clearly, the crime one can commit is making a fuss online about all the stuff you have been given. Look, we get it. You got a lot of presents this year. What are you, six? Ask yourself why you are doing this. Is it for likes? Is that it? How much extra validation do you need anyway, you weirdo? Someone just bought you a nice coat, and that should be enough. Now go away and think about what you’ve done.

2. It is acceptable to post a photo of your family in lieu of sending Christmas cards. Christmas cards are a pain in the bum, which is why you didn’t send any this year. They are expensive and bad for the environment, and there’s a good chance you’ll forget someone and then feel bad about it for ever. Instead, just take a picture of you and your loved ones, caption it “Merry Christmas”, and stick it on Facebook. It has exactly the same effect. Don’t worry about friends and relatives who don’t have Facebook. They don’t deserve your kind gestures.

3. Stop checking your phone all the time. Not only is it rude to spend Christmas Day staring blankly into the palm of your hand, but also it invites scrutiny you just don’t need. This is bitter experience talking here. I spent a lot of time on my phone one Christmas when Twitter was relatively new, and then had to spend the bulk of the day trying to explain to my family what Twitter was, what the point of it was, and why it wasn’t a stupid waste of everyone’s time. It is a stupid waste of everyone’s time, but that’s not the point.

4. In fact, put your phone away completely. Your phone is junk today. The only emails you’ll get will be horrific “Merry Christmas from GlaxoSmithKline! Here’s 5% off your next bulk purchase of Poligrip Ultra!” marketing newsletters, and all they’ll do is make you angry because they’re actively flushing the spirit of Christmas down the toilet. Just put it away. I promise you won’t miss anything.

5. Don’t Instagram your dinner. Instagramming dinner in a fancy restaurant I get. But leave Christmas dinner alone. What’s that? You’re having turkey, potatoes and vegetables? Well, guess what? So is literally everyone else. So don’t bother showing us. If I wanted to endlessly endure a slow trickle of gravy, I’d move three doors down from the cat-food factory.

6. No creepshotting drunk relatives. Yes, sure, it’s funny that your grandfather ate too much pudding and fell into the Christmas tree and the dog pulled his trousers down, but that doesn’t mean you have to take a photo of it and show it to the world. Certainly not without asking his permission first. Where photos are concerned, treat your relatives like strangers on the bus. Would you publish a photo of a stranger on a bus? You would? You monster.

7. You are permitted to tweet, but only infrequently on Christmas afternoon. Christmas afternoon is a wasteland. You’re too full to move, and too drunk to try, and this is the time of day where all the carefully observed politeness about basic acceptance flies straight out of the window. By 4pm, your dad will have started to tell the room loudly why Brexit was a good idea, and this will be your time to escape down the rabbit hole of the internet. Forget about likes or favourites or retweets, you should spend this time passive-aggressively howling at a wall of uninterested strangers. The survival of your family depends on it.

8. Don’t complain about any of this on Twitter. This is an important one to remember. If you see loads of people Instagramming their potatoes or tweeting about all their presents, or committing any other sort of festive social-media crime, keep it to yourself. Because if there’s one thing that ruins Christmas more than self-absorption, it’s pedantry. There’s a time and a place for that sort of behaviour, and that’s in a newspaper article that you’re getting paid to write.

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