Sure, you’re super supportive of your friends on Facebook… But are you stumped when you see them IRL? Here’s a primer:
Thumbs Up? NOT IRL!
True, “Thumbs up” IS the symbol for a ‘like’ on Facebook. But you’ll look like a rookie if in real life you constantly stick your thumb up to express approval. Instead, this is the perfect opportunity to employ a smile. Smiles are the things you sometimes see in vacation photos of people who go outside. To get started smiling, simply raise the corners of your mouth and make your eyes get bigger. Start small so you don’t freak anyone out.
A Picture’s Worth a Lot of Words
Here’s a familiar situation: You “liked” your friend’s vacation photos online, but when you see them at a party, you just stare blankly. Next time that happens, employ the “smile” trick we talked about before and acknowledge that you liked their picture verbally. Say something like, “I saw you went on vacation!” while continuing the smile technique. Congratulations – you’ve just boarded the train to real life friendship!
Laugh Out WHAT!?
Sure, we’ve all written ‘LOL,’ but how many of us have ever actually laughed? Probably not a lot. This might sound familiar: You’re out with a friend and they say or do something which makes you want to type ‘LOL’. Stop! Put down your phone! This is what the urge to literally laugh out loud feels like. Let your jaw hang open and allow breath and noise to escape. You can try it just though your nose until you really get the swing of it.
The invention of emoticons has drastically reduced our dependence on vocabulary. You might find yourself a little self-conscious during a real conversation – how do you participate without relying on emoji? Take a deep breath and think: If the emoji you wanted to use was a face based emoji, try making that face yourself. If it’s a symbol, try just saying what the emoji depicts. For example, if you’d use a sad face emoji, try frowning, if you’d use the heart, say “I love that,” or if you’d use that little Russian guy, just say “Yeah, that’s so Russian guy! Right?!”
These tips will make you a good friend online and off. Use them frequently and you’ll not only be a social media maven, but also a socialized human!