What I can share are the rules I have for myself, which are:
- No social media apps on my phone—laptop only. This helps me focus on the people I’m with.
- Anything I post is set to public, so that I have no illusions about privacy.
- If I’m writing something, I don’t watch the clock. Posting feels like a creative exercise to me, what the novelist Marie Myung-Ok Lee memorably called “a nice little warm-up, mental knuckle-cracking before getting down to the real business.”
- On the other hand, if I’m just scrolling/reading, I do watch the clock. I set my trusty Pomodoro timer to 15 minutes, and I force myself to switch gears when it dings.
- If I’m arguing with someone, I try not to go more than two rounds before suggesting that we table our debate until we can reconvene in voice form—on the phone, on a video call, or when geography permits, over coffee or a walk.
What about you? As you create and consume social media content, do you follow any particular rules of engagement? If you’d care to share, I’d love to hear from you at email@example.com.