Be honest: Have you ever been guilty of phubbing? Have you ever been Tindstagrammed? Do you often show off your #ootd?
Now really be honest: Do you know what any of those things are? Because I sure didn’t before reading Kill Reply All, a clever and informative guide to online etiquette by Victoria Turk, a senior editor at Wired magazine. (For the record, “phubbing” is snubbing someone in favor of your phone, “Tindstagramming” is stalking someone on Instagram after they rejected you on Tinder, and “#ootd” is a tag used when you post a picture of your outfit of the day.)
Living in the digital age is confusing. By now, most of us know the subtext of the eggplant emoji and understand that using punctuation in our texts is a sure sign we’re old. Still, navigating the online world is complicated. To make things simpler, Turk divides her practical and straightforward advice into four categories: work, romance, friendship and community. Turk’s Marie Kondo-like approach to email inbox management may actually make you excited to tackle those 1,500 unread messages.
The section on online romance—from choosing a photo for your dating app profile to avoiding “some of the invasive species that have made online dating their habitat”—is fairly specific. Not everyone needs a tutorial on online flirting, but for those who do, Turk’s hilarious pointers on what your dating bio really says about you are not to be missed. (When someone is “adventurous,” it means they “did a gap year.”)
Probably the most useful section is the chapter on how to behave in different online communities. The rules vary, and so will your persona. (Think of how you present yourself on Twitter versus LinkedIn.) This chapter offers ample food for thought on how to artfully unfriend someone on Facebook, when it’s appropriate to tag someone on Twitter and how to make a meme.
At the end of the day, we all fall prey to online pitfalls. The trick is to use your best judgment, use emojis sparingly and, for the love of God, don’t accidentally like a photo when you’re stalking your ex-boyfriend’s Facebook page.