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Tech Etiquette: Sharing Links With Your Friends And Loved Ones

Tech Etiquette

The Huffington Post   First Posted: 01/16/12 03:28 PM ET Updated: 01/16/12 03:31 PM ET

When you're in the mood for internet, a good link can be a great thing. It's a dog in a fanny-pack! A terrifying photobomb! The best music video ever made! However, in order to keep links fun, there have got to be some rules of engagement. Read on for the 5 Link Commandments:

1. Believe In Thy Links
If you spend any time on the internet at all, you probably come across 10 things a day that you think are kind of neat. KEEP THESE THINGS TO YOURSELF. Sendable links are like porn: You know it when you see it; it's not just any chick with her shirt off. Likewise, sendable links aren't just any cute, funny or interesting thing you see online. There's so much stuff on the internet, that for a link to truly be sendable, its content should be a superlative of what it's depicting. If it's a cute animal, it better be the cutest animal in the known universe. A sendable link is not just one normal kitten. It's a stack of fat, sleepy kittens waking up and falling asleep all over each other.

2. Thou Shalt Not Watch People Watching Thy Link
You are not the person who watches the watchmen! You can only lead a horse to water. You cannot make a horse open a link or, for that matter, react to it in the way you want. Yes, sharing something you feel all crazy about is a wonderful, personal experience. Yes, you are excited and want to see the recipient's reaction in the hopes that it will be like your reaction. Refrain. It makes people nervous when you watch them expectantly, and it could actually ruin their experience of what might have otherwise been a successful link share. It can also be hard to tell how someone feels about something from their exterior reaction. This is especially true for songs or articles, which have a higher barrier to entry (headphones, time) and may not even be looked at and appreciated until much later.

3. Thou Shalt Not Bombard People With Links
There is a two link per-person per-day maximum. Maximum. Even if one of the links was a failure, you don't get to send an extra link to make up for it. You're done. Better luck tomorrow. Death is what makes life meaningful and a limit is what makes a link a welcome break and not another problem you have to deal with at work. So don't waste your links by sending them at 4 a.m. when no one's going to respond. Send with intention at peak hours (10-3) when you think the receiver is most likely to need/watch/read/love them. Do not send links on weekends. Go outside or pretend you are outside. There is no time on the weekend when people should not think you are outside enjoying this beautiful day, Jeremy.

4. Thou Shalt Not Conflate Link Exchanging With Romance
There are not enough links in this world to constitute a romantic relationship. Sending links is just something people do now, like day dreaming about cool Facebook albums or looking at their phone all the time. Usually, the fact that you have received this link is only tangentially related to you. There are three reasons people like to show other people things they like:

A) To get validation that the things they like are cool.
B) So that the receiver will know they are cool.
C) Because they think the link will bring the receiver pleasure.

Ideally, this list would be inverted, but in reality it is not. The sending of the link should be it's own reward. If it isn't, see #1.

5. Know Thy Audience
This is probably the single most important rule of link sending. Sure, links are about what you like but they're also about what the other person likes. Sometimes, it takes a few links to figure that out. If you keep sending Lolcats to someone and they keep responding with "haha," "lol" or nothing at all, that person would probably like you to stop sending Lolcats links. Link sending should be analogous to being a sniper on a roof not a maniac with a machine gun. You're not just spraying links towards what you think are people in the hope of hitting something.

Ready to get started? Here are a few links to cut your teeth on.

The Nightmare Bomb

Azealia Banks "212"

Dog Fanny Pack

Shit Girls Say, Episode 1

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