My Facebook friend Sarah recently wrote a status update about ultrarunners’ social media feeds being exceptionally boring. I couldn’t agree more. As a general rule of thumb, many runners that use social media post about runs. Or training for runs. Or post pictures of runs. Or pictures of new running gear. Or clothes. Or shoes.
And it’s boring as Hell.
They’re one-trick ponies. (And yes, my repeated use of this term makes me a one-trick pony. Deal with it.)
Pretty much all runners will post some things about running, which is perfectly okay. In fact, if you want to be that boring runner, knock yourself out! Some people actually like the boring runners.
However, if you want to avoid being a boring-ass social media runner, follow these tips:
- Variety is the spice of life. Never surpass the 1/3 rule. Make sure no more than 1/3 of your posts are running-related. Toss out your opinions on something other than the best way to do repeats. We all have other interests, talk about those on occasion. If you don’t have other interests… well, stop reading now.
- Understand that nobody really cares about your accomplishments unless a) they’re comparing their experiences to yours, or b) they’re living vicariously through you. We not nearly as inspirational as we make ourselves out to be. Even if we are, “inspiration” is best served in small doses. Learn the art of scarcity.
- When posting pictures, the same 1/3 rule applies. If more that a third of your pictures are of you, you’re being far too narcissistic. Give your running friends the spotlight on occasion. And for the love of all that is holy, don’t post self-shot pictures of you holding the camera overhead!!! We all know you’re trying to hide your flaws with that angle.
- Don’t post about runs unless something interesting occurred. Attacked by an animal? Check. Had sex on the trail? Check. Fell off a small cliff? Check. Had a pleasant run where everything went okay? Keep it to yourself.
- Post no more than one inspirational quote per week. And make sure you really live the quote. Don’t post a quote about YOLO if you also bitch about your shitty job, shitty relationship, or any other element of your life that can be controlled by making better choices. Good rule: If you wouldn’t get the quote tattooed on your body, don’t post it on social media.
- Don’t brag. If you’re really fast and win lots of races, all of us are aware of it. If you’re mediocre and still brag, you’re just being a tool. Practice a little humility. And self-depreciation.
- Keep complaints to a minimum. The number of negative posts you write should never surpass 10% of your total posts. If the number of complaints DOES surpass that number, there’s a pretty good chance your incessant complaining is the reason your life sucks. Read up on “self-fulfilling prophecies.”
- Don’t make excuses for shitty performances. Didn’t make a cutoff or time goal? Man up and admit you could’ve trained harder, used a better strategy, or just toughened up. Don’t blame your piss-poor performance on aid stations, volunteers, weather, or anything else that’s inherently part of the game. Instead of making excuses, learn from your lack of preparation.
- Don’t use your own nickname. Or use self-declarations. If someone gives you a badass nickname- let them use it. Using your own nickname violates a fundamental rule of the universe. Related- don’t use self-declarations. If you have to tell us you’re doing something crazy, it’s not really that crazy. Learn to let your actions speak louder than your words.
- Don’t over-spam. Yes, many of us are bloggers. Yes, some of us run businesses that are related to traffic derived from social media. Unless you’re specifically posting AS A BUSINESS, keep your spamming to no more than 10% of your total posts.
There you have it- ten rules to help you avoid being a boring social media runner.