The Best Way to Do Social Media Is Not to Post

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In a new interview with Town and Country, Anne Hathaway revealed that she doesn’t actually post anything on Instagram herself. That’s not necessarily surprising for an A-list celebrity, but there’s rhyme and reason to Hathaway’s assisted Instagramming: it helps her be mindful of what she’s saying, even in a photo caption.

She told the magazine that when it comes to social media, she comes up with the photo and accompanying caption, and sends it all to someone else, who holds onto them for an hour. In that time, Hathaway thinks over the potential post before sending over her final approval.

“That way I look at it with fresh eyes,” she said. “Because once it’s out there, it’s out there.”

Which begs the question: Why the hell aren’t we all doing this?

I get it — with the speed with which the internet moves these days, as well as how easy it is to draft and send a tweet within seconds, mulling over a photo caption for an hour doesn’t always sound practical or appealing. But Hathaway does have a point: Once it’s out there, it’s out there, and as they say, the internet lives forever. Not all of us will have our social-media posts scrutinized as heavily as, say, someone who has 12.9 million Instagram followers, but we could all benefit from taking a minute to think about whether we really want to post those Instagram stories detailing a stranger’s supposed love life.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, whose social-media skill is a thing of envy, is also a proponent of the novel idea of not posting every single thing you think of, telling Business Insider that although she does write and send all her tweets, she also tries to exercise some restraint.

“There are so many tweets that do not see the light of day — there are so many,” she said. “In my house we joke: We call it ‘emptying the cart.’ It’s like when you go online shopping and then you’re, like, ‘Oh no, never mind,’ and you leave the website.”

If only more politicians and celebrities had that kind of judgment.

But even beyond famous people, none of us are perfect, and it’s easy to make a mistake and say something stupid when the template includes instant rapid-fire thoughts, contained in 280 characters. When in doubt, listen to Michelle Obama, and don’t tweet (or Instagram) every thought.

The Best Way to Do Social Media Is Not to Post