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Going to SXSW? Don't be a jerk

OPINION

  • Mumford & Sons plays at last year's SXSW.
Mumford & Sons plays at last year's SXSW. (Reuters file photo )
March 06, 2013|By Jessica Galliart, @jessicagalliart | RedEye

Chicago just got pounded with a monster blizzard, and all of your friends are wearing sandals and prancing around in the Texas sunshine at SXSW for the next week. Awesome, right? Nah, it kind of blows.

Confession: I'm one of those a-holes who will be soaking up the warmth at the music and tech festival for the next week, and, well ... sorry I'm not sorry about that. But here's the thing: I am kind of sorry you have to deal with a barrage of tweets, Facebook posts and Instagram photos reminding you how much fun you're missing out on while you're buried under a foot of snow and someone's armpit on the Red Line.

This happens every time a destination event or festival—Bonnaroo, Coachella, the Wisconsin Dells—kicks off. People having fun tweet about the joys of drinking $8 festival beers and not working, and after a few days, it gets exhaustingly depressing.

As someone who's been on both sides of this predicament, I promise you can get through it without defriending that coworker posting about "the TIME of my LIIIIFE!" (Or maybe you should defriend him? That guy is probably a mouthbreather, anyway.)

SXSW kicks off Friday in Austin, Texas, and I have a few tips for how to handle the incoming social media assault, whether you're one of the poor souls stuck in Chicago or a SXSW heathen who needs some pointers on how to cool it with the braggy stuff on your vacay.

The Food Instagrams

You're there: Mmm, breakfast tacos! Share away because those things are life-changing, but also be sure to stow away some leftovers to share with friends later.

You're not: Eat a hot dog and continue to tweet-pout.

The Weather Tweets

You're there: Is it raining? Good. Let's see some tweets about your muddy feet and maybe something about how your hair just can't seem to beat the precipitation.

You're not: You live in Chicago. The weather is better in almost every other place on Earth. Get over it.

The #Drunk Hashtags

You're there: What are you doing on Twitter? Don't do that. I speak from the experience of staring down a displeased boss on the first day back at work, here.

You're not: OK, now you can start paying attention. Make a Twitter list of everyone you know who's at this shindig. Grab screen shots of all of the drunk tweets and save them in a special folder for later.

The Facebook Brags

You're there: Remember that time your friend gave birth and documented much of the gooey process on her Timeline? If you could survive that without defriending, then she can just deal with your selfies taken with a celebrity. Think of this adventure as your baby.

You're not: Begin to plot your payback Facebook assault the next time you do anything remotely fun or cool, however far off into the future that may be.

And finally, here's another groundbreaking idea for how to survive the SXSW Social Media Assault of 2013 if it really bothers you: UNPLUG FROM SOCIAL MEDIA FOR A FEW DAYS!

Jessica Galliart is RedEye's social media lady. She'll try not to drunk-tweet too much from inside a trash can at SXSW.

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