On-line etiquette for clones (with a few tips for zombies)

Social networking poses special challenges for clones and the brain-dead. Here are some tips to avoid confusion.

1. Remember that clones are people, too. Each clone should have its own Facebook page.
2. A zombie doesn’t have a brain, so it doesn’t need a Facebook page. It should, however, have its own Twitter account.
3. Zombies have trouble remembering passwords and the answers to security questions. Set up a separate keychain file for each zombie that will be using your computer.
4. While Skyping with your clones, it’s often hard to remember which one you are. Wear name tags.
5. Clones often pick the same password without intending to. Be sure you’re logging onto the right account.
6. When zombies use a laptop, parts of their bodies fall off and get stuck between the keys. Get them an iPad.
7. Never forward spam e-mails to your clones. Send them to the zombies instead.
8. Zombies cannot be infected by computer viruses, but they may be carriers. Install Norton software and download the latest virus definitions before opening any attachment from a zombie.
9. Zombies can’t use key combinations and often have trouble typing the @ symbol. If you haven’t heard from them for a while, it’s probably because their e-mails aren’t going through. Or their hands might have fallen off.
10. Be sure to cc clones on all important e-mails. Use the bcc line for zombies.

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I am a science writer at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in Berlin, author of fiction and popular science books, an artist, and a professional musician who performs on the viola da gamba and Medieval and Renaissance stringed instruments. I edit manuscripts of all types and teach the full range of scientific communication skills. I am doing theoretical work in this subject - see for example https://goodsciencewriting.wordpress.com/2018/03/11/ghosts-models-and-meaning-in-science/

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