We love social media, don’t we? We get to force other people to look at our holiday snaps and cat/baby photos; compulsively stalk people without getting arrested, and pretend to ‘like’ things we don’t really like.
In many ways, social media is a lot better than real life, or maybe it’s just the trendy retro filter that makes it look that way.
But I think it’s fair to say that everyone’s got their own list of pet peeves- mostly related to other people’s behaviour when it comes to the Facebook and the Twitter and the what not.
1. The Gurus, the Ninjas and the Wizards
Back in the 60’s, it was cool to have a guru. It meant that you could do a lot of drugs and not wash your hair because some rad, old Indian dude said it was okay. Nowadays, anyone can be a ‘guru’ as long as they have cool hair and can set up a Facebook advert.
Don’t even get me started on the ‘ninjas and the ‘wizards’- suffice to say that you really don’t have to worry about getting stabbed in the neck with a shuriken or turned into a toad by one of these dippy fucks.
I like it when people know what they’re talking about, because I so rarely do. But what I’ve noticed more and more is that a lot of experts are nothing more than social ‘brokers’- product pushers insisting on earning a management fee by any means possible.
A typical ‘guru’ conversation might go something like this:
Them: “Oh, you don’t have Scroto-Stop *? It’s an app we developed to stop people from posting pictures of their balls on your page!”
You: “But I want people to post pictures of their balls on our page.”
Them again: “Then you need Ball-a-Rama*! It’s an app we developed that covers your whole page in wall-to-wall balls.”
2. Cryptic Status Updates
You know the kind:
“I’ll never forgive you.”
“Everything is coming together.”
“I can’t believe what just happened…”
“Watermelon puppies Snodgrass.”
Okay, that last one doesn’t really make any sense, but maybe that’s the point.
You know how when you post a really cryptic update/ tweet, no one contacts you to find out exactly who you won’t forgive, or what actually just happened, or why watermelon puppies Snodgrass?
Dude, that’s because no one cares. You need to be succinct and to the point in your updates- everybody’s got shit to do, we can’t sit around solving clues to your ‘mysterious’ life.
If you’re trying to edit yourself because you can’t divulge more details without getting fired/ dumped/ arrested, then maybe what you’re trying to say doesn’t belong on social media.
3. Overly Detailed Status Updates
‘Oh’, you say, ‘Jade, you’re just being a fussy old wally now.’
And yes, perhaps I am, and perhaps you’d prefer to use a stronger word than ‘wally’. But does everyone you know really need to know about the ‘awesome muffin’ you had for breakfast? Or how #supercomfy your bed is this morning?
I do not need a blow-by-blow account of your life (or your lunch). I’ve got a year’s worth of cat videos to watch, FFS. And work. I also have work to do.
When in doubt, ask yourself if what you’re about to vomit out into the world is important enough to directly email to even one single person that you know. Even your mum.
Because, if even your mom finds you boring, isn’t it fair that I should too?
4. Being Obliged to Friend/Follow People
I hate it when people tell me that they only friend/ follow people that they actually know and like.
No-one interacts solely with the people of their own choosing. We all smile at, work with and shake hands with people we’d just as quickly push down a long flight of stairs. Sometimes all before we even leave the house.
Our social lives are based on a complex system of reciprocity, manipulation and masked resentment. It’s called ‘society’ and it’s what separates us from the animals.
You know there are people in your friend list that you only agreed to friend because if you don’t, they’ll give you the stink eye the next time you see their fat, stupid face in all of its awful, fleshy glory- and that will be awkward.
And isn’t the whole point of social media to avoid awkwardness at all costs?
P.S. If you read my blog, this does not apply to you as you are a true friend; a noble being deserving of nigh godlike worship and an endless array of soft cheeses and accompanying pickles.
5. The Grammar
Oh god, the grammar. Thankfully many of my friends are writers/ pedantic assholes and have no problem pointing out when an apostrophe or a semicolon have been used incorrectly.
I love you guys, your great.
But if you’re a community manager of any kind, you will by now have been exposed to a hideous parade of linguistic mutilations (often trying, and failing, to ask for money). If you do have to answer the limping, mangled excuses that pass for sentences on a social platform, I think it’s completely fair to add ‘interpreter’ to your LinkedIn skill set.
Here are some steps to follow if you’re trying to send a message, make a comment or be understood at all:
- Try to use ALL the letters in the word.
- Try to include ALL the words in the sentence.
- Read it back to yourself.
- Now think about what you’re actually trying to say.
- Repeat from Step 1
What do you hate about social media? Tell me and I might add it to my list…Unless it’s my blog updates.