Saturday, May 06, 2017

The 10 things I HATE about social media

We're a little over a decade into the so-called social media era, long enough that's it's now a normal, everyday thing for most of us. It's also been around long enough for some of us - I'm not judging, pointing fingers or naming names; not yet, anyway  - to have built up more than a few annoying habits along the way.

With that in mind, here's a quick list of some of the things that elevate my blood pressure when I thumb past them on my smartphone:

1 - Posting selfies, and only selfies. While there's nothing wrong with a selfie or two thrown into the mix here and there, Every Single Picture need not be of you. Look, I get it: I'm an occasional-selfie-taker, and they are a fun addition to the photographic toolkit. But they aren't everything. Point the lens outward and tell the story instead of constantly being the story. You're interesting, but not that interesting.

2 - Turning your timeline into a real-time vacation travelogue. First of all, anyone who posts pics while they're on vacation is an idiot (hey criminals, please rob my empty house!) Second, isn't the whole point of a vacation supposed to be that you get away from social media and other tools of everyday technology? Instead of a never-ending, one-at-a-time stream of unedited and badly composed photos posted while you're away, why don't you enjoy the moment, then edit and post a carefully curated summary once you get home? Combining wall-to-wall selfies with real-time vacation pics is even worse. So please stop.

3 - Sharing a list of 10 concerts. I don't think you much care about who I've seen perform live on-stage, and I'm pretty sure the feeling is mutual. Wait, I'm completely sure. I don't care that this is the latest hot meme that's sweeping Facebookistan, and why everyone else is falling all over themselves is beyond me. Unless you really like being a sheeple, I guess. Try coming up with something original instead. It's a little more work, but it makes for better reading.

4 - Participating in a meme. Those endless "Let's see who reads this..." posts are so far beyond being played out that I can't believe they're still a thing. When half my feed is filled with cut-and-paste sameness because no one can be bothered to share an original thought, I begin to wonder if any of us has a future. If you want to write something close to the heart, sharpen your virtual pencil and write it yourself. Why would I be bothered to read and respond if you can't be bothered to think?

5 - Sending game invitations. If you can't learn to turn off notifications and invitations when you play an online game, perhaps you don't deserve to have a social media account. I know it sounds harsh, but someone needs to have the courage to tell you your endless game invites aren't merely annoying. They also make you look lame.

6 - Overshare. I know way too much about the intimate lives of way too many people, all because they insist on posting longform accounts of their child's latest outburst at home, their most recent run-in with the crazy neighbors on the other side of the fence, their trials and tribulations at work, and their years-long efforts to have that baby boy they always wanted because three healthy girls simply weren't enough. Look, I love the way social media gives us insight into the lives of people we care about. And the social media space is filled with lots of examples of people who do it right - with grace, sensitivity and class - and I will never get enough of the good kind of sharing. But holy cow, people, learn where to draw the line. The difference between appropriate and inappropriate levels of sharing should be obvious to us by now. Sadly, they aren't.

7 - Using your timeline as a scheduler. Blog posts, Facebook status updates and other publicly-shared messages are best served as focused summaries of things that matter to you, not comprehensive, excruciatingly detailed accounts of your day that make me wonder why you feel the need to share it all. I'm exhausted enough managing my own day in 15-minute increments that trying to follow yours in blow-by-blow format is damn near impossible.

8 - Write everything in one long, endless paragraph. Did grammar go out the window with the advent of social media tools? Do we no longer know how to communicate in bite-sized chunks? Considering the increasingly attention-deficit nature of digital messaging, you'd think the 5,000-word-all-in-one-graf Facebook post would be a thing of the past. You'd think wrong. Use that Enter/Return key, people. I beg you.

9 - Announcing periodic cleanups of your friends lists. Passive-aggressive much? If you're going to unfriend or unfollow someone, just do it. Don't pre-announce it. Don't post it to all your friends and ask them to beg to stay in your good electronic graces. Don't post again, after the fact, to let your remaining "friends" know how lucky they are to still be in your orbit. If you do, and you suddenly find me absent from your timeline, now you know why.

10 - Sending unsolicited group messages. There's a reason there are laws against spam. Wait, there are TONS of reasons. But what's now taboo in email seems to be perfectly acceptable on social media. If I didn't ask to be on the recipient list for your mass Facebook Messenger message, then don't put me on it - especially if you stuff it with weird emojis and animated GIFs.

I'm pretty sure this makes me sound like the old codger standing on his lawn whining about those darn neighborhood kids, But when we're gifted with some of the most sophisticated communications technology ever conceived and we choose to waste it on Candy Crush and Donald Trump memes, I can't stand silently by the wayside.

Your turn: What bugs YOU about social media? Let me know in a comment...maybe there's another list - or two, or three... - in our collective future.

5 comments:

Kalei's Best Friend said...

I have to ageee about the selfies. Omg and what is wose is when the person lists where they're going for lunch or bragging about how far they ran or stating their weight and the number is so far off than what the selfie shows. Instagram in particular is #1 in selfies. I don't bother acknowledging those posts. It's ridiculous

Dana said...

Ok! I slipped up and did the concert thing. It was a weak moment! Great list! Agree with them all, particularly the clean up friends lists posts or the copy paste actions..... my biggest pet peeve? People who assume they know ALL that's happening in my life by what I choose to share....I felt the same in the blog world too.
But my biggest aversion right now? Donald Trumps maniacal narcissistic tweets.

Karen S. said...

What I dislike the most, is haters and those that promote/are unkind/cruel/negative. Why not promote happiness? Let's feel good/joy/learn good things! You're so right about too many selfies, which reminds me of the difference between folks like you and me, so opposite from my hubby who always argues about how I take photos. You can't just take a picture of that fence, put a person in it! Yep, he's got a lot to learn about photography! Must close need to take a picture of this awesome/interesting/incredible rock next to me!

DikBozo said...

As usual, Carmi, another thoughtful insightful post. Your list here of poor social media behavior should be widely spread and disseminated. I will attempt in my little way to do so and with full participation in these tenets. Once gain, sir, thank you.

Blond Girl said...

You have such a great, all-inclusive list that it's hard to improve. However,I will add the "I'm leaving FB because no one reads my posts" or the "would anyone even miss me if I were to stop posting?" posts.