Stop Doing This on Social Media. You’re Driving Me Nuts!

11 Feb
Photo credit: Martin Lieberman / Instagram

Photo credit: Martin Lieberman / Instagram

When you use social media as much as I do — and admittedly, it’s probably a bit too much — there are bound to be a few things you don’t like about it.

To wit: Not too long ago, my friend Christoph Trappe compiled a great list of his top Twitter pet peeves, many of which I agree with. That got me thinking about some of my own. In an effort to not be repetitive or redundant with Christoph (or my own previously published thoughts regarding unfriending), I decided to expand my purview to cover the social networks I’m most active on: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. (And Vine too, mostly because I’m not a fan.)

Yes, there’s plenty about social media I love (come back in a couple days to see that list). But for today, we’ll stick to my pet peeves.

Here they are, in no particular order.

1. Brands that keep asking you to retweet, share, like, favorite, or reply to their social media posts, but that never actually engage with their fans and followers, say “thank you,” or otherwise show their appreciation when you actually do it

2. Feeling an obligation to wish someone a happy birthday on Facebook when it’s obvious they’re just a lurker — if that — and never post anything of their own

3. People who say in their Twitter bio something like “tweets do not reflect the views of my employer,” but who only tweet about their employer

4. People whose Twitter “brand” is sarcastic and cynical, who all of a sudden have a legit need and want you to take them seriously

5. People who auto-RT anything that Mashable or TechCrunch posts, as if they’re the only ones who follow those handles or read those sites, and think they’re adding value and doing us all a service by resharing [Tweet this]

6. People (and businesses) who purport to seek engagement by asking questions, but who never respond to or otherwise acknowledge the people who do reply to the questions

7. People who share, retweet, like, or favorite content simply because a brand told them to

8. How the Facebook UI keeps reminding you (on site, via mobile push notifications, via email, etc.) to wish someone happy birthday because it isn’t smart enough to know you’ve already done it

9. People who just tweet headlines and links and never customize the tweet

10. The redundancy when big news happens, because everybody essentially posts the same headlines or memorable quotes, or tries to out-funny the next person

11. People who over-comment and over-like. Seriously, you don’t have to engage with EVERY post

12. People who live-tweet their entire day — from the second they wake up to what’s happening on their commute to how they drank their morning coffee, and on and on and on. I’m all for authenticity and giving a look at who you are, but come on [Tweet this]

13. When sites like the BostonGlobe.com and NewYorkTimes.com dock you for having “read” an article, even though all you’ve done is click through from Facebook or Twitter and didn’t actually read the article

14. Couples who re-share each other’s Facebook posts

15. People who choose Vine to record a video from a concert or event, where six seconds clearly isn’t long enough

16. People who announce they’re taking a “social media sabbatical” or who want your applause because they’ve come back from one and learned so much [Tweet this]

17. So-called influencers or thought leaders who preach engagement, but who never write back when you try to engage with them

18. People with limited subject matter experience who stubbornly try to act like experts

19. People who use Instagram to post screen shots — of iTunes or a weather app, for example

20. When a popular video or article gets shared days, weeks or even months after it was popular, as if no one’s seen it before

21. The people who spoil a good-intentioned (if imperfect) automated social media campaign just because they can

22. Click-bait headlines (thank you, @savedyouaclick)

23. People (and especially businesses) who treat social media as a Monday-to-Friday, 9–5 thing

24. People who clearly pre-schedule their entire daily Twitter feed [Tweet this]

25. People who only retweet other people and never add their own opinion

26. People who favorite more than they reply to tweets [Tweet this]

27. People who auto-crosspost their tweets on Facebook, complete with handles, hashtags, and shortened URLs

28. People who repost others’ Instagram photos — especially when they’re not even photos (a someecards.com post, for example)

29. People who auto-crosspost every Swarm checkin and Instagram pic on Twitter and Facebook — especially if that’s essentially all they tweet. If you’re not going to put in the effort (to post manually or even to post different things, or post the same content in a more appropriate way), why bother being on those channels?

30. Paper.li digests

31. People whose idea of “engagement” is tweeting an occasional “thank you” when someone mentions them, or a quick smiley, but who don’t ever make the effort to be, you know, social on social media

32. People who clearly don’t tweet for themselves [Tweet this]

33. When Facebook randomly defaults back to displaying “Top Stories” in the News Feed, even though you prefer “Most Recent”

34. People who say tweeting and posting with spelling mistakes and bad grammar and/or unclear abbreviations makes them more “real”

35. People who thank you for including them in a Paper.li digest, even though it’s random and automated, and out of the user’s control [Tweet this]

36. People who “live-tweet” an event on Facebook, posting every couple minutes

37. People who post multiple photos of a concert or sporting event, even though they’re sitting far away from the stage/field/court and you can barely see anything in any of the photos

38. Social sanctimony, and the people who think they always have the moral high ground [Tweet this]

39. People who preview “big news,” as if they’re some celebrity or politician and we’ll be waiting on the edge of our seat to learn what it is

40. Those “My Week on Twitter” tweets

41. People who change their Twitter avatar or Facebook profile picture every week

42. People who complain on social media often about how much they hate social media [Tweet this]

43. Brands that ruin the fun of a big event like the Super Bowl by overdoing their “real time” social marketing

44. That LinkedIn defaults to a generic connection email and has made it more challenging to customize the message

45. People on Twitter who hide behind a picture or cartoon that looks nothing like them and a nickname

46. Social media “experts” or writers/bloggers who don’t use Twitter

47. People who don’t know how to use the Instagram filters — in other words, people who use them to ruin their photos instead of making them better

48. When experts/influencers/thought leaders get annoyed because people actually listen to them and now their feed is full of redundant or failed newsjacking, discussion about hot topics, attempts at being “real,” or whatever

49. People who keep their Instagram account “private,” even though they share every single photo on Facebook and/or Twitter

50. “Happy belated birthday.” No. The birthday wasn’t late; you were. [Tweet this]

Yes, this is a long list. And admittedly, I’ve been guilty of a few of these things from time to time. But if we all stopped doing this stuff, using social media would be a much more enjoyable — yes, even more enjoyable — activity.

What are YOUR biggest social media pet peeves? Tweet this blog post, or leave a comment in the space below, and let me know!

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5 Responses to “Stop Doing This on Social Media. You’re Driving Me Nuts!”

  1. Roberta Messuri February 11, 2015 at 3:17 pm #

    Hi Martin, I suspect that many people are not social media professionals, the ones that are, we should take offense. Many of us learn as we go and hopefully, eventually, get some kind of clue. If there are existing books/sites on how to casually tweet, post, snap and comment without driving other people nuts, I think most would not take the time to read it nor follow the ‘best practices’ either. To me there are two camps: 1. the pros 2. the average slugs. Each social platform has its own uniqueness, but for the average slug, it’s just for kicks & yuks. The mass online criticisms are starting to remind me of the divisness of high school; only the ‘cool’ ones should speak. With that said, I follow on Twitter to learn, post on FB to brag, pass on a good yuk or show pics of family, use Instagram to experiment with photos & type, and LI is a bore. The best part: reading FB fights, very entertaining and quite stupid. my 2 cents…

    • Martin Lieberman February 11, 2015 at 4:45 pm #

      Hi Roberta. I definitely appreciate the comment, and didn’t mean to offend. If anything, this was meant to be a light-hearted look at common annoyances — each of which I stand by. That said, my (over)use of social media definitely makes me more prone to be annoyed by things that less heavy users don’t mind. I’ve been trying to be more tolerant too, because one of the best things about social media is that everyone approaches and uses it in different ways. Things I love, other people don’t. And vice versa. Perhaps that will come through when my “rebuttal” blog post is published in a couple days. It’s much more positive in tone. 🙂 In the meantime, sorry if you were offended by this blog post. Thanks again for saying something!

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