It’s official – social networks are getting closer to taking over the world with each passing day. Soon, our money will be emblazoned with that slightly-crazed look of smug satisfaction of young Zuckerberg; our payslips will prominently display the words ‘Property of Facebook’ next to your name; and the evening news will just be an automated reading of Twitter updates from those with the most followers. All of these things, and more, are going to happen – you know it’s true. No doubt about it.
So, why not knuckle down and make sure you’re at the top of your game when it comes to making Facebook-friends and influencing Tweeple – make sure you don’t succumb to these awfully effective ways of getting yourself overlooked; ignored; or, even worse, cast aside and forgotten with nothing more than a single flex of a finger. Here are, in no particular order (except maybe the last one), 6 highly effective ways to piss off your social network:
1) News Feed Spam – let’s start with the really obvious one, the one all of us are annoyed by and yet a remarkably large number still engage in. 12 months ago it was application spam: what crops are you growing, which religion should you belong to, what soft-drink is most like your personality. These were annoying enough, and they are definitely still there; however we can for the most part choose to ignore specific application notices, still allowing us to hear about your hangover whilst avoiding tales of Fluffy the red-billed platypus that you just adopted by selling your fairy-starfish to some person we don’t know.
But that was 12 months ago, before the whole world discovered Twitter and the fact that they could link their tweets to their status updates. Now, the thing about Twitter is that people often write things that don’t really fit into the Facebook zeitgeist (hashtags, for example) – and, even worse, people often feel the need to write 27 updates in the space of an hour because they are at some event or whatnot.
Even Facebook knows this is annoying, and have recently implemented a function which hides all your news feed spam behind a ‘show 156 similar posts’ heading. If you combine your Twitter feed to your Facebook status updates and automate the process, you WILL annoy your social network at one point or another.
2) Start a Facebook War – We’ve all been there. A long romance turns sour, a couple breaks up. But now the question is, how are the battle-lines drawn amongst the social network? You have to unfriend him (even though you still really like the guy), and your partner has to unfriend her (displaying the building blocks of the double-dating friendship for all to see)…it all turns really messy, really quickly.
Of course, this is done to stop the dreaded shadow of online jealousy taking hold, a mythical beast that we have newly created; rising Phoenix-like out of the ashes of old-school jealousy stronger and more destructive than ever before! Why has this person written that? Who is this new friend and is she hotter than me?! What is that event you are going to, and why wasn’t I invited?
In the end though, Facebook Wars really suck for everyone involved. Let people choose their sides and respect the decisions made, they weren’t all in the relationship with you – and the fact is if the bastard/bitch really was an evil scumbag from the lowest circles of Hell, everyone will choose your side anyway.
3) The Clingy, Attention-seeking Codependent – RoseLoverX has sent you a message: ‘Where have you been?!!! It’s been two days since I heard from you!!!!1!‘.
MysticMeg is ‘feeling like the whole world hates her today and I should just die, please kill me‘.
StalkerDude7 has written on your wall: ‘hey, heading out for lunch want to come?‘ StalkerDude7 has commented on your status: ‘hey, having an after-lunch smoke break – meet you out back?‘ StalkerDude7 has commented on a photo of you: ‘hey, drinks after work?? 😀‘.
I don’t think I need to explain this one…
4) Business, Business, Business!! – They’re called social networks for a reason, and you just have to abuse the crap out of everything that such a term could mean. Like some obsessed multi-level marketing Amway freak, the only time anybody ever hears from you is when you are promoting something or talking shop. In the search to become the newly crowned social-media guru in town you completely forgot that it’s about having a conversation, not shouting your wares from the rooftop or ignoring the majority of friends for those few others who are committing the same crime.
If you walked into a house party and there was one guy there who stood on the couch, grabbed the karaoke microphone, and started bellowing out a list of business connections he’s made and how they can benefit you I think you would steer clear and head out back to chat with all the social smokers. Sometimes we want to hear how your professional life is going, such an insight can actually be quite illuminating and allow us to better understand the many facets of your daily life. But if you have forgotten that we are actually your friends and are just treating us as virtual customers – or, far far worse, ‘influencers’ BLEH!! – then you just won the Annoy Your Network Oscars.
5) Point Out Facebook/Twitter Sins – oh, wait…damn it!!
6) You’re Above it All – and the prize for the most effective way to annoy your social network goes to…those people who refuse to participate and yet are still constantly feeling the need to remind you about how absolutely awful and soul-destroying social media actually is. Every time you check Facebook on your phone, there they are pointing out how lame it is and how it’s not real friendship. With each tweet you send they ask you: ‘what, sending a message out about what you’re eating for dinner??‘.
You might not want to join in for privacy concerns, fair enough. You might even have been really into the idea, but then a bad experience with an online stalker or ex-girlfriend causes you to think otherwise. Fair enough. But if you’re one of those types who takes every mention of Facebook or Twitter and turns it into a Sunday Sermon against the evils of social media than guess what? We don’t care, we’re having way too much fun getting to know one another! Meat-life ignore!
There you have it, 6 highly effective ways to annoy the people in your social network. There are plenty more to be added, so if you’ve got something in particular that you really hate seeing when you log in – something that just grates your cheddar – please do share it below so we can all revel in our mutual loathing of things that all of us do. Always remember though, it isn’t that you do these things; it’s how OFTEN you do them that really makes them annoying. We all do them, and much worse besides, but most of us make sure that we have a nice healthy balance and don’t become so easily pigeon-holed.
So, what things annoy you about social media?