For today’s potentially controversial list, I am sharing my top ten social media pet peeves. Now. Just to clarify, these are my pointless, petty, unimportant complaints about social media users. Obviously, I there are much larger issues like hate speech, Nazis, online harassment, and cyberattacks. I AM NOT TALKING ABOUT THOSE. Those issues can and should be addressed before anybody cares about my petty complaints. Also, those things are generally propagated by the platforms themselves. I’m focusing more on individual social media users that I find annoying. (Like I said, I’m extremely petty.)
#10 The Facebook posts that are like, “Tell me your first memory with me, and then repost this to your own wall!” What if I want to share a memory, but I have no intention of reposting the thing? I could comment anyways, but I never do because I don’t want to get called out for not following directions.
#9 Undisclosed ads on Instagram. I don’t mind when celebrities or influencers post ads. In fact, I’m impressed that attractive people occasionally succeed in monetizing their attractiveness on social media. But there are clear guidelines for disclosing sponsored content, and I hate it when people ignore those rules in order to seem more “authentic” or whatever. Because then I’m left wondering whether you REALLY love Fab Fit Fun that much or if you’re just being shady. If you’re making bank selling gummy hair vitamins, just own it.
#8 Please don’t hate me for this one, but people who make their profile picture a photo of JUST their child. I’m not talking about pictures with children or even other random photos or icons. But when there’s a solo twelve-year-old I don’t know in the profile picture, it’s super confusing because I shouldn’t be FB friends with a twelve-year-old.
#7 I don’t blame anyone for this one (and I’m certain I’ve done it before), but when there’s some terrible, bot-generated hashtag trending on Twitter and then everyone starts using the hashtag to discuss how horrible the hashtag is. Which only makes the hashtag stronger because legitimate accounts are now posting with it. Which keeps whatever vitriol the MAGA crowd has created in cyberspace longer. Obviously, this is more the fault of the platform itself, not individual users. (And that’s a whole different blog post.)
#6 MLMs. On social media. (Actually, MLMs anywhere, but I’m trying to stay on subject here.)
#5 Increasingly on Reddit and Twitter, I feel like people automatically assume any nice or funny story is fake. And I know plenty of things on the internet are fake. But when somebody posts a cute story about their toddler or shares a funny coincidence that happened to them, it bugs me when all the comments accuse them of making it up. Of course, it’s the internet so we’ll never know for sure. But some days I just want to believe the golden retriever really did rescue that baby squirrel, you know?
#4 The self-deprecating humble brag. Generally, I find all humble-bragging to be cringey. Just be proud or happy or excited about your accomplishments—it’s really okay. I understand that’s hard for some people, though. I want to normalize people sharing good news without sandwiching it between a self-depracating remark and a few complaints.
#3 Users on tumblr who add “WOW I CAN’T BELIEVE ONLY 598 PEOPLE HAVE REBLOGGED THIS THE WORLD IS SHIT EVERYONE SUCKS LOL.” While, yes, the world is generally shit and most people are pretty sucky, perhaps the post hasn’t been online very long. Or perhaps the algorithm has not been kind. Or perhaps people are reading and agreeing, but don’t want the post on their blog. Whatever the explanation, you are ruining any chance the post has of getting attention because nobody is going to reblog the post with your all caps addition. (Nor are they going to find the original post to reblog because in addition to being sucky, people are also lazy.)
#2 Similarly, any post on any platform that begins with “98% of the people reading this won’t have the courage to share this.” THAT’S NOT HOW STATISTICS WORK. Also, everything I ranted about in #3.
And the pet peeve that basically inspired this entire post…
#1 When tweets begin with “Am I the only one…?” or “Has anyone ever…?” Obviously, you are not the only person to love rainstorms or whatever the fuck you’re tweeting about. I get it’s an easy way to encourage engagement, but this makes me so irrationally angry. Just tweet what you’re going to tweet and people may or may not respond. Don’t bait us with ridiculous questions like, “Am I the only person who really dislikes the electoral college?” You must know millions of people agree with you.