Seven sins of social media use that you must avoid

It doesn’t matter who you are: There are certain types of social media use you absolutely, positively need to avoid.  You know what I’m talking about: the whiny person, the person who is always sending you Candy Crush invites, the person who does nothing but talk about their pet issue.  Some type of social media content can drive others nuts, and this can be particularly problematic for social media users who actually want to use social media to further professional goals: People unfriend or unfollow social media users whose content they don’t like.

To that end, here are the “seven deadly sins” of social media that you must avoid:

1. Vaguebooking:  


In other words, when someone writes a very general status update in which they are clearly soliciting attention. Upset? Need someone to talk to? Don’t air your dirty laundry on social media by making a vague statement about how much life sucks. Call a friend.  Hug your Mom. Do something other than this clearly attention seeking behavior.

2. Discussing the same topic…over and over again: We all have that person who constantly uses the same topic over and over again. Usually it’s an issue of major political consequence that they are obviously passionate about. Don’t get me wrong; discussing politics or important topics on social media is fantastic…in moderation. Doing so too much is annoying and will turn people off.

3. Whining/complaining/woe-is-me: Okay, imagine this: You are at a party.  Someone gets to the front of the room, gets a microphone and scream MY LIFE SUCKS.  That’s what you are basically doing when you complain on Facebook. Everyone has bad days and that can be painful, but again, Facebook, Twitter, and the like are not the places to broadcast the news.

4. Oversharing:


Again – do not mistake the ability to communicate to a network of friends with the need to discuss every aspect of your life.  You do not need to share every mundane detail or make multiple updates a day.  A good question to ask yourself before clicking that send button is “Why?”  Why do you want to send this post? Are you looking to share useful information? Get feedback about a legitimate question? Or are you looking for attention or shock value?  If the answer is the later…stop.

5. Bragging/humblebragging: No one likes a bragger, but what’s even more obnoxious is the humble brag, which is a brag disguised with a cloak of humility:


Sharing good news is okay on social media, in moderation. Don’t overdo it and don’t brag.  At the very least, if you are going to brag, make sure to add a reason, like saying thank you or encouraging someone to visit a website.

6. Sexism/vulgarity/racism/etc: Some topics need to be avoided. These are great examples.  Even vulgarity, which you may think is just being seen with you and your friends, can come back to haunt you if someone checks you out before or after a job interview, which they will. Social media is supposed to be a force for good, not offending someone.

7. Tweeting on Facebook/Facebooking on Twitter: Each network has their own specific language and terms. I’ve argued this previously and I’ll say it again: do not link Facebook with Twitter, Twitter with LinkedIn, etc.  It’s sort of like speaking American English in Australia…they will get the just, but some of the words will absolutely be lost in translation.

Any others to add? Disagree with any of the notes that I’ve written above? Let me know in the comments!

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