Thinking of an annoying social media habit was kind of difficult for me at first. The only thing I could think of was people using their or your instead of they’re or you’re, and that probably doesn’t constitute as a social media problem; social media just allows you to see it more often…way more often. So I decided to scroll through my Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram apps to see if I might find something even a bit annoying or frustrating.
Not only did I succeed at finding several things, but I also realized I’ve slowly become almost desensitized to it at this point which is why it didn’t automatically pop into my head. So I’m just going to name a few of the contenders before I get to the champion of Social Media Habits That Must Die.
- Tweegrams. They just rub me the wrong way. I don’t really care if you want to tell the world your deepest thoughts or the fact that you’re about to go to sleep, but take that to Facebook or better yet, Twitter. Instagram is a photo-based platform; keep it that way.
- Selfies. I generally don’t mind them. Got a new haircut? Awesome, let’s see it. Just feel like sharing your face with the world because you’re confident like that? Go ahead, more power to you. However, I really don’t want to see 10 consecutive photos of your face that make me feel like I’m playing a spot-the-difference game because they all look exactly the same. No. That’s overkill.
- Self-promotion/Spam. You all, at this point, have to be familiar with this. On Facebook, you might recognize it as when a person just keeps on sharing a page in your newsfeed, begging you for likes and shares, or even worse, and posts it on the wall of every single person on their friends list. Twitter and Instagram spam methods usually consists of people posting something filled with a load of irrelevant tags, or a ‘follow for a follow’ kind of thing.
Shoutouts work pretty much like #3 on my list, except instead of self-promoting, these people are telling you to follow or like another person’s account or page. I see it mainly on Instagram, which I find to be even more annoying because when I scroll I expect to see nice scenery, cool or funny pictures, cute animals, food, and selfies. I’ll even deal with you promoting your other account because it’s yours. I do not expect to see a screenshot of Sally’s account while following Sue’s account, urging me to ‘follow her’ and that she will ‘follow for a follow’ in the caption. My little sister is infamous for this, as are many middle-schoolers. Of course, when I go to find an example off her account, I realize she must delete those posts after a set amount of time because I couldn’t find even one. What’s even worse is that she’ll follow up the shoutout post with a tweegram post saying something like, “Did you like that last picture yet?” No, I didn’t like that picture, the caption told me to follow (not that I did that either), not like.
In this blog post I found, this habit is listed as number four out of ten of things that you should not do on Instagram. The blogger makes the statement: “The only thing more annoying than advertisements is a person on your instagram that’s advertising someone else’s instagram,” and I wholeheartedly agree, especially if the account advertised is just filled with selfies (and it usually is.) As I said before, it’s one thing to promote yourself as it is your blog, but to promote another person is just like an
unwanted (they’re almost all unwanted) irrelevant commercial during our tv time. If someone’s watching a program on television that’s anti-bro, I’m pretty sure one of the most annoying things they could see in commercial break would be an Axe commercial. The shoutout is that Axe commercial.
Instagram was made to have people communicate with other using photos. Perhaps you stumble upon an account of a traveler with phenomenal pictures of the world’s greatest cities and decide to follow this traveler on his journey by following his account. In this way, you’re utilizing media to virtually travel the world, just as people who do shoutouts are using media to virtually hand out promos and flyers of an actual person. I can’t help but think of this community of Instagram users as today’s upgraded, more personable versions of spam emails: completely irrelevant to the intended purpose and/or function, but still invading the space.