It seems that nowadays, almost every conversation could be related back to various social media platforms. For example, these are just a few of many conversations I’ve heard and personally had with those around me:
“Oh my, wait, they’re dating? How’d you find out?”
“They made it Facebook official yesterday.”
“What’s so funny?”
“Go on (insert name)’s Instagram! I’m dying. Haha.”
“If you spent half the time studying and cleaning your room as you do on Facebook, you’d be a star student and an organized human being.”
These are probably conversations a lot of active social media users have once said themselves or been told. There is no denying that in today’s generation, social media is an integral part of our everyday society.
Disclaimer: There are a significant amount of nations in this world where Internet and other online presences are not an integral part, but this is specifically coming from a standpoint of my situation as an average New Yorker.
That said, just because social media is a prevalent part of our lives, I do not see the necessity of posting our every movement and thoughts and ‘share’ it with the world to see. My social media pet peeve is when social media users overshare their opinions and feelings for all of their 500+ friends to read.
My usual reaction?
This pet peeve of mine is 2-fold.
1) The users who post their deepest feelings about a love that left or angry updates on what strangers accidentally or intentionally did to them, etc.
2) Just too many photos. Mainly those of…
- Couple photos
- Food photos
Generally speaking, I would term these users as “online attention seekers.”
Let me begin with the first of my 2-fold pet peeve phenomenon.
In Michael Wesch’s “An Anthropological Introduction to Youtube,” he discusses the freedom that Youtube along with other social media platforms provide in voicing out one’s opinions and thoughts. However, in this empowerment to speak freely, be accepted by those in your online community, or just be jerks, there are precautions that should be taken into consideration before users decide to overload on the personal information.
In an article by Carolyn Edgecomb, the author discusses the thin line of posting too much on social media. When is too much too much? The author clearly states that there is “nothing worse than spamming your target audience” (paragraph 1).
I don’t think there is any problem in venting and occasionally writing out a long, but fun-to-read anecdote on Facebook. I won’t deny that it’s a good feeling seeing many likes on a status update. That said, Facebook is a social media platform meant to connect and keep in touch with your “Friends.” It is not a therapy group, so don’t treat it like it is. Realize that everything you share is not going out only to those you regularly communicate with; it is reaching every single user on your “Friends” list. This means that even those you almost never talk to – those people that you’re not even close enough to write a casual “Happy Birthday!” when the right-hand column shows the list of people’s birthdays you never even remembered you were friends with – those people see all your angry statuses and depressing broken love updates. Facebook is a platform for social networking and was originally never created for heavy politics or diary entries. Yes, you can tell the world how you feel… every once in a while. Do not spam your 500+ friends’ newsfeed. I will tell you right now, and I say this because I care, no one will appreciate it!
The second part of my 2-fold pet peeve is people’s “necessity” to post every single photo and check-in into every single place of every kind of food and every activity they are eating or doing every single day.
1) Couples: It’s okay to post cute photos of the two of you going on a date at some fancy restaurant. It’s okay to celebrate your anniversary and share that joy with your friends. Just don’t upload 300 photos of the two of you in the same position using the same camera angle.
2) “Foodies”: Listen, those of you who call yourselves “foodies,” it is not a legitimate excuse to post every single picture of your breakfast, lunch, mid-day snack, dinner, late-night snack, midnight snack all on Instagram or any other social media platform.
It is this process of taking photos at the right angle with the right lighting and the right filter that take away from the authentic enjoyment of simply eating. In Don Slater’s article of “Social Relationships and Identity Online and Offline,” the author discusses the concept of disembodiment. Slater states that the offline presence is irrelevant to the online presence; in addition, in his discussion of the irrelevance of physical location as users are re-embedded into their virtual location, I instantly thought of how obsessed you can be in uploading photos and sharing to the world their food adventures that you don’t actually enjoy the moment itself.
Instead, you are too busy acting like you are having a good time that you can so easily lose touch with the moment and therefore cannot truly enjoy yourself. Not when it takes 15 minutes to upload one photo to show the virtual 500 people instead of converse with the person sitting directly across from you, just two feet away.
Don’t do this.
In conclusion, I think this became my pet peeve because it is too overdone. The idea is that social media is definitely not a purely harmful means of communication. And just as Tom Standage points out in his article of “Social Networking in the 1600s” that coffeehouses, where people back then gathered as a central networking site, were beneficial just so long as they were not occupied 24/7, this 2-fold pet peeve of mine is not beneficial nor is it annoying until it is done in overdose.