Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 10 July 2014

Selfies, tweet thieves and bores ... my 10 social media hates

Selfie queen: Helen Flanagan

How on earth did we survive before the advent of social media? How did we manage to communicate to our nearest and dearest how we were feeling at any exact moment in time, or what we had for dinner?

I'm a borderline social media addict with Facebook and Twitter my drugs of choice. While I get immense amusement and practical use from both, it's always gobsmacking what some people are willing to share on there.

There's a great video doing the rounds this week which hits the nail on the head about everything that's annoying about human behaviour on social media. It's shows a man going around slapping post-it notes on everything he likes. He walks up to complete strangers and asks 'Do you want to be my friend?'. He shouts 'I like peas' in the street. He sticks pictures of himself on a wall and takes a Polaroid of his food to ask someone what they think.

It's ridiculous behaviour but when you boil it down, that's what we all do every single day on social media. I include myself in some of that but others take it to baffling extremes. So I've had a long think and here are my top 10 social media irritations.

1. The celebrity selfie. That odd habit favoured by narcissistic celebs wanting to show the world how hot they look. The queens of the selfie are the likes of Helen Flanagan and Kim Kardashian. Kim was flashing the flesh recently when she tweeted a self-snapped pic of her very revealing swimsuit. Her fiance Kanye West tweeted straight back: 'Coming Home Now!" Was there really any need to share that with the entire world?

2. Tweet theft. Um, I can see you, we both know we follow each other, therefore I know you shamelessly copied and pasted my tweet five seconds after I posted it. I know because I can see it, and so can everyone else!

3. Breaking news on Twitter. If 100 people in your Twitter feed have already broken the news to you, why do you feel the need to break it to someone else? Why don't you add something new to the debate?

4. Too Much Information. First there was the woman I unfollowed on Twitter for discussing her husband's toilet trauma when he had food poisoning. And then there was another woman's plea to borrow someone's contraceptive pill as they'd run out. The fact that they got an offer of help was even more disturbing.

5. Fishing for sympathy. I can't STAND it when people post a cryptic message about being down or something bad happening – and then refusing to indulge what. They are then inundated with people asking 'What's wrong, hun? You ok?' You're just looking for attention. Either don't bring it up, or spit it out and have a proper rant.

6. Updates on your exercise regime. I don't care how many miles you ran today or what weight you lifted in the gym. I don't log on to Twitter to feel even lazier than I am, thank you.

7. Unasked for health updates, on you and your children. I'm not unsympathetic but I really don't need a running commentary on every sniff and sneeze.

8. Photo frenzy. I love having a nosy at people's holiday snaps on Facebook as much as the next voyeur – but 250 snaps of the same holiday?! Then another 300 of your supercute children?? Stop!

9. Party political broadcasts. Is there anything more boring than following a politician on Twitter who only posts dull party-sanctioned statements? You need to bring something extra to your loyal followers (so long as it's not a health update).

10. Being nasty. Just because you're sitting behind a computer doesn't mean you should say something you wouldn't say to someone's face, even if they're a celeb or politician. Why would you post something to the world that you wouldn't want your boss or mother to see? It's horrible to read.

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