Thursday, February 28, 2013

Internet Behaviors That Need To Die

I really do try to keep my online ranting to a minimum. I’m not big on calling others out on every little thing that bothers me, because I don’t want to sound preachy or come across like I think I’m better than anyone else. But I’ve noticed lately that I’m less and less inclined to even go online, and I think it’s because so many people have forgotten a very simple fact: social media is meant to be just that. SOCIAL.

Don’t get me wrong, I think sites like Facebook and Twitter are also very effective tools for promotion, networking, friendly competition, and venting – as long as these things are done in moderation and with discretion.

Lately I’m finding these things are exactly what’s missing. So let’s break my biggest gripes down:

1) Bullying for Likes

One of my biggest peeves recently is that I can’t go on Facebook without finding that my friends and relatives have spammed my feed with pictures of people or animals or babies I’ve never met, tagged with some passive-aggressive instructions telling me if I don’t press “Like” immediately, it means I think babies are ugly or I hope all dogs die of cancer.


Who started this extra-annoying form of reverse psychology mixed with cyberbullying? And why does ANYONE fall for it, and worse, let it continue by sharing it?

And don’t even get me started on the “Hey everybody, if I get x amount of “likes,” someone, possibly myself, has promised me some fabulous reward!”

I saw one recently that said “If I get 10,000 Likes, I’ll quit smoking.” I’m sorry, but no. There are a thousand reasons someone should be motivated to quit smoking, and a gimmick isn’t one of them. If you really want to quit, do it. Don’t justify the continuation of a gross and harmful habit by saying that not enough Facebookers cared about you quitting. YOU need to care, and you need to do the work. If your goal of achieving an arbitrary number of likes ranks above your goal to quit, you’re not ready yet. End of story.

Now these kids have the right idea!
And the adorable kids who needed a million likes so their dad would buy them a puppy? Your dad is either attention-starved and using you, or setting unrealistic goals so he never has to buy you a puppy. Probably both. My sympathies.

Speaking of attention-starved, that leads me to:

2) Constant Fishing for Compliments with “Selfie” Pictures

Don’t get me wrong, everyone should be comfortable in their own skin and damn proud of it.

If you feel fabulous enough every so often that you feel like the whole word should see it, rock on with your bad self.

However, there is a very fine line between confidence and conceit.

When I see the same people posting pictures of themselves day in and day out on Instagram or Twitter, that’s when my finger starts itching to hit “unfollow.” Yes, you’re lovely, or in fabulous shape, or have a super amazing whatever – and you obviously know it. So why do you need constant affirmation from other people?

Let’s face it, no one posts a selfie in the hopes that people will respond with, “Your hair is a hot mess in this picture,” or “Damn girl, that’s your idea of a cute outfit?” People post them hoping for compliments. And why not? Compliments are wonderful and make you FEEL wonderful.

But the best kind? Are the ones that are sincere and unsolicited.

So let me tell you right now, you’re fabulous. But there *is* such a thing as too much of a good thing. Don’t believe me? Scroll through Kim Kardashian’s Twitter pics and tell me there’s not a certain point where you don’t want to scream, “Holy crap, get over yourself!” (And no, I do not follow her.)

3) Inappropriate Political Spouting

This is one of the biggest misuses of social media, at least in my opinion. Yes, everyone is entitled to their opinion, and everyone is entitled to express said opinion. It *is* a free country.

Too often, however, people get preachy, demeaning, and insulting when arguing their political stance. One of my own family members is a huge offender. Every. Single. Day, he posts political memes on Facebook that blatantly blast a certain political party. People get offended. They feel the need to defend their own political beliefs. Comments go back and forth.

Spare me.

Social media is not the place for this. If you have a particular hot-button issue that you’re passionate about, there are most likely forums and chats where you can obsess with like-minded people. Create your own politics page if you want. Or, start a blog – that’s what they’re for. But you’re not going to change anyone’s beliefs with sarcasm or downright rudeness or daily repetition of either.

I guess what I’m getting at here is that I don’t appreciate feeling beat over the head, with anything. If I go online to catch up with friends or authors or CP’s, I don’t want to see a constant stream of Me-Me-Me, I-I-I, Want-Want-Want. But that’s what I feel like I’m getting lately.

So, for the love, can we please keep social media social?

Does anyone else have similar frustrations? Or am I being overly sensitive here?


  1. Alllllllllllll of these things 4eva. And from writers specifically, oh my God the book-promo spam. Yes, obviously you should promote your book, but THERE ARE LIMITS. I don't want to forget that you are a person under there, and if I do, I'll start to feel like you're not someone I want to do anything nice for... like buy your book. Why do people think it's intriguing to tweet every single review? IT IS NOT.

  2. I'm a little in love with this post.

  3. THIS.

    You're a genius Gina. :D

  4. YES! Holy crap...the selfies kill me. Especially when you imagine how many pictures of themselves they must have taken before they found the one they wanted to blast on social media. Who has that much time?

  5. One of the reasons I'm not on Facebook is because I don't want to have to deal with the constant updates and feeds or whatever you call them; I figure that it would take up too much time. Also, I am not photogenic. If one reason to have a Facebook or Instagram page is to post pictures of yourself, then my pages would be the only one WITHOUT pictures of myself. Or maybe I'd have apologetic captions that say something like, "I really look a lot better than this in real life. The camera just adds ten levels of weirdness to my appearance."

  6. I do have to say it does get annoying. I so love reading and want to buy author books, especially indie authors, but when you throw it in my face so much I really tend not to buy it. There is nothing wrong with ranting when it is true, Rant on Gina! We are here to listen

  7. Love this post - so true! It's especially awful when a picture of an abused child or animal shows up in your facebook feed for you to like in order to stop the abuse of children and/or animals. So messed up! Thanks for the rant - it made me feel better just reading it. :)