Tech

All the things no one wants to hear about on social media

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David Cornish
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Social media has rules.

We're sure it does. Codes of conduct from the likes of Twitter and Facebook about what you're allowed to say. 

Abusive stuff: clearly not okay. Just because it's the internet doesn't mean it's not hateful. Don't do it. Ever.

Illegal stuff: see above. 

But what about all the rest? The things that there aren't rules for, but wouldn't be okay to announce in normal real life contexts?

Here follows our list of things we'd like to see less of on social media. You can ignore it. You can complain about it. We just hope you pause to have a think about it. 

"I just ran 4.6km with Nike+! Crushing it"

"I just ran 4.6km with Nike+! Crushing it"

That's great Chris. Really. We're glad you're making progress on your new-found love of running - a pursuit for a healthier lifestyle should never be mocked. 

But honestly? We couldn't give a toss about this week's run. Or last week's. Nor any of the other "Cheeky 5k jogs" you've got lined up over the next few months.

Would you nip into the nearest pub and announce to the bar what your average pace was? No, you wouldn't, would you Chris. Next time that little 'Share notification' button pops up on completion of your sweaty trek, do us a favour and ignore it. 

The Humble Brag

Sorry to single you out here David Garland, but you've given us one of the most perfect examples of the 'Humble Brag' we've ever witnessed. 

The thing is though Dave - can we call you Dave? Good - you can drop the humble angle with this. We get it. You've got a crazy good bod that you've spent bloody ages sculpting in the gym. You don't drink booze, your diet is on point - you deserve to be recognised for absolutely nailing the whole body-building thing. 

If you really have to announce it, rather than just quietly enjoying your moment, just go for the full brag mate. "As the result of some really hard work, I'm thrilled to appear on Bodybuilding.com". Nothing awkward about it. 

"Office for today!"

"Office for today!"

It's not an office though, is it Ben? It's a beach. We know it's a beach, you know it's a beach. The point is, you're not in the office today, are you? You wanted to draw attention to that, didn't you? Just cut to the chase, Ben. Tell it like it is. "Working from home today, so I get to hang out here. Feeling pretty lucky" - that sort of thing. 

Also, you've got sand in your USB socket. Pillock. 

"Drinks with this lot! What are we like..."

"Drinks with this lot! What are we like..."

...you're normal, Hannah. 

You're like a normal social group, going out for a drink, like many other social groups. It's quite a common activity, hence the abundance of establishments that base their business around it. 

A more accurate way of captioning your post might have been "Proof we're having fun", or maybe "See Doug, I'm out living my life - I'm not at home thinking about you". 

Maybe Doug misses you too, Hannah. Call him. Just stop posting stuff like this.

"Oh FFS..."

"Oh FFS..."

Facebook isn't a stress ball. Twitter isn't a pillow in which to scream. 

Both of them are social networks filled largely with your friends and family - people who actively care about you. They want to know how you're doing. They care about how your day is going. But it's also a place filled with colleagues, acquaintances and sort-of-mates who don't need an insight into your inner peril. 

Rather than mashing out your frustrations on a keyboard, how about picking up your phone, calling one of your nearest and dearest, and having a good chat about it with them. Get it all out of your system - just don't push it into ours.

"...wants to invite you to play Farmville 2"

"...wants to invite you to play Farmville 2"

Stop it Greg. Just stop it. We played Farmville 2 for around 20 minutes back in 2013 before we realised it wasn't anywhere near as good as Theme Park and never went near it again. Please, stop inviting us to play. Come to the pub. There's crisps and everything. 

"The boy did good!"

"The boy did good!"

Aww, is Gavin back in the good books with you is he Alice? That's good. That's really good. 

It's a remarkably different tone to that post a month ago when you changed your relationship status to 'Single' and posted a cryptic song lyric quote with a few sad face emoji, isn't it? We thought you and Gavin were on a break?

Does Gavin know your new status? He was liking Rachael's holiday pictures last week, and we all know their history. 

You see, the problem with documenting the highs and lows of a relationship, the minutiae of your personal interactions, is that it leads to this intrusive speculation. We love hearing that you're happy, but this post is just one in a soap opera sequence of updates that need to stop.

"Little Jonathan just did another poo all over the rug. Kids, eh?"

"Little Jonathan just did another poo all over the rug. Kids, eh?"

Three people will like this status. Your mum, your mother-in-law and your other half. 

It might pick up a few sympathy comments from other mums and dads who also delight in documenting the bowl movements of their newborns (and will also Like in the expectation that you'll then Like their equally-banal nonsense), but that's it. Everyone else will just scroll on by.

We get it. All those hours at home looking after little Jonathan without the company of another adult are driving you a bit mental. You're craving adult interaction, and have turned to Facebook to find it. But a 'Like' isn't interaction. Invite us over. We'll pretend to be interested in Jonathan for a bit, then talk about normal things, give a debrief on the wider world. Trump might win. Arsenal are still shit. Bake Off was great. You're doing okay...

"Anyone know of any fun things to do in Jamaica?"

"Anyone know of any fun things to do in Jamaica?"

Trip Adviser does. Yelp probably has a few ideas. Google could probably plan the whole thing for you. 

What you've done here is draw attention to the fact you're going to Jamaica at the end of the month. You couldn't wait to for the standard 'check in' post from Heathrow airport, nor hold out for the first shot out of the plane window. You've blown your holiday excitement early - what could have been a delicious brag now looks like an early cry for attention.

We hope it rains the whole week. 

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Subtweets

Subtweets

Who though Khloe? 

Who tore you down? Who had to make themselves feel bigger by reducing your own confidence in an antisocial manner?

Who has now revealed their diminutive social stature by acting in an immature fashion? Who has besmirched their own journey by spreading hatred and fear?

Actually, do you know what? Don't tell us. Call a mate. Go round your mum's house. Have a cuddle. This sort of subtweeting is about as effective for dealing with your pain as howling at the moon. Retweets don't amplify the truth of the sentiment. 

"Laura checked in to Sway Bar"

"Laura checked in to Sway Bar"

Why, Laura? Why have you checked in to Sway Bar?

Do you want us to come to Sway Bar with you? Do you want us to know you're there so we can join you? We'll come! It would be great to catch up, it's been months!

But then, why didn't you just message us? 

Maybe you didn't want us to come to Sway Bar with you. Maybe you checked in because it's a neat Facebook feature that allows you to perform something of a strange location-based brag. "I am here and I am having a great time!" Such a good time that you're logging on to Facebook to talk about what a good time you're having. 

We're just disappointed we didn't get an invite, Laura. Have a great night. 

"Sponsor me on this 5k colour run!"

"Sponsor me on this 5k colour run!"

Our mate Dan went for a 5k last weekend. He bloody loves running does Dan. Mad for it. All trainers and sweat he is. 

See, he just goes for a run without telling anyone about it. We only know because we bumped into him in the park. All glowing with fitness he was. We admire Dan for that - for his enjoyment of keeping fit, and staying quiet about it. 

He sent us an email about a charity run he was doing once. A personal one. Told us about the group he was running for. Gave us some really great details. We were thrilled to support him - and he bloody nailed his time.

But you haven't done that, have you Jim? You've just stuck a status up. It took you about six minutes, probably. We hope you last longer on the run. Doubt you will.

"The problem with Britain is..."

"The problem with Britain is..."

It's you, Nick. The problem with Britain is you. 

It's the person who takes to a social media channel to identify the wrongs of the world. The citizen who identifies the injustice and corruption of society from the relative safety of a social network.

It's the tit that gives up on engaging with wider society. Who would rather type out a half-baked political analysis and share it with their mates who will wobble their heads in agreement or retort in equally dire fashion. 

It's the fool who hasn't bothered to talk to their local MP. Who hasn't joined a local political party. Who hasn't been outside to talk to a neighbour all year. To meet someone from another walk of life. To rub up against the real world and attempt to do something to change the situation they encounter. 

Get off Facebook, Nick. Be the change you want to see in the world. 

"Can't believe it's been two years!"

"Can't believe it's been two years!"

This one is just a case of semantics. Point being - you can believe it, can't you Nat.

Your relationship with Jamie isn't breaking any of the known laws of physics. It's not got a research group from Cambridge scratching their heads for a possible explanation of this sequence of events.

In fact, you've documented the whole thing on Facebook: you met at a touch rugby social, went for a few drinks, had a couple of holidays, took the step of making it 'Facebook official' and 24 months later a little notification popped up. 

With statements like that, we can't believe Jamie is still with you to be honest.

"This is horrible"

"This is horrible"

You're too right it is Phil. It's horrible. Genuinely awful. We've been a little bit sick in our mouth just glancing at your post.

So why the hell did you post it? You wouldn't snap your shin, stick the broken shard of bone through the skin of your leg, limp into the street and shout "Oh bloody hell, don't look at my leg, it looks awful!" would you Phil?

Actually, you might, because you're the kind of guy who watches videos of doctors removing cysts, popping spots and excavating in-growing hairs for pleasure, before passing them to the wider world.

If we're honest Phil, you're a bit weird. 

"I've had enough with this club..."

"I've had enough with this club..."

Football is great. A beautiful game, if you will. 

But your analysis of last Sunday's game wasn't beautiful Darren. We don't think we've met another Oxford United supporter.

No, we're not attempting to belittle the team (they do that themselves, don't they? Wheeey) - we're just saying that not everyone is going to be aware of the complex issues that make up Oxford United's woeful season. We're not really sure who you want to engage with your post mate. Other Oxford United fans? Aren't there forums for that kind of thing? It's not just the small clubs - this stands for the big boys as well. United, Chelsea, Arsenal, whoever. Surely there's a better network to be posting your tirade to? You might find a lot of people who agree with it. It could form new bonds of friendships with other fans. It could present a whole new realm of possibilities for discussion football.

We wouldn't know. We prefer tennis. 

"Greg, could you bring my jumper down with you?"

"Greg, could you bring my jumper down with you?"

Hilarious, Mark. Ruddy hilarious. 

We just need to explain this one to everyone else. You see, you might not realise it, but Mark and Greg live together. And what Mark has done here, the scamp, is tag Greg in a Facebook post to get him to bring a jumper downstairs for him. Right? Because they're actually in the same building! 

Mark could just shout up to Greg! Or get up off the sofa and get it himself. But he hasn't! He's been hilarious and done it over Facebook! Those 'Likes' are from the eight other people who know that Mark and Greg live in the same house! Brilliant.

We used to be friends with Mark and Greg. 

"OMG GOT!? I can't believe Tyrion died!?"

"OMG GOT!? I can't believe Tyrion died!?"

(He hasn't. Yet.)

Thanks Ed. You prick. 

The inspirational quote

The inspirational quote

Life is a succession of lessons that must be lived to be understood.

There is always someone who can't see your worth - don't let it be you.

Another day, another blessing.

All great changes are proceeded by chaos. 

Don't quit your day dream.

Sarah - you work as a manager in a call centre. You once told us you'd only read four books, and one of them was Twilight. We enjoy a bit of philosophical introspection as anyone, but... just stop posting this stuff, yeah?

Even science says it means you’re stupid.

"I love my job!"

"I love my job!"

We're thrilled for you Joe. Over the moon for you. Even thought about giving it a like, but... 

This is the eighth time you've posted about your job in the past year, and you usually harp on about how much of a twat your boss is. We saw you comment on Claire's wall a few months back asking if there were any jobs still going with her lot.

We're not even sure why you've posted this - unless... are you now Facebook friends with someone at your office? Is that it? Dangerous play that Joe. Best keep Facebook a social thing. Hope the job carries on well. We're sure you'll tell us in six weeks when you don't get that promotion you were in line for. 

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David Cornish

Shortlist.com’s esteemed Tech Editor. David has a keen interest in video games, Star Wars and stuff that runs on batteries.

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