1. You Photograph Every Meal You Cook
Is your first name Giada? If not, no one cares about seeing your culinary creations. We're inundated with enough food shows, magazines and books so unless that jar of Barilla that you doctored with oregano and black pepper got you on Top Chef, we really aren’t interested.
“Unless you’re a food blogger, your food pictures are probably annoying to your friends for a variety of reasons, mostly because you either took them with a crappy cell phone, the presentation isn’t that great, or they might just hate you because your picture of gourmet lobster Mac ’n Cheese might not be on their diet plans,” says Tori Kyes, founder of Plastick Media.
If you’re inviting us over for dinner, then that’s another story. Otherwise, keep the food porn to yourself!
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2. You're Addicted to Clicking the “Like” Button
It’s fine if you genuinely relate to a friend’s status update, but when you’re always virtually complimenting someone you haven’t seen since high school, it can come off as insincere.
“Randomly liking everyone’s posts diminishes the meaning,” says Dana Kaye, social media expert and owner of Kaye Publicity. “Facebook is about interacting and re-connecting online.” Come on, did you really like the fact that some random acquaintance got an oil change?
3. You Write Personal Messages on People’s Wall
We’re always baffled when people write personal messages for all to see (i.e. let’s meet at Starbucks at 2:45 p.m.). Seriously hun, that’s what your inbox is for. The same thing goes for love notes to your schnookums and inside jokes that only one out of your 362 friends will get.
“There’s a reason Facebook created a private messaging system,” says Kaye. “Personal messages about meeting your friend or saying hi to your significant other don’t belong on your wall. It can also alienate your other friends -- why weren’t they invited to brunch?” Save your wall posts for happy birthday wishes and do your personal business via email or text (or even an old fashioned phone call).
4. You Give Deets About Your Sex Life
If it’s anything more than “Christian Bale/Anne Hathaway is so hot in the new Batman movie” you can bet that it’s TMI.
“Unless you’re a dating columnist or a sex expert, there shouldn’t be anything sexual in your timeline,” says Kaye. “It makes everyone uncomfortable and since it’s online, it will remain there forever. Would you want your boss or your mother reading the post?” If the side ads on your FB page are for condoms, KY Jelly and Planned Parenthood it might be a clue that you’re making us all throw up in our mouths.
5. You Get Trigger Happy with the Tag Button
Your best friends have threatened to stop hanging out with you if you tag them in one more picture where you look great and their back fat is showing.
“You don’t want unflattering photos of yourself online and neither do your friends,” says Kaye. “Just as with the case of randomly liking every post, it loses meaning if you post every photo you take.” Don’t just upload every pic on your camera. Instead, ask yourself: If this was a picture of me, would I want the world to see it? A little bit of mindful editing can go a long way toward preserving friendships.
6. You're a Stalker
If your heart rate shot up when it was rumored that Facebook was going to start showing which profiles you’ve been clicking on, chances are you’ve been spending too many late nights doing “research.”
“Perhaps you’ve been stalking your ex a little too much,” says Kyes. “The only real damage it does is waste a bunch of time. And no, as of yet there’s no way to get caught.” Remember, knowing that your ex “likes” Chipotle is not going to reveal any deep insights into his character, so focus your energy on something else.
7. You Post Breaking Celebrity News
Admit it -- you feel really cool if you’re the first one to post/tweet breaking celeb news, as in OMG WHITNEY HOUSTON IS DEAD!
“If you’re the first of your pals to break the latest gossip, you probably share more about celebrities than you do about yourself,” says Kyes. “Your friends would probably love to hear more about you. Leave the gossip to the professionals, unless you get paid for it!” TMZ does a fine job of letting us know about celeb affairs and overdoses so either get an internship there or get off the net.
8. You Document Everything You Do
When you meet your friends in person do you ask, “Did you see what I posted today?,” because everything you do is already online? So much for seeing real-life reactions to the news that you’re engaged, having a baby or even just the funny anecdote from this weekend that you already told us all about as it was happening.
“If your friends already know your every move, then what’s left to discuss?” asks Kyes. “Stop posting so many of your daily deets and your real-life conversations will be more interesting.” Remember, if it sounds like you’re repeating yourself it’s because we already read it online.
9. You 'Check In' Everywhere You Go
From the drug store to the train station to your Ob/Gyn’s office, we’ve had the pleasure of traveling around town with you. But consider this: If your life was really that much fun, you wouldn’t have time to change your status or tweet about it.
“Check-in’s are meant to show off the cool places you happen to travel to,” says Kyes. “Once you begin checking in to Starbucks or your boyfriend’s bathroom, your posts aren’t nearly as cool, or relevant, as they should be.” For the love of God, stop checking in before we make you the mayor of Boringsville.
10. You're Always at the Top of My News Feed
Is there even one hour of the day when you’re not fooling around online? At least have the forethought to make it seem like you have a life that involves more than starring at your computer monitor.
“If your posts are at the top of the news feed at every hour of the day, then you’re the epitome of over sharing,” says Kyes. “I recommend taking a walk outside, meeting some new friends or therapy.” And if you’re on there at 3 a.m. posting links to interesting articles please do yourself a favor and get some sleep.
11. You Post Pictures of Your Gross Injuries
From black and blues to broken wrists to swollen eyelids, we’ve unfortunately seen it all. Your need for attention has turned you into an online shock jock.
“People who post photos of their injuries are cut from the same cloth as those who yank up their shirts in the middle of dinner to show you their appendectomy scars or pull off their socks at a party to show you their bunions,” says Thomas P. Farley (aka Mister Manners). These are not the sorts of things anyone wants to see -- digitally or in person. As for the chap who over shares about colds, allergies, aches and pains, be warned: These are the just the kind of status updates that convince me to hide you from my news feed.” Sorry, it’s hard to muster sympathy for your runny nose (especially if you make us look at it!).
12. You Share Pics of Your Pet or Baby Doing Extremely Un-Extraordinary Things
Do you really need to share pictures of your baby or pet doing everything from sleeping to eating messy food to making poopy? Even your dog’s own mother would be bored by this.
“Although that sort of stuff can get cloying fast -- particularly for those who are not parents or pet owners -- the online appetite for anything involving a cute little creature is limitless, as witnessed by the zillions of hits certain YouTube videos get, despite the fact that their baby or pet subjects are not doing anything remotely remarkable,” says Farley.
“What does stun me is the number of ultrasounds to be found on Facebook or Twitter. I do not think it’s appropriate for a parent-to-be to upload an image so intensely personal to the web.” Now if your baby is able to do stupid pet tricks in utero, that’s something we’d like to see.
13. You #Go #Hashtag #Crazy
Do you really think everything you’re writing about needs to be found on a search engine, or that all of those retweets are so fascinating, as in RT @somebodywhodoesntknowyouexist?
“Hashtagging can be fun and clever -- or when overused, downright annoying,” says Farley. “I’d avoid the tendency to hashtag everything, and also keep hashtags off of Facebook, saving them for Twitter, where space is so severely limited.” Yes, the world can go on without knowing your thoughts on #AmericanIdol.
14. You Know What Your Klout Score Is
Klout measures your social-media influence on a scale of 1 to 100. If you know yours, it’s sort of like having googled yourself.
“I don’t have a problem with anyone checking their own Klout Score,” says Farley. “Bragging about it to the whole world...that’s another matter.” If you really need reassurance that you’re a mover and a shaker, call your mom -- she’s sure to have some positive feedback for you!
15. Two Words: Auto-Update!
Nobody cares what you read on Yahoo or what you are listening to on Spotify. And if you’re reading up on topics like STD’s (or listening to Justin Bieber) it can be seriously embarrassing.
“I think auto-updating when overused contributes mightily to the digital overload that overwhelms us as we try to stay on top of news of the world and news from our friends,” says Farley.
Bottom line: if you must auto-update, be aware of what you’re choosing to transmit!
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