This isn't your usual “annoying Facebook habits” article. I say that because most of the other articles, while interesting, talk about annoying Facebook habits other people have, as though the author herself doesn't do anything of the sort. I, on the other hand, fully admit to being annoying on Facebook. It's not intentional, mind you, but there are habits some of us have that some people on our “friends” lists find bothersome. To that end, here are a few of the annoying Facebook habits I've seen most often. I'm mentioning things my friends and I have been “blasted” for, but not necessarily stopped doing. There's nothing saying you have to either. It's up to you to decide whether or not you care what other people think. If you don't like these things either, I've given ways to avoid them.
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One of the more common annoying Facebook habits are game posts. We might not be aware of this, but sometimes an app or game will post on our behalf without any say-so from us. If it does, go to your app page and update the settings for the app. If you like sharing things like “I just passed you, nanna nanna boo boo!” on a friend's wall when you pass them in a game, feel free. I usually think it's funny. If you don't want invites from a particular game, you can go into your settings (the “padlock” icon on the top right of the screen) and add it to the “block” list or choose to “block” it from the timeline post.
Sharing Tons of Religious Photos/memes
A friend of mine's husband once got onto her for posting so many religious pictures and prayers. He said she was “pushing her religion on everyone.” She replied that she just wanted to share inspiration with her friends and if someone gets annoyed, they don't have to read it. I can see both of their points, but I share these things too. If you're in the same boat but want to avoid annoyance, share them only with people you know will like them. Again, there's nothing saying you have to “hold back,” only if you want to.
Sharing Tons of Political Photos/memes
It's the same principle as above-if you are concerned about offending people (and you may not be-it's up to you), share only with people you know will agree. The “Share” feature at the bottom of the post can walk you through this.
Chain Letter Posts
“If you copy and post this to X number of people in Y minutes, something awesome will happen. Otherwise, your car will break down, your breath will smell like moldy cheese and your ex will share That Picture from your last birthday party.” Some find them annoying, but they're usually sent in fun. I appreciate it when someone sends me one with a beautiful picture and message, but I rarely forward them unless I know the other person will appreciate them too. Besides, none of them have ever come true. I'm still waiting for Bradley Cooper to give me a foot massage. What about you?
Promiscuously “friending” People
I'm not talking about “friending” that guy from kindergarten who showed up as a “suggestion,” although he might find that odd too. It's pretty much a given that I'll accept one from a former schoolmate, especially since I went to a small school and didn't really get a chance to talk to some people as much as I might have liked to. Some people, however, find it strange to get a friend request from someone they don't know. If you do this because you play a game that requires you add someone in order to have them on your team, it might help to put them in a list. I have several-”Family,” ”Friends,” ”Mafia,” ”It Girls,” etc. This is extremely helpful when it comes to picking an audience for a post because all you have to do is click on the icon at the bottom right of your post and pick which list you want it to go to. Either way, leave a brief message as to why you're adding them.
Pictures of Food
I know people don't care what I eat for dinner; I don't find it that interesting myself. When I made a kick-ass batch of stuffed shells, cheese flatbread and enchiladas (not together!), however, I posted pictures because I was proud of it. I'm not much of a cook, so this was an achievement. If you're in the same boat and make something you'd like to show off, do it. We won't mind. If you Photoshop shirtless men in chef hats, we definitely won't mind. In fact, we'll probably flood you with friend requests. At least I warned you this time.
I'm not sure what to call them, but I'm talking about those silly games that have you match the month of your birth and the first letter of your last name to get your “gangsta name.” Again, I think they're funny, but I've had people ask me to stop including them because they weren't interested. It's not that I'm particularly annoying (although you've all seen that I can be), but we have different personalities. I don't always participate, but it's fun to see what other people come up with. Personally, mine always turn out really dumb. Apparently my stripper name is “Cathy 51st,” since that is my middle name and the street I grew up on. Weird.
I'm talking about things like “List 10 things most people don't know about you” or “What are the first four words you'd say to me if we woke up in the back of a police car?” These are fun to read from certain friends, but not everyone likes to fill them out. I don't mind talking about how my sister tried to glue my lips to the wall when I was five (true story), but I don't always want people to know where I am or what I'm listening to. Sometimes the former is shown because the person has some sort of location service on, but I've had too many bad experiences to trust those things. Aside from that, they're pretty damned funny.
Despite the fact that I intensely hate the way I look in pictures, I think it's fun when someone from the past posts an old one-say, one from school or a birthday party when we were 10. However, I know some don't like being tagged in things like memes or status quizzes, or at least not where they go on their timelines automatically. If this is you, you can set your controls to let you know when you've been tagged. That way, you can decide what goes on your timeline.
“Let's See Who Reads My Timeline”
I'm all for spreading awareness about things like breast cancer, veterans' causes or charities that truly do good things. However, it's not hard to see how completely random and possibly made-up things would be annoying. "99% of people won't repost this cuz they're jerks, but if you care about the 5,000 people who come down with flesh-eating bacteria every hour, prove it by reposting this..." Yeah, sure, like I wanna be guilt-tripped into posting something my friends probably don't know or care about. Assuming it's even true, that is. Even if they are, how is this going to spread awareness? It might for five minutes, but that's only because that's how long it takes some people to either “hide” the post or unfollow altogether.
I think this is really the key to Facebook etiquette-everything in moderation. People might like to see pictures of babies, for instance, but they don't want to see everything your adorable baby does. People might like holiday recipes, but they don't want to be inundated with them. Funny videos or Internet memes are great, but sometimes I'd rather hear about what's going on in your life than what's on YouTube.
Like I said before, post what you want, when you want. These are just a few things my friends and I have gotten flak for doing; personally, I don't find these things annoying in and of themselves. If I do, I don't have to read it. The “padlock” in the upper right corner of the page and the arrow on the top right of each post can help you edit your settings so that you don't have to see them either. What about you? Are there any “annoying Facebook habits” that you happen to have? What do you find irritating? What sorts of things do you like to share on Facebook? Discuss!
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