A lot of people have written about annoying social media habits, but evidently not enough.
In case you’re still unsure about what to post to Facebook, consult this list:
1. Disturbing photos: Pictures of starving babies, burned dogs, and people with horrible disfigurements are in poor taste, and very upsetting to some people. We know a good cause is usually involved, but use some discretion.
2. Hard sales: Not everyone is in the market for expensive makeup or real estate. Share something the whole class can enjoy.
3. Guilt trips: Posting things like, “Make this your status for an hour or else you were not raised right or don’t care about babies with cancer” just makes people feel bad. This modern version of a chain letter doesn’t help the cause.
4. Games: This is like forcing people to play charades when they hate parlor games. Ask people first if they like games, and whether they will mind the hacks, spams and viruses that come with some of them.
5. Urban myths: Before you post that eating pomegranate seeds will cause your kneecaps to burst, run it through Snopes.
6. Religion: Don’t assume everyone shares your faith. There are places people can go for fellowship and like-minded praise and worship: actual buildings and private Facebook groups.
7. Confessions: Too much information is, well, too much. If you wouldn’t tell your spouse, mother, or shrink something, why would you tell me?
8. Profanity: A well-placed expletive for real outrage or disappointment is justifiable. A post with 10 F-bombs about a funny YouTube video shows a lack of vocabulary.
9. Fire alarms: You should thoroughly vet “Danger! Danger, Will Robinson!” posts about foods that will give you cancer or a Neti-Pot worm that will eat your brain before you post them. (See the Snopes reference above.)
10. Crypticisms: “I’m so mad!” doesn’t give us a lot of information to go on, or any way to help.
11. Information without links: It’s fine to tell us about a cool website, but include the link, OK? Also, don’t use a link with 417 characters. Use a shortened one, please.
12. Wrong tech advice: If you run a tech-support company, we’d love to have your advice on the best anti-virus software or the right way to partition a hard drive.
In short, behave online like you would at a social event. No one suspended the rules of polite society for Internet interaction.
What’s your least favorite type of Facebook post?
This article originally ran on Ragan.com in July 2012.