Social Networking Pet Peeves

Being the less technologically inclined of the Que Sera Sarah blogging duo, I have a few Facebook issues I thought I’d open up to discussion.

(Sarah here: because I’m the owner of the blog and can see everything Eileen writes before she posts it, I’ve gone in and added some answers and additional peeves. I’m in bold parentheses. The rest is Eileen.)

I’ll start with the combination technophobe / paranoid question:

“As of today, the New FB Privacy setting called “Instant Personalization” goes into effect. The new setting shares your data with non-Facebook websites & it is automatically set to “Enable”. Go to Account>Privacy Settings>Apps & Websites>Instant Personalization>Edit Settings and uncheck “Enable”. BTW, if your friends don’t do this, they will be sharing info about you as well. Please copy and repost.”

How do you know which of these regular hysterical “you really must do this to protect your privacy things” are true and which are hoaxes – especially when you don’t want to waste tons of time googling or researching each one? If I believe what I have peripherally seen, the one about seeing who was viewing your page was a hoax, but the one above may be true? Perhaps the bigger question is here – should I really care?

(You can ignore 99.9% of these. The easiest way to know what’s actually happening on Facebook is to “like” their fan page, so you’ll see official updates. And if you want to check beyond that, look at a site like Mashable, one of the biggest social media blogs. If there’s anything suspicious going on at FB, they’ll tell you.)

Then there is the issue of birthdays… I’m not big on birthdays – for grown-ups, that is – but of course Facebook tells you when everyone’s birthday is (that is, if you are looking from an actual computer – I don’t see it on the iPhone, but then again I’ve not looked too hard for it either).  Anyway, I rarely, if ever, wish people happy birthday via Facebook. I used to try, and now I just don’t. I feel like if you’re someone I’d call/email or otherwise personally wish a happy birthday, then I probably have, and if I wouldn’t make a point to write it on my calendar – or just remember – and call, then…I dunno…why bother? What do you do? And why (or why not)?

(I love birthdays and love getting b-day wishes, Facebook or otherwise, but if you’re uncomfortable with it, don’t do it. I’d recommend being consistent, and either always doing it or always not – less chance of hurt feelings that way. In other words, don’t be like me. I’m incredibly inconsistent.)

This one is probably obvious, but one of my FB friends (an old acquaintance I haven’t seen in 8-10 years) wrote this on his FB page recently “…this guy should just head out back and get it over with…” I was, and am, appalled. I also want to unfriend him – tell him what an ass I think he is. (In my opinion, there is no circumstance on this earth that can justify advocating someone commit suicide.) But I don’t think he’d care, and I’m not sure the rest of the world would either. So should I just unfriend without comment? What would  you do?

(Unfriend. Don’t engage. If he calls you on it, tell him he’s said things that make you uncomfortable and leave it at that. And then block him. I can talk you through this.)

Lastly, there is my personal favorite pet peeve of FB: The let me pontificate, then say how no one else will copy and paste this as their status for at least one+ hour to stand in solidarity with my injustice or cause of the day.  For example:

“DEPRESSION is not a sign of weakness it is a sign that you have been trying to be strong for too long. Put this as your status if you know someone who has or had depression. Will you do it and leave it on your status for at least an hour? Most people won’t, but it’s mental health week and 1 in 3 of us will suffer it some point in our lives”

Or the slightly less obnoxious version:

“True friends can go long periods of time without speaking and never question their friendship. They can pick up like they just spoke yesterday, regardless of how long it has been……REPOST if you are lucky enough to have at least one true friend…”

I hate these with a deep-seated passion, and even if I wholeheartedly support your cause – like depression screening/treatment – I refuse to copy and paste your dumb old status as my own, thereby insulting everyone I know. (Most people won’t? That’s a great way to win people to your cause! And if they do, what really are they accomplishing?) Am I the only one who feels this way? Have I missed something?

(Yup. Not a fan either. Also don’t like the faux-awareness campaigns like the bra color or purse location thing that have run around, supposedly to raise awareness of breast cancer. They don’t raise awareness – or, more importantly, money – they just trivialize and sexualize a disease that’s neither trivial or sexy.)

Oops, there is one more…I don’t do Twitter, and I don’t read Twitter feeds as a rule. I don’t get them. It’s like they are written in some code that only the cool kids get with all there cross references and hash marks. Perhaps that says more about me than anything else (never was one of the “cool kids”) but am I the only one who feels this way?

(I’ve been meaning to write a post demystifying Twitter for you – and anyone else who needs it – but just haven’t gotten around to it. I’ll do it soon, promise. If there are questions out there that Eileen didn’t raise, leave ’em in the comments.)

I feel like I have just channeled the very best of my Luddite dad. You’d think I was an septuagenarian and not a thirty-something, but there it is.

What are your social media pet peeves?

8 thoughts on “Social Networking Pet Peeves

  1. Eileen January 31, 2011 / 10:38 pm

    Thanks for making me sound smart. Had to look up Luddite 🙂 We also never got to those pesky FB ads which we both hate. Maybe that’s another post altogether.

  2. susan February 1, 2011 / 10:18 am

    Does pressure to join the social media count as a pet peeve? 🙂
    I am going to look up Luddite.
    Wanna laugh? Sent my first text last week. Really. Now who sounds like a septa whatever?

    • Eileen February 1, 2011 / 1:04 pm

      Thanks Susan for making me laugh!

  3. Eileen February 1, 2011 / 1:03 pm

    Just to clarify…I think my real issue with the birthday greetings is better aligned with Sarah’s comment.

    It’s not that I shun adult birthday’s so much, its that I can in no way be consistent with wishing everyone a happy birthday on time and then I feel guilty when I wish this friend a happy birthday (publically no less) and not that one. So most of the time, I just don’t go there so I’m equally unloving to all my friends 🙂

    But I do enjoy getting the greetings and am having fun reading all the notes to Chris today. Perhaps I need to rethink my stance…

  4. Common Loon February 1, 2011 / 1:28 pm

    Wait…I thought Chris was a May birthday???

  5. Common Loon February 1, 2011 / 2:29 pm

    My pet peeve is that it is called “social,” when most of the habits that it fosters are pretty anti-social. I think there is a place for all of it, but I have met very few folks that actually manage it well (and thus my hesitation to join the masses…I cannot say I would fare any better than the majority).

  6. Joanne February 2, 2011 / 7:37 pm

    Sarah, don’t bother with the Twitter post. There is no way to explain it to the non-Tweeting masses that makes sense. I’ve sat through several, and I have never been converted.

  7. Chris Otto February 2, 2011 / 7:49 pm

    Along with the status cut and pasting, I’ll add another Facebook pet peeve of mine…profile picture changing for some cause.
    Recently, there was a campaign to change your profile picture to your favorite childhood cartoon to bring awareness to the child abuse problem and to help combat it. Now, don’t get me wrong, that’s a worthy cause, but I doubt dad is going to come home drunk and say, “I was gonna slap you, kid, but my buddy’s profile picture is Quick Draw McGraw, and dangit, Quick Draw says hitting your kids is wrong!”
    Hearts in the right place, but it just seems pretty pointless to me.

    Great post!

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