A couple of hours ago, I apologized to Biff for sending two SnapChats within a short time frame. Like, within 5 minutes. Fine. 2 minutes. They were different, and if anyone should want to see my lovely face, it should be him. So why did I feel the need to apologize? Because I have these adopted “rules” about social media that prohibit excessive posting, and definitely repetitive selfies. These rules are completely arbitrary though, and most likely were imprinted on my subconscious via articles like this one from HuffPo or this one from Buzzfeed. There are endless articles about what one should and should not post on social media, tagging etiquette, etc. Everyone has different annoyances.
For instance, in the past couple of days, I’ve been updated not less than 3 times about the bodily functions of some of my friends’ children. I really could not care any less. Your child’s potty training is of no consequence to me; I don’t find it interesting in the least, and I probably rolled my eyes at you for posting such a mundane update. But, the thing is, it’s clearly important to you, my friend. My burgeoning relationship with wine and my couch is likely just as boring to you. I am certain I have friends who are completely fed up with hearing about festivals in New Orleans, or the trials and tribulations of my chosen profession in the legal field.
Here’s the thing: social media sites encourage active participation. In addition to posting status updates and photos, you get to choose what you see in your newsfeed, timeline, etc. On Twitter, I follow users I find humorous, or informative, or generally enjoyable. On Instagram, I choose to follow people whose pictures have some meaning to me or are just generally gorgeous; my friends from back home that I rarely see, a few people who live much more adventurous lives than I do, and a some artists that I admire. On Facebook, I hide from my newsfeed people who post endless political rants, or real time update every detail of their lunch hour, or inundate my screen with baby pictures. Those are just my personal preferences.
The problem I have with the many “Most Annoying _____ User” articles is that it paints the reader as the victim. Yes, there are many people on various sites that I find boring, or irritating, or down right infuriating. But it’s not like they’ve moved into my house and are screaming at me through a bullhorn whilst next to me on the couch. With a click of the mouse, I can edit my newsfeed/timeline/etc. so that my delicate sensibilities are exposed only to what I want to see. The whole world does not have to bow down to what I consider social media appropriate. You enjoy endless quizzes and sharing with the world that your sandwich soulmate is the caprese? Good for you. My newsfeed, on the other hand, is my domain, and you’ll likely be hidden so that I can focus on updates I find to be humorous and original. No offense intended.
TL;DR? Stop whining about what people post and adjust your damn settings.