As I sat there scrolling through my Facebook feed for the umpteenth time since this pandemic started, I felt myself being frustrated not just by the content, but a few other things that seem to persist throughout. I’m sure there will be more that occur to me as the days go on, and perhaps I’ll add them as I go. Since I’m “old”, I’m sticking to the older person 3, Facebook, Instagram, and twitter. In either case, I welcome you to add your own in the comments. The following are some of my social media pet peeves.
I’ll get the easy one out of the way first, Ads. Ever since the scares about Facebook charging for access that came and went every year a while back, Facebook has gone out of it’s way to spy on your conversations, web searches, postings, and who knows where else. All of this has been in order to bring us all the pleasure of having ads, tailored to our thoughts, placed in our feeds, conveniently styled to look like every other post. Now, I understand they’re a business, so I can’t really fault them for trying to make a buck. It is a free platform after all, so can’t really complain… much. The amount of ads, both here and on Instagram, seem to be growing quickly, almost to the point where they’re going to match the number of normal person posts soon. It’s the fact that you can mention something at 3pm and at 3:03pm there’s an ad of that exact product in my feed that bugs the crap out of me. Again, I know it’s a great marketing and sales tool, but it doesn’t mean I have to like it.
Next on my list, quizzes and the people that not only take them, but then post them to annoy everyone else. The sheer number of these quizzes to tell you who you look like, what color you are, what your personality is based on by some picture you look at, what famous actor or actress you look like, etc. Less harmful, but just as annoying, the ones that say “Only a genius can find the “M” in this picture of “W’s” or something similar. Really? You’re a genius because you can tell the difference between two letters? I’m sure Einstein would be happy to know he’s in such prestigious company.
I digress though. The problem with these quizzes are that they are just a way to gain information, or worse, to gain access to your Facebook account. Ask yourself, why would someone create a stupid quiz that everyone knows is complete baloney? Well, there are a few reasons, the simplest, when you click on those permissions to view your information, your friends lists, your photos, etc., you’re giving them a ton of information about yourself. It could be nothing more than a marketing company gathering data on you and everyone else, to be sold later on. It’s possible it was another marketing scheme where they get you to like the post to get your result. Once they have 1000 likes, they change the content so that it gets published to more people by Facebook. It could be worse, you may have clicked off a permission that allows the app to post for you, see your PM’s, or others. With this, your account can be hijacked or they can post under your name. 90% of the “My account was hacked” posts, no they weren’t, they gave them permission to post because they wanted to know what Disney character they were in a previous life. Now, at it’s worst, they are dangerous. By giving them information by filling out forms of details, or by allowing them to view your photos, about sections, friends, and so on, you’re giving potential criminals details of your life, where you work, how many kids you have, what they look like, where they go to school, when you’re home or when and where you’re on vacation, and much much more. So please, stop with the quizzes. One’s that your friends type in as a post, fine, but stop with the ones that are apps, please.
Daring People to Post
On my, not dangerous but annoying list, the “bet you won’t post this” posts. These are the ones that contain some statement, almost always either political or religious, that ends with a “bet you won’t post/share this” or something to that effect. You know what? No, I won’t. If I have something to say, I’ll say it. I certainly don’t need to post something based on some bad attempt at modern day peer pressure. So stop it.
Seeking Medical Advice
This one falls in the dangerous category as well, but for different reasons. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen someone asking for assistance because of some kind of medical situation they have going on. This one aggravates me to no end. “I fell in my kitchen and a fork tine is stuck in my brain. Anyone have this happen before? Should I pull it out?” Ok, that’s not a real one, but if we scanned all the posts of Facebook, I bet there’s one out there that’s sadly very close to it. Have you seen the posts and comments out there? Do you really want some of them giving you advice on medical issues? If something happens, there’s this little used app on your phone that can connect you with people who actually know what they’re doing and can help you. Whether it’s a medical issue, someone breaking in your home, your popcorn set your microwave on fire, all kinds of predicaments. It’s called the “Phone” app. If you open it you should see numbers, press 9 then 1 then another 1 and hit the button that usually has an old phone handset on it. The person who answers is going to be way more qualified to help then 99% of the people who read your post.
Well, that’s my small list of pet peeves for now. I’m sure I’ll come up with more, but again, I welcome you to add yours to the comments below. As always, feel free to like or share my always interesting thoughts.