7 Deadly Social Media Sins We Hope Die in 2010!


These seven deadly sins have been prevalent for far too long, invading a networking landscape that is supposed to be about coming together and sharing. Committers of any of these wicked deeds have polluted the waters we inhabit that we got into with hopefully the best of intentions.

So as 2010 comes into being we have our fingers crossed that these hated habits fall by the wayside.

For these sinners are deteriorating these valuable communal assests, and turning people away from these often times helpful resources. Perhaps the beginning of this new decade will see a dedicated effort among social mediaites to repurpose their social media interactions into meaningful and less aggravating practices.

Below are the sins we hope to see no more in 2010…even though we realize just how wishful this thinking is…

7 – Automated Tweets & DM’s

What is that, Lassie? Social media networking takes time? Someone call The Times, this is the scoop of the decade! In case you could not pick up on the sarcasm, let me help, this is not a major realization that only you have discovered. All of us in the Twitterverse know that it is an extremely time consuming process, and using it effectively means near daily participation. But setting up these automated messages goes against the interaction principle that these communication channels have been established for. Be accessible, not absent. Be social, not sinful.

The myth, is that this makes you seem omnipresent and always on top of things, but actually, it seems quite the opposite. You seem more disconnected from the idea of networking with others, and more tuned into the egocentric idea of self-promotion. If you really cared that I followed you, you would not send me the exact same, word-for-word message that you have sent everyone else. You would send me a personalized greeting, not an automatic come-see-what-I’ve-done note.

6 – Monetized Messages

Once again, social media is about the value of the interactions garnered in their various networks, and monetizing those interactions take the personal attachment that is the key element we look for in these path-crossings, right out of them. When we follow someone via the various networks they inhabit, it is because we are interested in their opinions, the information they like and want to share, or simply to be able to connect with them. It is not to see be advertised to via their streams, as the ad companies try to underhandedly sneak their content in as innocuously and inconspicuously as possible.

Why the sneaky? Because they know that is the only way to trick people into thinking that the content they are going to see was offered because someone they know liked it or responded it in some way. They do not want us to know that these are ads, because they know two things. One, we more than likely don’t care about their products/services. And two, that without the subterfuge, we would never click on their ad for whatever craptastic offer they have awaiting us. Why? Because that is not why we are populating the networks! We are there to be social, not to be sold to!

5 – Games

Okay, please do not misunderstand this section because we are in fact gamers. However, like most things, we believe that everything has its proper place, and social media networks are not the places for these extracurricular activities. There are entire networks dedicated to nothing but online gaming, so lets just keep them confined to those places and not have them pouring into these places that are supposed to be about communication.

From spies to mafia families to simple farmers, etc. ad nauseam the social media gaming trend has gotten ridiculously out of hand, and given that so many of us use it as a tool, and as a valuable resource, these games devalue our experience. As they unnecessarily clog an already saturated stream of information, from users that we desperately want to follow, but not to get updates about their gaming exploits. We follow them, because, once upon a time, they used this tool like we did, and we valued their contributions, as we now cling to the hope that they will return to their former glory before the fell to the gaming usurpation these networks have suffered.

4 – Useless Facebook Apps

Much like the aforementioned games, Facebook’s tendency towards the institution of useless application after aggravating useless application has got to stop! We understand their desire to be fresh and new, constantly ‘re-inventing’ themselves, but could they please not go the way of Myspace and ruin a mild and unobtrusive UI and user experience with a plethora of garish, useless crap? Pretty please? Seriously, it’s like they’re too busy asking what can be done, and not bothering to consider whether or not it should be done.

They were self aware enough to recently release the lite version of Facebook so you could cut out all of this useless clutter, but do we really need the clutter if others can just ignore it? Doesn’t that just render it potentially more useless than it already was to begin with? So what it the point, Facebook? OMG! The best blackjack app on Facebook! OMG! I don’t care! Do we really need a special app to tell us how awesome we are, or to explain to us why we are the man? If people really want that badly to tell us that we rock, wouldn’t they just write it on our wall? Or maybe send us a private message? So maybe in 2010, Facebook will ditch this sinful way and clean house on the useless app front.

3 – Social Media Experts

We have posted on this in the past over at My Ink Blog, in the post Social Media Expertise – Designing the Myth, but still we have those proudly donning these titles as if some self-applied Burger King crown of expertise has granted them some sort of social media rockstar status. Those who claim to be masters of a medium that has yet to fully define itself, as it is still in its infancy. These Twitter titans and pharaohs of Facebook think that they have enough of a knowledge base on these evolving markets to claim an expertise, but alas, that is just not the case.

Sorry to burst any bubbles with that…well, actually, that is not completely true, but we’ll go with it…, but social media is too expansive and dynamic a market, if not too new a market, for anyone to have developed a level of understanding and knowledge on to make those claims reasonably. Which also has to make you wonder about their advice, overall. How much of that which they espouse as fact is just as exaggerated as their title? So here’s hoping that social media sin sees its final days soon.

2 – Password Phishing

For this sin, there really is no appeal to be made, and valiantly pleaded for there is no one of substance to reason with. Password Phishers are the worst kind of online trolls, so it is not like the collective of these black-hatters have a conscience about this kind of thing, so there really is not much to say on this one.

Other than it sucks, and it is pretty sad that someone dedicates their time to nothing more than abusing others online. We just hope it dies out somehow in 2010, so that Phishers can take up their post alongside spammers in some kind of virtual purgatory far from the reach of the rest of us.

1 – The Fecal Freaks

Not really sure how this crap all started, pardon the pun, but we are really tired of seeing defecation details being shared among the social media networks. The only person that interested in the regularity or descriptions of your bowel movements is your freaking doctor…and I am guessing that even their enthusiasm for this aspect of their job wanes, if it is not overall forced or faked. This is a place for sharing, but their is a line…please stop crossing it. Yes, like the book title states, Everybody Poops, but that doesn’t mean that anybody wants to hear about that sh-okay, so no more puns, but you get the point.

There are even secondary services set up to filter just for these kinds of social media shares, so once again, this sad, sick sin has gotten way out of hand. Perhaps this is too much to ask, but in 2010 it would be a miraculous win if the poo posts were relegated to a mere distant memory in our past, and we could network without the fear of swimming through our stream and bumping into a bit of poop floating through our feed. Maybe we are dreamers, but we think this is a dream worth having.

That is a wrap on the seven deadly social media sins that we hope die in 2010! Feel free to offer up your two cents or the sins you hope to see buried in the new year.

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  • http://twitter.com/paul_cawley Paul C

    Great post Rob, my personal peeve is the ‘so-called’ social media expert… urgghh…

    Anyway… great content, happy and hopeful new year to you and yours…

    P :)

    • Rob Bowen

      Thanks, Paul! I appreciate the comment.

  • http://somaquest.blogspot.com MaryBeth Smith

    I have another “Deadly Sin” to contribute for the continuation of the list.

    It has to do with Facebook “friends” responding to a link you’ve share with a critique and their own rant. I recently posted a link to an article I had been interviewed for, and one of my connections wrote on the wall “Nice article, BUT. . .” He proceeded to criticize the photograph used! And on and on.

    I gently reminded him that social media is social, meant to be fun, and not for ranting. Use your own page or an internet forum for that. I also told him that when you write on someone’s wall, you are a guest at their party. Please don’t start a fistfight or hog all the hors d’oeuvres!
    Thanks for a great article — I look forward to more!

    • Rob Bowen

      Thanks, Mary Beth, I haven’t experienced that one yet…guess I will be on the lookout for it in the new year, tho hopefully I won’t find it! :p

  • http://thefreecreatives.com Crystal

    Ha, “social media expert” is probably the one that bothers me most. I find that most of my followers are these spammers, and while I understand social media and marketing, these people aren’t even marketing the right people! Probably the biggest irony out there. :)

    • Rob Bowen

      I appreciate the comment, Crystal. So true about the so-called experts. They don’t even pay attention to who they are attempting to connect with. Mmm, irony tastes so sweet.

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  • That Guy John

    Amen, specially to #’s 6, 7 , and 3.

    The combo and abuse of 6&7 is what destroys the potential of social media.

  • http://www.jaydescorner.blogspot.com Jayde

    I think the one that I agree with most is the games and the useless apps. I barely use facebook, I am still in the newbie phase, but the constant updates about everyone’s farm and other crap is really annoying. I have to wade through tons of invitations for this stuff when I don’t even bother with it. If I want to play games, I’ll go to Pogo or some other game site! Thanks for the great post, I am now subscribed by e-mail.

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