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Aug 07 2010

Ten annoying status updates and how to fix them

So you're looking through your facebook status updates or twitter stream, and along with interesting info, you see one of these annoying posts.  Our motto at White Glove Apps is Polished, Portable, Productive, so let's make these updates more polished and productive.

Speech balloons article on Wikipedia

1) "At the hospital."

Honorable mention: “Just got my test results back from the doctor…”

For goodness sakes, what happened? Are you the patient (tweeting from the hospital bed like Lance Armstrong)? Was someone in your family in an accident? Your medical emergency could be anything from a broken finger to a life-threatening illness, so please let us know the severity and who we should send our thoughts to.

Try: "At the hospital. Little Jimmy broke his thumb :-("

2) "I am worried."

Honorable mentions: "I am frustrated," "Ugh."

How are people supposed to help you if they don't know what you're worried about?

When you post an update on social media, by definition you're putting it out there for your friends to see. If they can't respond to it productively or with appropriate words of encouragement, why are you posting it? Guaranteed, the first commenter will ask "What's wrong?," so instead, why not tell everyone from the get-go?

Try: "I am worried about this bruise on my arm."

3) "Funny! link" (especially if a URL-shortened link)

Honorable mentions: “Interesting: link,” "Reading: link."

Your idea of funny may be very different than mine. You don't have to spoil the joke, but if you tell people what it's about, they're more likely to read it.

Try: "Funny story about a dancing camel! link"

4) "@Joe ha ha!"

Honorable mention: “@Joe you're a moron!”

Replying to your connections without providing any context is occasionally OK, but if half your twitter updates are responses that wouldn’t mean anything to most of your followers, people aren't going to get much out of following you. You're either making a lot of inside jokes, or forcing your followers to look at @Joe's status updates to figure out what you're talking about. Either way, it's annoying. Instead, provide enough context for your followers to get what you’re talking about; better still, also provide a link to the original web page.

Try: "@Joe That dancing camel video is hilarious! link"

White Glove Apps on twitter

5) "My spouse is so annoying!"

Seriously, is facebook is a good place to have an argument with your spouse? Do all your friends really want to get dragged into this, and feel like they have to pick sides or wonder if your relationship is going to last? Instead, share something positive your spouse or significant other did.

Try: "My spouse just gave me a great neck massage."

6) "I have to go to the bathroom!"

Honorable mention: “I'm starving!”

So put down your phone and look for a bathroom! Ninety-nine percent of the time, going to look for a bathroom will solve this problem faster than tweeting about it.

Just don't post this.

7) "Your friend suggests you like 'Are You Smart Enough to Solve this Puzzle?'"

Your friends should be smart enough not to click on this link! People don't want to get sucked in to your irritating "mind-bender," which is most likely just an invitation to be spammed. Some people just use facebook to catch up with their friends, and teasers aren't everyone's idea of a good time.

Just don’t share this.

8) "Your friend suggests you like 'Obama is a secret Martian!'"

All of your friends may not be of the same political persuasion as you, so don't continually suggest they all join your causes (or conspiracy theories) unless you know they're sympathetic to them. This is also true for mass emails: please put some thought into your recipient lists.

Just don't post this too often.

9) "Had toast for breakfast."

We don't need to know what what you had for breakfast, what time you woke up, or how many dirty shirts you had to sort through to find a clean one. If you're oversharing by tweeting as often as the boy cried wolf, people aren't going to pay attention to your important status updates. Instead, just post interesting or unusual things.

Just don’t post this.

10) "My coworkers are all idiots!"

Honorable mention: “My family is a bunch of idiots!”

Even if you think you've excluded all your moronic coworkers from your friends or followers list, you have to assume this comment could reach them somehow. Given facebook's drive to make everything about you public, you should assume anything you post as a status update will be public someday. Instead of calling your colleagues names, mention an event—not a particular person—that was annoying.

Try: "Tough day at work… three long meetings."

By the way, I hide status updates from all the facebook games people play, so I'm not even including those in this list.

GQ and CNN also have funny sets of annoying facebook status updates. And here's a list of ten annoying tweets (and another list).

Any favorite annoying facebook status updates or tweets you've seen? Post them here and we'll suggest how to make them more polished and productive!

Image credit: Speech bubbles: Wikipedia.

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