Ironically, WordPress trolled me and decided to publish this when it was only a title, proving the publishing status of “draft” completely useless. Not Punishing People Rule #1: Don’t send title-only posts to your followers’ email.
Sorry, email followers.
I’m here today to discuss how people punish their followers with their social media practices. Keep in mind: it’s unlikely that people are intentionally irritating their friends and fans. My hope is that in pointing some of them out, you can see if you may be guilty of some of these practices and improve your online presence.
This is a Facebook thing, though I suppose it could exist elsewhere. It occurs when a friend posts an exceptionally bizarre or amazing status, and when you like or comment on it, you get a private message to the effect of “you shouldn’t have liked my status! Now you have to choose one of these as your status: I got a lego stuck in my ear! or Guano is actually quite tasty!”
My standard response is either to ignore the message or say I don’t participate in that crap. Though I have considered adding the Admiral Ackbar photo to status updates where I know this is happening. I don’t, because then I’ll get the private message.
This usually occurs as a vague post: Ugh! Kill me now! or This day can go suck it!
I get it. We all have crappy days, and sometimes we want to share our misery, because misery loves company, right?
That may be true, unless posting vague, drama-laden status updates is a daily occurrence. If you want to share your struggles, add two things: 1. specificity – tell us why the hell the day can “suck it”, and 2. try not to do it too often, or you become annoying white noise.
3. You think I’m real, but I’m just an automated spam-bot!
I think this is mostly a Twitter thing. I’ve been on Twitter less than two months, but that’s long enough to realize some “followers” don’t actually “exist”. You follow them, and then you get a direct message telling about their book or their Facebook page or telling you about a service that direct messages your new followers, which you should totally try! Not. Someone needs to shank those automated direct messages in the kidneys, post haste.
The thing is, I literally just started following you. I don’t know you at all. Let’s get to know each other before you smash your online content in my face, mkay?
4. Doing any of the above things when you’re trying to promote yourself.
If you’re an author, artist, business owner, or must professionally promote yourself in some other capacity, annoying your followers will only hurt you. If your gut says you shouldn’t post that or automate that, don’t.
What did I miss? Are there other punishing practices you see on social media?