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Social Media

7 Symptoms of Poor Social Media Hygiene

The monster that emerges from you when posting on social media is fraying of the fabric of society. Cut it out!
7 Symptoms of Poor Social Media Hygiene
Image credit: KARRASTOCK | Getty Images
Guest Writer
Founder of Nuts and Bolts of PR
6 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Forget the baby pictures, the posts of thankful people who love their families, the Instas of your food or vacation.

They can get annoying, but at least they’re positive. At least they’re not contributing to societal problems or projecting negativity into social discourse. There are others, however, addicts to strife and drama, who contribute to disagreement and contention, fraying the social fabric.

Like me, you need to check yourself when it comes to social media. Sometimes, when you get so into your own social media world, it becomes who you are. You may not even realize that you are acting the way you are.

Now is the time to audit your social media prowess. Take a look at your profile, your social media brand. Read these seven symptoms, take a look in the mirror, and identify the worst social media poster within you.

1.) You over-post like you’re having a real-time dialogue with someone.

One word: Twitter. You real-time tweet your life, acting as if you are actually having a conversation with the rest of the world. It’s over the top. It’s unnecessary. The other necessary question: How are you pumping out so many tweets and keeping your full-time job?

Related: Biggest Social Media Fails of 2017

2.) You broadcast your life’s events -- hourly.

You have a friend or are that friend who announces to people, “In case you didn’t know/wanted to know, I am taking a break from social media for a while.”

“Thank you, but who cares?” Taking a break from social media doesn’t require a post so that your friends and followers don’t worry. There are some who are so consistently on social media that watching a movie interrupts that time and they let people know they’re two hours out from their next post. It’s ridiculous.

3.) You post opinions as a social media tough guy/girl.

This is similar to squaring up on someone in real life. You think you are Andre the Giant or Ronda Rousey. You are unstoppable. That’s the way you post. You tend to come off like you’re better than others. No one can hurt you because you’re that big, hiding behind your phone or technology miles away. Well, you are not 10 feet tall. In fact, you become even smaller when you hide behind social media.

4.) You’re mean.

You’re just flat-out mean. Everything you post is mean and negative. Any person who offers an iota of disagreement, you blast them. I see it all the time. God forbid someone doesn’t agree with you 100 percent of the time.

And, naturally, you preach bipartisanship: We need to be bipartisan. We need to treat each other right. We need to get things done together.

Then, at the slightest sign of disagreement, you hate their guts, and your true partisan ways are exposed. You can’t walk both lines. Either you commit to treating people well and state that on social media, or you commit to not posting about things that you know will be met with contempt.

5.) You never admit you’re wrong, or you justify your wrongness.

You never admit you’re wrong. I see this all the time, especially when I worked in Congress. You are wrong about certain things you post. You get super aggressive in your post, lambasting and going after someone else.

When you find out you’re wrong, you won’t admit it. You instead try to justify it in some quasi-roundabout way. Instead of admitting, “I’m sorry, I was wrong,” there’s no accountability. It doesn’t exist in your vocabulary. You refuse to be the bigger person and own up. You don’t even have to apologize. Just admit to being wrong.

Related: Why Everyone and Everything on Social Media Is Fake

Based on the aggressiveness of the post, you may need to apologize for getting behind something so severely without having all the facts. Now, something comes out about this topic, and you have nothing to do with it. You’re wrong, and you won’t admit it because you’re stubborn.

6.) You pretend to be effortlessly wittier and smarter than everyone else.

Ninety-nine percent of your posts take 30 minutes to craft. You want to emit wit. You think you are an absolute comic. Every tweet is an over-the-top, wannabe funny post. You ask people to not take you seriously, but the unspoken message is, take me seriously because I’m so smart, and this tweet shows you I’m smart. I spent an hour crafting this, but I am so cool.

In reality, you would never talk to a person this way, or come up with such a pithy comment, but here you are, researching your opinion to mimic your beliefs in a certain sort of way.

7.) You make social media your pulpit.

You talk down to anyone who doesn’t share your beliefs. As mentioned above, you may refuse to admit you’re wrong, and you may end up being flat-out mean. You regularly use the phrase, “Do the right thing,” as if you’re opinion is 100 percent the right thing. It’s obvious, and there could be no other way!

There are a lot of people who write about social media, how ridiculous it is, and how it’s making our society go crazy. Just look at Jussie Smollett. People use social media to go off the Richter scale with speculation and to air their most private or impolite thoughts.

Social media allows speculation to grow and grow.

Related: Top 10 Powerful Moments That Shaped Social Media History Over the Last 20 Years

Here’s the prescription: Awareness. Looking for even the slightest symptom in yourself, and treat it. If you have a cold, you would verify the symptoms and do everything in your power to make yourself better (Vitamin C, water, medications).

Do the same thing with social media. Once you are aware of how you can treat the issue, drink some water, think twice, and choose to post positivity instead. #Postpositive

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