8 obnoxious things people need to stop doing on social media

Wondering why you don't seem to have a lot of friends or followers online? It could be because you've committed one of these seven deadly mistakes.

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  • There are a lot of unwritten rules when it comes to social media. Whether you're new to it or have been raised with it, it's very easy to slip and commit online faux pas.

  • These are eight of the deadliest mistakes you can make. Keep from committing them and save yourself (and your friends) from a lot of misunderstandings and heartache.

  • 1. Vague-booking

  • Vague-bookers are those who intentionally post teasing hints on Facebook like, "Thinking this was a bad idea ..." or "My wildest dreams just came true!" or the worst, "Sooo depressed!" and then leave off the crucial information of what exactly just happened. The worst offenders are those who vague-book and then refuse to answer any questions when people ask what's going on. If you don't want to share the whole story, don't post it.

  • 2. Sending 'Candy Crush' evites to everyone

  • Let's just get this out there and move on. Nobody wants to help harvest your corn or give you an extra life or beat the invading clan. If they wanted to, they would be doing it already. End of story.

  • 3. TMI posting

  • Before you post something to social media, ask yourself, "Is this something you would talk about in a casual conversation with the roommate you just met, your best friend from elementary school you haven't talked to in 10 years, your mom or your grandpa?" If not, then it's better left unposted, because lest you forget, those, plus more, are the people you're friends with online.

  • Those who are TMI posters are also often overposters who post new pictures or status updates multiple times a day. Your friends like to know what's going on in your life, but not what you ate for each meal or how many toenail clippings you found in the bathroom sink. If you're not sure how much is too much, try to limit yourself to about one personal post and one or two shared articles or pictures a day.

  • Another risk of overposting, of course, is sharing too much personal information, such as home addresses, phone numbers or places of work. The National Crime Prevention Council suggests avoiding posting these and other pieces of identifying information hackers could use to steal your identity.

  • 4. #Hashtaggingeverything

  • Hashtagging started out as a way for people to make their online content searchable. Today, it's become a way for people to make side comments about their posts, often to the extreme. Here's a rule of thumb: If your hashtagging is longer than your post, you probably #hashtagtoomuch #sorrynotsorry #thestruggleisreal #firstworldproblems

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  • 5. Fishing for compliments

  • Case in point: posting a reflection selfie with the caption, "I need to lose so much weight!" Whether you actually need to or not is beside the point. This is known as fishing for compliments because there are two ways people can respond to this. They can either agree with you or reassure you that you're skinny, beautiful, amazing and perfect the way you are.

  • Unless you really want someone to tell you that you could lose a few pounds, everyone knows what response you're looking for, and it makes you look insecure, which in turn makes you a target for potential bullies. If you really want validation, post positive, inspiring things to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. You'll spread happiness and leave people with a much more positive impression.

  • 6. Adding everyone to your online parties

  • Here's a hint: You wouldn't invite people you haven't seen in five years to a party at your house and then continually text them updates about what you're doing even if they never said they were coming. That's essentially what it's like when you add people to an online party they never said they were interested in.

  • The best practice for online parties is to send those you'd like to invite a private message ahead of time to see if they're interested in the product or service. If they are, go ahead and add them. That way you know who is actually paying attention to your updates and you don't have to worry about being unfriended by long lost acquaintances and erstwhile friends.

  • 7. Drama, drama, drama

  • There's no better way to make sure the wrong information gets into the wrong hands than by airing all of your dirty laundry on social media. Relationships gone bad, fights with friends or family and political rants are just a few sources of drama sure to offend the people who see your posts in their newsfeed.

  • Dramatic posts also put you at risk of cyberbullying by those who disagree with your viewpoints. Stopbullying.gov says you're more likely to be the target of bullying if you "are depressed, anxious, or have low self-esteem" or "do not get along well with others, seen as annoying or provoking, or antagonize others for attention."

  • 8. It's My Party and I'll Post What I Want To

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  • Many people will post photos from their latest party, which will include drugs or alcohol. They'll even bully others who didn't go to the party, or they'll add in unnecessary swear words to their post. Many teenagers will try to share these party photos to make others feel left out.

  • The best way to stop these kinds of posts are to know about them first. And if you're a parent with a child full of drama or inappropriate posting, or if you want to be more involved in your child's life online, VISR is for you.

  • VISR is an app designed to help you protect and empower your children online, providing notifications when your kids knowingly or unknowingly put themselves at risk.

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Katie Nielsen received her bachelor's in English with an emphasis in technical writing. She has taught English and is a published writer.

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