Social media makes everybody think their life is interesting. Gone are the days when people ate meals, went on holiday, watched TV, had children, played on games, went to the gym and voided their bowels without feeling the need to broadcast it to everybody they know on a digitised soapbox. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, and the countless other social media sites give people the mistaken idea that their entire lives are being followed by their friends with all the tenacity of a tabloid journalist digging through Katie Price’s bin and scrawling draft gossip columns on her used sanitary towels. In actual fact, people’s day to day lives are still – on the whole – really, really boring. That’s why every day when you log onto your favourite social media site, you read things like this...
\#14 – Updates on mundane day-to-day errands
An entire class of status updates revolves around things that virtually everybody does, but someone feels the need to point out that they’re doing right now. You may be running late for work, clothes shopping on your day off, picking up your kids from school or annoyed about the size of your electricity bill, but literally no-one cares. People who post status updates like this are clearly operating on some unspoken assumption that either nobody else completes errands or that they are somehow endlessly fascinating. Unless you’re fighting dragons, thwarting super-villains or juggling flaming chainsaws, your day-to-day errands are unlikely to generate much interest.
\#13 – Sleep pattern updates
If you don’t sleep, you won’t last long before you start to go insane and then die. This means that we all sleep, and we’re almost all forced to get up at some inhumane hour in order to sit in an office and pretend to do something productive. Everybody has a night where you just can’t get to sleep, or a morning when you’re so tired that you feel like you’ve been lobotomised, but some people feel the need to constantly remind us of their sleeping patterns through social media. “Up late again #insomnia,” “Awake at 5am AGAIN!” and any other comment about your sleep pattern is likely to generate about as much interest from your friends and followers as a day-by-day account of changes in atmospheric air pressure. Unless you happen to be at the “insanity” stage of insomnia, that is, in which case you’ll probably have some interesting things to say (if only because you think your keyboard is made of marshmallows).
\#12 – Countdowns to dates nobody cares about
Spent a day bored and realised that your holiday is exactly 70 days away? Nobody is interested unless they happen to be going with you, and even then they’re probably aware that time continually passes and soon you’ll be sipping over-priced cocktails on a beach-front bar. Yet these types of reminders and countdowns literally flood social media. Confused about when to post one? Here’s a quick guide: don’t post about the number of days until “event x” unless “event x” happens to be “stopping posting countdowns to meaningless events until the day I die.” And even then, everybody would prefer it without the countdown.
\#11 – Child-related updates
Parents are amongst the most annoying people to be friends with on social media. Since they’re brains are jacked up on parental, child-loving hormones, they feel like every successful feeding session, new outfit, night-long sleep, chicken-scratch drawing, expansion of vocabulary and bowel movement from their child warrants broadcasting to everybody they know. And that’s without mentioning the pictures. Almost without exception, babies are wrinkly-faced gurn-factories that do little other than sleep, defecate, vomit, gurgle incoherently and grasp at toys with the dexterity of a developmentally-challenged cat. If we wanted a daily ticket to that show, we’d put our genitals to use and make one of our own.
\#10 – Vague cries for attention
Any social media update is some form of demand for attention, but some take that unavoidable rule and push it far beyond ordinarily limits. Anything along the lines of “I can’t believe what’s just happened...”, “I’ve never been so depressed,” “I’m not OK,” “Worst day ever!” or “It’s times like this you realise who your true friends are” is a transparent cry for attention, but the tactic is depressingly successful. People care about their friends, which is precisely the sentiment being abused by these sorts of updates – it’s milking your relationship for attention. It’s also inherently hypocritical – posting on social media implies that you intend to make the matter public, yet giving no further information makes it seem like it’s “private” and you don’t want to spout off about the details of your personal life. Just pick one.
\#9 – Song lyrics/Spotify updates/links to songs on YouTube
Every day people feel the need to show you how much they like music with either some “deep” song lyrics, constant updates about their Spotify listening habits or links to song videos on YouTube. Song lyrics and Spotify updates are usually individual posts (representing the posters inability to be “deep” in their own words and control privacy settings in programs, respectively), but some people choose to carpet bomb your newsfeed with links to songs on YouTube every single day, creating a multi-post playlist that literally nobody listens to. Why? Because they have nothing better to do and secretly think they could be a DJ.
Related: 10 Classic rock albums you must own
\#8 – Reposted memes, e-cards and picture-based jokes
Have you ever wondered how many different one-liners can be plastered over an image of a cat? Nope, but you’ll probably know that the answer is “a shockingly large amount.” Internet memes are all well and good, but the fact that they can be created so easily leads to social media sites becoming a dumping ground for images that have made people smirk and forget the pointlessness of their existence for a split second. Some might genuinely make you laugh, but it’s much more likely that you’ll click on the picture, read it and then wish you’d spent those ten seconds aimlessly banging your head against your desk instead.
\#7 – Compliment-baiting
Inexorably linked with the vague cry for attention, the compliment-baiting social media update is another trick used by people who want to be constantly showered with praise. If they want to feel thin, they post that they’re “so fat it’s disgusting,” or if they want to feel attractive they’ll publicly wonder whether or not they should get a nose job and inject some botox into their sagging cheeks. Again, people are too kind and go through the motions by commenting that they don’t need surgery, liposuction or a new face, in fact, they’re just fine as they are. The poster’s ego is stroked and the commenter’s time is wasted, because it’ll happen all over again tomorrow.
\#6 – TV/film commentary (with spoilers)
TV programmes and films are something we all like to talk about – but social media removes both the face to face and interactive elements of these conversations, leaving status updates about them as nothing other than unsolicited amateur critiques liberally peppered with spoilers. You might pick up the odd tip on which films are worth watching or which TV series you should record, but you’re much more likely to find out the ending to the series finale you’ve been waiting all year for or some arbitrary idiot’s opinion on this week’s X Factor elimination.
\#5 – Meal updates
Food is also something we all have in common, but thankfully some of us don’t feel the need to post images of everything we eat or location-tag the restaurant we’re in (along with every single person present). If the meals were particularly impressive (like Man Vs. Food impressive) or unusual then it would potentially be warranted, but nobody needs to know that you’re in a posh restaurant or have just devoured a Subway, and we don't want see a picture of your pub lunch. We’ve seen food before, and we’re well aware that there are restaurants in your home town.
\#4 – Facebook game updates
Have you ever clicked onto Facebook because you’re desperate to find out how one of your friends from school (who you haven’t spoken to in real life ever since) is doing on Candy Crush Saga? Well, you’ll probably find out regardless. If the person is particularly annoying, they’ll add a little message about how impressed they are with themselves for beating a particular level too. Much more than that, while you’re logged on you’ll probably receive some invites to make a virtual farm or play a gambling-free version of poker as well.
\#3 – Exercise-bragging
People are so smug when they’ve been to the gym. Just because nobody else moves aside from a zombie-like shuffle to the car/bus stop in the morning and a slightly more awake version of the same thing at the end of the day doesn’t make you impressive for using your muscles more vigorously. It’s a mixture of “aren’t I awesome for running on a treadmill like a bored hamster trotting endlessly on its wheel” and “I bet I’m healthier than you, you smoke-sucking, fat-guzzling heart attack magnet!” We know that describing our bodies as “like a sack of rotten potatoes” would be unfair to sacks of rotten potatoes, but we still don’t want daily updates about how often you torture yourself in the name of “staying in shape.”
Related: Train your entire body with 1 weight
\#2 – Complaining about work
Go check the news headlines: we’re expecting a piece to run across all of the nationals today about how some people don’t like their jobs! Nope. Actually, that would only be news in a world where people never spoke to each other and hated to complain. The world we live in is the exact opposite, so telling your friends and followers that you hate your job is about as Earth-shattering as saying that you’re not a fan of the Nazis or that you crossed a road today. If you’re thinking about posting this status, here is some advice: either get a better job or stop whining about your current one.
\#1 – Professing love for a partner
Some things are meant to happen in private, and social media invariably leads people to put these things out to a wide audience. Out of all of these private matters, the gooey love-talk between you and your partner is probably the least interesting and most cringe-worthy thing to read. Yet it happens with shocking regularity, as if private messages weren’t possible in the modern world. Every anniversary, birthday and major life event has become a time for couples everywhere to share something relevant to only two people in the world with their entire combined friends list. Maybe they’re purposefully trying to induce spontaneous vomiting in as many people as possible.