Social Media Rules of Engagement

12 people we love to hate on social media

You've probably crossed paths with many frustrating folks during your adventures in social media. Maybe it's the Bragger who gets under your skin, or the Political Know-It-All who makes you want to yank out your hair. These 12 quirky characters are guaranteed to drive any sane person mad.

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People Who Break the Social Media Rules of Engagement

Social media is a digital town square open to anyone with access to the Internet. It's a land of lawlessness, rife with ne'er-do-wells, social activists and overcompensating teenagers, as well as many of the world's most promising and brightest minds. These characters converge on social platforms, cloak themselves in anonymity, and unfortunately some of the worst behaviors imaginable come to the surface.

We've all come across one or all of the characters you'll see in the following slides. They're the people we love to hate on social media. Keep in mind, however, that most of them simply can't help themselves, so it's best not to take their online escapades personally or hold their behavior against them. However, should you find one of these characters staring back at you in the mirror, you'll also want to read our Social Media Rules of Engagement series:

1 serial liker

The Serial Liker/Commenter/Tagger

The Serial social user emerges out of thin air like a predator popping from a bush, hell-bent on leaving no post un-commented, un-liked or un-tagged. They're usually the types of people who always have to have the last word. They feverishly "Like," re-tweet and favorite posts for no apparent reason. They comment on every post they come across, and they simply can't move on until they "tag" someone else. The Serial Liker/Commenter/Tagger is no slouch on social sites, but considering the amount of time they dedicate to their senseless craft, other aspects of their lives must be left woefully unfulfilled.

2 oversharer

The Oversharer

As the name suggests, Oversharers can't keep anything to themselves. Nothing is sacred, and there's no way they'll let even 15 minutes pass without posting something on some social media site. The Oversharer comes in many shapes and sizes, and they often think they're educating followers by re-tweeting dozens of articles and blog posts each day. Perhaps they're afraid those same followers won't be able to go on with their lives until they hear how the Oversharer's blind date is going in real time? Oversharers seem to think people sign up for social media to live vicariously through their connections.

3 bragger

The Bragger

We all know the Bragger. She's the kid who calls her friends on Christmas morning to boast about all the loot Santa delivered. Or the joykill who always finds a way to let you know how much money she makes — or worse — the endless funds she gained through no achievements of her own. Nobody is safe from Braggers, because they are everywhere. Many of us occasionally find our ways into the bragging camp, but The Bragger brags nonstop, and she can't help it. Social media is one great big, filthy sandbox for Braggers. They all look down on the rest of the world from their sandcastles, and they want you to know it.

4 networking snob

The Networking Snob

There's no such thing as too many friends or colleagues, but there is a point of diminishing returns. The amount of people you pretend to know on social media is not as important as who you genuinely converse with. Or better yet, the number of people who know you. The Networking Snob, however, doesn't agree. He cares more about his Klout score and the total number of followers or connections he has. Networking is about relationships, and the reality is there are only so many meaningful relationships you can foster on social sites. The Networking Snob doesn't understand that either, though, because he's too focused on trying to connect with every person, brand or bot who will do him the honor.

5 closed minded know it all

The Political Know-It-All

Everyone has at least one closed-minded Political Know-It-All in his or her social circles — or they did until they got so fed up that they blocked them. They're the types who just can't let an argument die until everyone involved comes to tears or admits they were wrong. The subject of the argument…err, discussion rarely matters. Maybe the Know-It-All doesn't believe in vaccinations or thinks President Barack Obama wasn't born in the United States. They're going to let you know all about their opinions, probably in all capital letters, even if it means ruining a perfectly innocent discussion about something that's completely unrelated. You'll want to watch out for these types, and keep your game face on if you do come into contact with one. They feed on the fear and indignation of others.

6 new parents

The New Parents

Have you ever noticed how every single parent thinks she has the most adorable, smartest and nicest kid in the whole wide world? Most of those runts actually are quite cute, but their parents go and ruin it on social media. Mommy's little angel turns into a mini monster due to overexposure on Instagram. And daddy's baby seems a lot less lovable after the never-ending barrage of blurry photos he posts on Facebook. The New Parents are proud, and rightly so, but those babies go to their heads, and before long they honestly believe their followers care about all the yawns, boogers and poopie diapers their kids unleash throughout the day. The New Parents have simply lost, or willingly relinquished, any hint of perspective.

7 hourly instagram

The Hourly Instagram Poster

The Hourly Instagrammer takes pictures of everything, and you know this because she posts all of those images on social sites. Sometimes she even posts "pictures" of words — think lame motivational sayings. Last week it was an hourly update about her workday, and followers saw pictures of whiteboards, cubicles and the inside of a surprisingly rancid communal fridge. The Hourly Instagram Poster simply must post something — video of the TV show she's watching at home right now, a photo of the sign in the bathroom that reminds employees they have to wash their hands — every single hour or she feels like the entire day was a waste.

8 hashtag addict

The Hashtag Addict

For many social media fiends, the drug of choice is the hashtag. You can spot a Hashtag Addict by the sheer number of hash signs in his posts — the more hashtags, the more severe the addition. Hashtag Addicts on Instagram are some of the worst specimens, and their hashtag-filled captions frequently run further down your screen than their photos or videos. Hashtag abuse is a scourge on social media, and an intervention is long overdue.

9 recycler

The Recycler

The social media Recycler spends way too much time living in the past. It's an affliction that affects a wide range of otherwise-harmless people. The Recycler gets away with his misdeeds because things happen so fast on social media that it's nearly impossible to catch him. The first time it happens, you get a sense of deja vu. When that joke or motivational quote comes across your feed for the third, fourth or 15th time, however, it's clear you have a Recycler on your hands. Recyclers regularly repost old tweets, #tbt posts on Instagram and status updates to — I honestly don't know why — perhaps relive the past or remind everyone of their impeccable memories while testing those of their followers?

10 twitter troll

The Twitter Troll

These Trolls are nothing like the creatures that lurk beneath bridges in fairytales. Twitter trolls will not rest until everyone feels just as negative as they do. Trolls love to stir up the pot with insults, language meant to incite and ridiculous pseudonyms. Trolls have notoriously poor spelling skills, and many can't, or won't, muster the intelligence to have an honest conversation without throwing some type of ill-intentioned barb.

11 tweetstorm artist

The Tweetstorm Artist

Tweetstorm Artists bring equal parts egotism, braggadocio and callousness every time they start a storm a'brewin'. They're obnoxious, self-important ninnies who believe all of Twitter hangs on their every word. They often try to outdo themselves with each passing tweetstorm by stringing together longer and longer series of tweets. These types seemingly feel restricted by Twitter's 140-character limit, and they rage against the social powers that be by blasting away with random messages. Usually, though, they're just blowhards.


The @$$#*!~

There's no other way to say it: Some people can be real @$$#*!~$ on social media. These are the types of people who never learned to play nice and who purposefully spurn the old the Golden Rule. They seemingly measure social success by how frequently they can belittle and hurt as many people as possible. Nobody really wants the @$$#*!~ to use social media — except maybe the @$$#*!~ himself — but unfortunately there's nothing anybody can do about it. The only true way to battle back against social media @$$#*!~$ is to take the highroad and make sure nobody ever perceives you as the @$$#*!~.