My Top 5 Social Media Pet Peeves and Faux Pas


By: Kevin L. Nichols


As an avid advocate and proponent of social media, I am easily frustrated and annoyed by certain practices various individuals and spammers employ to disrupt my fabulous online experience.  It was extremely hard to condense this post into just 5 pet peeves/faux pas, however, I did not have infinite time to compose my thoughts.  Here are the most abrading and most frequent online behaviors that make me want to have a “falling down” moment like Michael Douglas:

    5.       The Rogue Twitter Spammer – Every so often, I receive a foreign mention from an anonymous Twitter follower who adds a mysterious link after my Twitter handle, which more than likely leads to a phishing site that will steal all of my personal information and open up offshore accounts in Mitt Romney’s name.  I regularly have to block these users, so at least they only get one shot to drive me insane.


    4.       Rogue Facebook App Requests – At least I no longer get Farmville requests, but the Marvel Avenger Games, MyCalendar, Flixster, and even the School feeds make me “Coo Coo for Coco Puffs!!!”  I finally figured out how to remove these notifications.  Thank goodness, however, the multiple Event invitations and dreadful shoe “tags” would be a close 6 and 7 if this list continued.


    3.       Twitter’s 2,000 Following Limit – I am not sure if you are aware, but Twitter limits users from following more than 2,000 people unless you have a comparable number of followers yourself.  In theory, this makes sense because it bars people from following tens of thousands of people with the hope that they will follow them back.  Then once the people they followed follow them back, they unfollow them so that it gives others the illusion that they have tens of thousands of followers.  However, for someone like me who nearly follows 2,000 people and has nearly 1,000 followers, I should be able to follow who I want.  I am not abusing Twitter and there are many others that I would like to follow.  This is irksome. 


    2.       Facebook Users Without Avatars – Facebook is a wonderful way to reconnect with friends, family, and sometimes even business colleagues.  The purpose of connecting online is to either get to know the person that you have lost touch with or meet someone new.  How do you do this with the gray outline of a person as your avatar?  It is sort of like having Tom in a white tee shirt representing your avatar on MySpace when that was popular…go figure.  God made everyone in His/Her own image.  Take a picture of yourself and post it.  Don’t be a passive stealth social media participant.


    1.          Generic LinkedIn Connection Requests – This is my worst pet peeve.  Ok, my perspective might be a little skewed since I am featured on LinkedIn’s login screen and tend to get A LOT of requests, but I am an open networker.  If we have no connections in common and are not remotely in a similar industry, I have no idea why we should connect.  Please give me some obscure reason.  A one liner as to why this would make sense, or where we met, or who we know together.  “Since you are a person that I trust…” We don’t know each other.  How do I know I can trust you?  Please give this some thought when connecting to people.

If social media users adopted higher standards of etiquette and sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter further develop ways to prevent spammers from infiltrating people’s inboxes, the social world would be a better place.

Kevin L. Nichols is the Principal of KLN Consulting Group located in San Francisco, which specializes in Litigation, Diversity and Business Development/Social Media consulting.

For more information, please visit
or follow him on Twitter @kevnix or “Like” him on Facebook


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