CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

Christmas Gift Guide
Culture

9 ways you're making your Facebook friends hate you

Commentary: Irresponsible social networking is an unforgivable sin. Here are nine things not to do -- and how to turn it around.

Hey, do me a favor will you? The next time you're about to post something lame on Facebook, smack yourself in the face. Not hard, just with enough force to stop what you're doing and then NEVER DO IT AGAIN.

Screenshot by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Because chances are you aren't really thinking about the people you're supposedly trying to connect with; you're sleepwalking through online friendships that are a proxy for real-life relationships and it's time to wake up and do better. But don't worry, upping your Facebook game is pretty easy, and the effort pays off.

1. BIRTHDAYS

Birthday greetings make me feel amazing -- unless it's a string of "Happy birthday Jessica" written 100 times. Then it's disheartening.

Like, what, friends aren't worth a personal nod, or a little more effort than the three most generic words in birthday greetings? Bullshit. Write something snazzy, or insert a picture. Your post will stand out and your friends will feel unbelievably awesome.

2. INSIDE JOKES

Got an urge to post something that only three people in the world would get? Stop. Then ask yourself if all your hundreds of followers really need to see a photo of your cocktail glass and a shout-out to your pal Savannah. If the answer is yes, just explain what's going on -- this is Facebook, not Vaguebook.

3. PICTURES

charlie-small.jpg

Is this your Facebook feed, or your dog's?

CNET

Of course I love your kids/pets/food/vacations/selfies. And I love that you love them, too. Just not all the time. Or 10 at a time. Pick the best three, post and move on. Or better yet, put them all into an album so interested families and friends can get their fill. And for the love of God or the Universe or whatever,

no more pics of kiddos with smeared food or runny snot all over their faces

. You think it's adorable. Everyone else thinks it's gross.

4. OVERSHARING

Thank you for describing your enema. It really made my day.

5. HASHTAGS

#toomanyhashtags #postruined #verydistracting #nolongermeaningful #hashtagapalooza #coolwhenusedsparingly #amiright

6. SCREEDS

Say what you want on your post, but keep in mind that you're being followed by a community of your family, friends and coworkers who may find the way you share your political, religious, social or dietary views obnoxious or self-righteous. If you wouldn't enjoy reading a diatribe from the other side, don't write one -- and think twice about sharing links that do the same.

7. FACTS

snopes-green-moon.jpg

Claim sound wild? Check it out -- before you post.

Snopes

Look, I work in journalism, so I'm especially touchy about suspect "facts" (ditto for my other CNET colleagues who I polled for this roundup). Before broadcasting a sensational story, take a moment to consider the source: is it reputable, or is it really a hoax?

While you're at it, actually read the story to make sure you aren't unwittingly endorsing hate-mongering or out-and-out stupidity.

8. HUMBLEBRAGS...OR JUST PLAIN BRAGS

Yes, your kid is a genius and it's terrific you lost all that weight running. Your life is so great. Being you must be amazing all the time. (Just dial it down from time to time, yeah?)

9. HUMANITY

You don't need to look stunning in every selfie for me to like you. You don't need to be perfect or funny or smart all the time. In fact, please be real every once in a while -- remind me who I was friends with in the first place.

Not everyone wants to see blistering details of your scary health problem or depression, your favorite charity or recent death in the family. And not everyone feels comfortable taking private matters public. But every so often, open up and you're likely to find a warm, insightful community that will connect with you when you need it most -- and that's better for everyone.