By Stacey Ross
I recently took on the cathartic experience of encapsulating my fellow online enthusiasts’ top pet peeve personalities: those individuals that have a way of throwing a wrench into the digital playground – a wrench that leaves us slapping ourselves as to why we still follow them or reminds us why we continue to be entertained by these cats! The umbrella is large, but the stereotypical personalities under it are even larger:
1. Over-Eager Eds
Can you say “awkward”?!! Needy “friends” of the opposite sex that somehow presume they can assign you a pet name and/or message you to chat as a significant other. These are unattractive gestures, best to ignore.
(Note: If an online lady friend is married with kids, don’t be a slime ball and ask her out on a date! Also, we married types are not the ideal pen pals for men in the service; find another fantasy! God bless you for serving our country, but…. Phew! Also, “Cutie” and “Baby” are typically reserved for tight relationships in my book, but maybe that is just the prude in me coming out for this cathartic rant! So, now that my engine is started….)
2. Riotous Roberts
This type is not online to engage; rather grabbing the spotlight is their shtick. They get on their bandwagon with an agenda or angle and methodically lure folks in, then insolently demolish even the kindhearted, non-malicious peeps that might merely see things from a slightly different angle than they do.
They really do not appear to care if their online friends differ in thought, as demonstrated by how they default to belittling those who might not see through the same hue of lenses as they do. This leaves no room for discussion or a good debate, but does invite an audience that primarily takes on the roll of silent followers and serial “likers,” despite seeing the sucky attitude of their “friend.” They basically thrive on building online groupies.
3. Narcissistic Nincompoops
They take the notion of provocative to another level and the only thing prolific about them is their growing egos and online friends. At least 90 percent of their posts have “I” or “me” as the main focus and they appear to be consumed mostly with flaunting their own personalities or showboating their adorable kids to the extent that there might be a violation of a child labor law in play! You begin to wonder if their keyboards are stuck in the first person mode. In a nutshell, they brag and gloat.
4. Judgmental Julies
Perhaps I am leaning towards being one of them today (don’t hate, I am just on a roll is all!), but I am referring mostly to snobby folks who name-call online, such as: “moron,” “idiot,” “ass-wipe,” etc. and have no problem appearing hateful. The catch here is that I doubt these peeps would even dare be so offensive to the person’s face. They tend to use their platform as an outlet to obliterate others. Name-calling is their chosen form of bullying, which is an indication of insecurity and a likely demonstration of despair. They tend to come out during political debates or mommy wars and thrive on drama.
5. Texting Trolls
I do not knock texting in the least, but I have come to find that many others distain it. They get irritated with the OTT and OMGs. Sometimes, this is just a language we no speak-o, and we need to get over it quickly and get with the times. But apparently this method of chatting really turns some people off, especially if they are not accustomed to using short syllable words and getting to the point, or have not brushed up on the “how to hide your messages from your parents” acronym guide.
When “H bday, babe XO” begins to replace a surprise phone call or a birthday card, then it is not texting that is at issue; instead HJNTIY (he’s just not that into you)! The only annoyance of texting, IMHO, is that users are grabbing at the tool to avoid intimacy or as a cop-out when picking up the phone would be more appropriate.
If you relate to having a few of these folks in your stream, take refuge in the fact that many people use the online jungle to portray a different persona. They might not be as obnoxious in real life or as interesting for that matter. As fellow online enthusiast, Robyn Wright suggests: “Just hover over their name, click on Friends, then Settings, and you can uncheck all the information that you don’t want to see.” Or you can just remain distracted and annoyed or feeling better about your life and do nothing! Your choice!
Stacey Ross is an online consultant, social media enthusiast, freelancer and owner of SanDiegoBargainMama.com. A former teacher and middle school counselor, she is now a mom of two who researches and freelances about lifestyle topics involving family and well-being.