The 13 Worst Things That Can Happen To You On Social Media


1. You write a listicle and someone responds to every one of your points.

There should be a name for that dreaded feeling that washes over you when someone tweets at you, “Your list of 33 things that guys love but won’t admit is SO OFF. Here, I’ll prove it by responding to every point.” If you want to respond to my list, cool! Go ahead! But must I really be notified every time you compose a response?

2. Finding out your ex is seeing someone.

Among the many useful purposes of social media is the ability to uphold a murky connection to your exes who would be much better off out of your life. Except it’s not the sort of connection forged by a correspondence of hand-written letters. No—it’s more like the type of connection between a woman and her predatory and obsessive stalker. Many of us fall victim to the deplorable habit of constantly checking in our exes to see what they’re up to or if they look at all happier since we broke up. To go to your ex’s Facebook page and find no new posts or tagged photos is, in a perverse way, reassuring—that he’s at least not up to anything fun enough to document. So the reverse—discovering new tagged photos of him appearing to have fun or, worse, sidling up to a cute woman—is supremely unsettling.

3. Being attacked by a group of trolls.

So apparently tight networks of cyber trolls isn’t just a fictitious idea fabricated by The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo books. Hit a nerve with a member of these coalitions and you will get twitter raped. I call it “twullying” (twitter bullying).

4. Your family.

Nothing quite says “that’s it—I’m changing my name and moving to Nicaragua” like finding your close family members on social media. Perhaps this is due to the nature of my job, but seeing my mom on twitter just feels way too close to home. like when you’d randomly bump into your parents at school with no advanced notice. It evokes the same feeling that this text evoked last night:

And, not sure why, but it also brings back memories of that time in kindergarden that I ran into the bathroom to fart, but everyone still heard me.

5. Using my articles as an opportunity to TMI.

At what point did you interpret my listicle as an invitation to share with me the fact that your balls hang low, and used to peep out from under your basketball shorts? Your TMIs are ALWAYS unwelcome, unless of course I wrote, “I invite you all to direct message me with a personal anecdote that will make me wish I was illiterate.”
What not to do:

6. Getting bombarded by a compulsive TBTer.

William Blake wrote, “The road to excess leads to the palace of wisdom,” and I cannot think of a more prescient description for the physical abuse that a compulsive TBTer forces us to withstand. For it is thy catalog of cute baby photos that tells me you are, paradoxically, an atrocious grown-up.

7. A sub-tweet directed at you.

As if our methods of communication weren’t already passive enough, now they have the opportunity to be doubly passive and unconfrontational à la sub-tweeting. The worst part about reading a sub-tweet is probably the crippling second-hand embarrassment that it inspires in all of us. But even more infuriating is if a sub-tweet is specifically directed at you. You may as well just say it to the person’s face because no one else who’s following you knows what in the hell you’re talking about.

8. Following Lil B From The Pack.

I have pity for the unfortunate soul who decides, on a whim, to follow Lil B From The Pack. Perhaps it’s because I too was once this unfortunate soul and am all-too aware of the unbecoming nature of his twitter activity. If there’s a lesson we can take away from this it’d be to not assume that someone is worth following simply because they have buttloads of followers.

9. Accidentally posting someone’s name in the Facebook status box instead of the Facebook search box.

This epidemic is more common than you’d think. The status box and the search box just shouldn’t be positioned so close to one another! It can be very disconcerting for someone who is trolling Facebook, eyes haggard, at 3am.

Cautionary tale: My best friend and I used to date two dudes who were best friends and attending college together. We would swap names of girls who we thought were threats and were therefore slutty. My friend had her boyfriend’s Facebook password and one time she signed into his Facebook on my phone and forgot to sign out. So naturally I plunged, head first, into that messy swamp, discovering photos of my boyfriend that I had never before seen. Eventually I found the girl who I believed to be my biggest threat and went on to stalk the shit out of her. Then one day I typed the girl’s name into my friend’s boyfriend’s status instead of the search bar, and all of my fun came to a sobering halt.

10. Snooping and finding.

If you’re snooping through your boyfriend’s Facebook and he doesn’t know you have his password then God help your soul because nothing good will come out of it. You’ll either find something alarming and never talk to him about it because he doesn’t know you snoop through his Facebook, or you’ll find something too upsetting to ignore that will eventually mutilate your heart.

Cautionary tale: I had my ex-boyfriend’s Facebook password and would go on it once a day like a maniac (in my defense, we were long distance and so I never felt like I truly knew what he was up to). Then one day, as I’m mining his Facebook, I realize he’s signed in too, and actually in the middle of a sexting conversation via Facebook chat. In real time, I read him ask a girl what she remembers about the time they fucked, or if she recalled the time he bent her over.

All in all, that was a fun day.

11. Spotify posting what you listen to for all to see.

It’s already bad enough that I’ve listened to Rihanna’s “Stay” seven times in a row. For the people at Spotify, that should already be a glaring red flag that screams “She is obviously forlorn.” And yet, despite this, Spotify will go ahead and out your misery to the world because, honestly, who the fuck knows.

12. Getting accosted by an open letter.

The most disappointing part about open letters is that they’re not open at all. If they were open, then all I would have to do is simply close them and they would go away. But no, these are letters that are permanently open—letters that were in fact never even closed!—and serve no other purpose than a canvas onto which young adults whine.

13. “Do I have the best boyfriend or what?”

Umm, are you asking me? If this is a legitimate question then I will legitimately answer that no—no you don’t. Yet this often isn’t a legitimate question, but rather a way of shouting to the world that your boyfriend just made you cat-shaped cookies, in which case die.