9 reasons you're a social media dirtbag

We all know the proper way to behave, whether we want to admit it or not.  Regardless of that fact, it seems like way too many people choose to be a lesser version of themselves. Especially in this age of social media. Why? Maybe because they can and there is no one who will tell them to shape up and cut the BS.

Today, however, I'm appointing myself as hall monitor for the social media corridor. My top 9 offenses are below (tickets with unreasonably high fines will be issued later):
  1. You post unflattering photos of people to Facebook, Flickr, or other social media sites.
  2. You've stopped tweeting with your friends so you can talk to more "important" people who will help increase your Klout score.
  3. You won't recommend a deserving colleague on LinkedIn because you're insecure enough to think it diminishes your own accomplishments.
  4. You've bought your Twitter followers.
  5. You offer webinars that promise to deliver free information, but instead you pitch an overpriced "system" which is nothing but common sense.
  6. You don't ever respond to people when they send you a tweet (or you DM your response to them because they're not important enough to be mentioned in your stream). 
  7. You use information from social media sites to get friends or colleagues into trouble.
  8. You refer to yourself as an expert or a guru.
  9. You only talk about yourself and never promote the good work of others.
We all know a list isn't complete unless it has at least ten points, so what would you add? Feel free to chime in below to let us know what the social media dirtbags are doing in your part of the interweb.

67 comments:

  1. You retweet a link without referring to the person who supplied it.

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  2. Oh, yeah, any kind of theft is unacceptable. Good one.

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  3. Sending threatening tweets to people because you're convinced they're "out to smear you."

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  4. Oh, my! I've never seen that one (thankfully!). Sounds MOST unpleasant.

    Thanks for chiming in, Kate.

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  5. Asking for a LinkedIn recommendation from someone who barely knows you, and then being offended when they don't respond because - even though they may think you are a nice person (or DID), they really can't think of anything to say that would help you out.

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  6. That's a good one. I couldn't agree more.

    Having the good, common sense to know what's appropriate is so important. I actually have been on the receiving end of that one. A colleague who I never worked with and barely knew asked me for a recommendation. As you say, I had no experiences to draw from and absolutely nothing I could contribute (without all out lying, of course). I explained that to her (which I shouldn't have had to ever do) and she never responded.

    I think we can be make your #10: Remain grounded in reality and don't put people in awkward situations?

    Thanks for adding to our discussion. Good points!

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  7. "Hall monitor for the social media corridor" -- that is hilarious. And so necessary. Sheesh, there are so many dirt bags. You'll be busy, that's for sure. You've covered the most obnoxious behavior here. Will you be rewriting your profile to include your new (self) appointment?

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  8. Hi Shelly! Thanks for adding to our little discussion here! I think adding my self-appointed position to my profile would be a little dirtbaggy, so I'm gonna downplay it for now. ;-> #DownWithDirtbags

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  9. I don't have another one to add right now. I'm just so relieved to see I don't fall into any of those categories. I can't afford any costly citations right now and would have to flirt with you outrageously to try to get off the hook, which could prove awkward for both of us. ;)

    Thanks for being hall monitor.

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  10. Yay for you! Redheads like us are rarely dirtbags ;->

    As for flirting, social media hall monitors like myself stick to the strictest of ethical standards. No bribes. No excuses. We take the badge seriously! Although if a chocolate cake were to show up on my door, it would be rude of me not to accept it, right?

    Thanks for commenting, my favorite funny blogger!

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  11. Oh...I love that you did this post. How about only tweeting with people who have purchased something from you. How about having no sense of humor? Some people are so serious on Twitter. Ugh. Yuck.

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  12. Thanks for stopping by to comment, Jennifer! I'm not sure I know anyone who is too serious about Twitter, but I'm with ya on the sense of humor thing. Give me sarcasm or give me death!

    So glad our paths crossed out there in the Twittersphere! Now THAT is the kind of thing I love about social media. Meeting cool, new people like you! ;->

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  13. wow - even though I don't tweet (and I don't know what LinkedIn is), those sound like serious offenses, Ms. Social Media Hall Monitor. Makes me glad I'm not involved with either. However, I have to agree with you on #1 and #7 re: FB. People really need to put themselves in your shoes before posting a hideous pic or saying something that can't be erased...

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  14. Oh, my dear Patricia. It was only a few months ago you were telling me you didn't know what a blog was. Now, here you are chiming in and leaving a comment. Yay!

    I totally agree with thinking twice before you post stuff. And it doesn't even have to be horrible, maybe something that just isn't thoughtful. For example, someone once posted a photo of me with my mouth all contorted as I was taking a bit of some food. Not scandalous, but just not nice. He could plainly see it didn't put me in the best light, so why do it? I have to assume it was either a passive aggressive gesture or complete oblivion. Considering the person is social media savvy, I have to assume it was just mean spirited.

    Thanks for taking the time to add your thoughts, Patricia! (Oh, and hey. Since you're a teacher, do you think you can set me up with one of those cool Hall Monitor sashes????)

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  15. Ooops -- previous comment got sent too soon! haha..

    This is great! A rather comprehensive list of offences.

    I would like to add: those who have *only* automatic Tweet updates, and those who sell their facebook accounts of 5,000 friends to those who want to buy them if the majority is under age 21. The latter might even be in a different category than "dirt bag."

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  16. I love your list, this is the only one I could think to add:

    You offer a "free" white paper and call the person right away to find out their reactions and if you can "assist" them with their (fill in the blank with whatever the white paper was about.)

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  17. I agree with Jennifer. Those automatic tweets of quotations or constant reminders what the person sells are just dreadful. And it's just unnecessary noise. I appreciate the one about not giving credit, too - sometimes I retweet something and I'm not sure if I've done it correctly.

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  18. You, Quickdraw McGraw, you!

    I appreciate you adding your dirtbag offenses! That Facebook one isn't just dirtbaggy, it feels downright yucky! Kind of like selling kids or something. As for the automatic updates, it seems like there are more and more people are doing that. Guy Kawasaki is all automated, for example. But, he's very honest about it.

    Thanks for chiming in (and for the RT!), Jenny. I always love to hear what other people are thinking!

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  19. Overly aggressive sales tactics = dirtbaggy! ;-> Businesses or individuals can offer freebies and still follow up in an appropriate way. Unfortunately, so many do it wrong, huh? Let people enjoy the feel good vibe before you tackle them with a hard sell, right?

    Or better yet, just offer something completely without strings. If you have something to pitch later, so be it. But, in the meantime, your first freebie is a nice gesture to foster good will and start a good business relationship!

    Thanks for adding to our little dialogue here! I appreciate you sharing with us.

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  20. Hi Jean, I read a blog post recently that called that kind of a person a Type OO personality (OO= output only). I thought that was spot on. If you only talk AT people and not WITH people, what's the point?

    As for retweeting properly, either use (I'll use my handle for illustration purposes) "RT @wordsdonewrite" and then the tweet OR tweet the info and put "via @wordsdonewrite" at the end (I've just used quotation marks to set off the text, don't really use them). Either approach is fine.

    I appreciate you making the time to comment, Jean!

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  21. Yes! And if your product is good enough, I'll contact you, anyway!

    Jeanie

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  22. #10 - No more motivational quotes/tweets/posts (unless they are truly inspired or original - which is doubtful)

    http://vivavisibilityblog.com/do-motivational-tweets-help-or-hinder-tips/

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  23. Heidi, that's an interesting one. As you know, quotes are big on Twitter. Many people even advocate using quotes. But, you're right in that few are original.

    There is one guy I know of who does nothing but tweet quotes. I tweeted him back once to inquire as to why none of them were attributed to the person who said them. His response? They're all HIS quotes; just stuff HE says. That was kind of a turn-off. I mean, to think of yourself as constantly quotable? Nobody's all that.

    Thanks for commenting, Heidi. May the light of a thousand rainbows surround you like the wings of a unicorn. How's THAT for inspiring???? ;-> Points for originality, at least?

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  24. You get points for originality AND wit.

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  25. Yay! Thank you! I'll take it ;-> I can use all the points I can get these days!

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  26. Hee hee. Thank you! I consider that a real compliment coming from someone like yourself ;->

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  27. Love this~!!

    Only beg to differ on #8 and site @unmarketing book as a reference. There can be many experts in a field. Being an expert does not mean you are the only expert and does not diminish the expertise of anyone else =) I dislike the term, however, but am trying to warm up to it.

    x0x
    Anita Nelson @ModelSupplies

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  28. Hi Anita! Thanks for adding to our discussion.

    I think the expert thing is a fine line. It goes to the adage that things mean more when other people say them than when you say them about yourself. Too often, people who refer to themselves as experts or gurus look like schmucks. If you truly are a leader in your field, others will already be saying that about you and your reputation will precede you. Just my humble opinion on the subject ;->

    Thanks for stopping by, Anita. We've missed you!

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  29. Glad to be back~! lol Still working on my stupid Twitterfeed. It is not working for a few blogs.

    Do you think you need to "put it out there" that you are an expert, then let others take the reigns and run with it? (I do know the type to whom you are referring and do agree~! lol I would like to achieve expert status, however.)

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  30. I guess I believe that if you do things to illustrate your knowledge, people will come to seek your counsel. Actions speak louder than words and to be an "expert" someone needs to SHOW it before they SAY it.

    I'm sure there are many different schools of thought on it, but that's my take.

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  31. This list is hilarious! You could also add... "You conversate with people that follow you on Twitter but won't follow them back because it will mess up your following/followers ratio."

    Or also "Asking someone for a LinkedIn recommedation and then not thanking them, or speaking to them again, after its been written."

    Or even "Making your social media presence all about you, you, you! It's called social for a reason."

    Love the post and keep it up :-)

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  32. Enjoyed the write-up and words to live by!

    Keith Thorn

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  33. Thanks for the comment and the retweet, Keith! You rock!

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  34. Ashley, LOVE your additions to the list. Unfortunately, I've seen all those offenses! What is wrong with people?

    I need to grab my citation book and start handing out tickets before this all gets way too out of hand. :->

    Thanks for taking the time to chime in, Ashley. You obviously get how social media works. Thanks for being one of the good guys!

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  35. I think I know who this person is ! (LOL. Great post)

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  36. Oh no! You know ONE PERSON who commits all 9 offenses???? Yikes!

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  37. geez - i guess anyone who would do these things IS a dirtbag - but do you think they'd admit it ? In my case i am in the business of Social Media - but my addition to the community is to bond and network with others - share information and support one another. I'm not trying to say i am holier than thou - but i really don't know anyone who does this stuff do you?

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  38. Hi Melanie! Thanks for adding your thoughts to our discussion.

    Luckily, I know lots of people who do all the good stuff you mentioned above. As a matter of fact, the majority of people I'm connected with are like that. And, as for the dirtbag behaviors, I see them all much too often. They are not the people I choose to closely align myself with, but they are definitely people who cross my path from time to time.

    Fortunately, the good guys outweigh the dirtbags on any given day. :->

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  39. Amen! I am all for smart historical quotes, but the "preaching [or cheerleading] from the pulpit" tweets and posts are tiresome.

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  40. Great post, Amber. Everyone should read this guideline for social media. Keep up the good work and words.

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  41. Dee, thanks so much! I appreciate your kind words. You're an angel (see, I'm playing into your screen name -- hee hee!) ;->

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  42. i think some people want to make it more easier if they could link all the social networks they are on ino 1 ..others would like to start forums.. others would like to just chat...others would like a more variety of options...others to educate themselves...others for jobs...others forhelping people with problems...others like yourself proffessional and social...each to thier own likes...and dislikes ...of whichever site they're on like finding which network is suied for the individual..regards jo..x

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  43. i thought it was all about getting networks up n running for less money...but, i admit u are right in wot you say egards jolene

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  44. Jolene: Thanks for taking the time to comment. Yes, absolutely, people use all this stuff for many different purposes. My point is really to act with a certain degree of etiquette and respect. Since you put it all out there for everyone to see while you're on these sites, why not be the best you you can be, right? Bad behavior never places anyone in the best possible light.

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  45. Oh no. It's absolutely not about just getting things up and running. It's about becoming a valuable member of these communities. If you want the most out of it, those who contribute and act with decency and courtesy are the ones who thrive. Those who act poorly and do nothing but take, are those who are apt to see the least return.

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  46. Hi Amber! Great points all added below! Social call because I believe in the "Social" part of Social Media. So visiting new friends from Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook to see who they are and get better connected. Love your Blog and please feel free to Hall Monitor anything you may see me doing in error on theTwitterverse! @Josepf

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  47. Thanks for taking the time to comment, Josepf. Yes, the real life component of it is so important. Not always possible, but when it is, I say make it happen!

    Thanks so much for the nice words. By leaving a comment and chatting with people via Twitter, I already know that no tickets are in your future! ;->

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  48. Here's one for you Amber:

    10. You send invitations on LinkedIn claiming to be a friend or that you've done business with the person before when you've actually never set eyes on them...only their avatar.

    Usually I send these people back a polite note asking them to remind me where we've met or when we've done business.

    I'm glad to find you Amber...love your stuff and will happily re-tweet with attribution.
    Anne

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  49. Anne: Thanks for visiting and for taking the time to comment!

    Oh, I hate those kind of invites. And the people who send the templated ones should be smacked upside the head!

    Thanks so much for your kind words. Always nice to connect with new people. I look forward to interacting more in the future, Anne!

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  50. Hey Amber - here's an odd one: Retweeting using someone's twitter name, yet the tweet has absolutely nothing to do with what you wrote. I mean, it's stealing your twitter name for what? Is that a prank? Have you heard of that being done?

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  51. Wow, Jean! No, I haven't heard of or seen that. I wouldn't like that at all!

    Sounds like someone's trying to get a certain credibility from using someone else's handle, but spreading their own message. That one is downright disturbing as it is complete misrepresentation.

    From the way you've written your comment, it sounds as though this happened to you directly. If so, did you contact the sender? Did it appear to be a spam account that was used?

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  52. I've had that happen, too. But it was almost always an oversight on their parts. But, I agree, the DM should be reserved for people who are completely connected (i.e. both are following one another versus just a one-way connection).

    Thanks for sounding off on your pet peeves, Rachel;-)

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  53. I guess I'm so lucky that I've never had that happen. I'd certainly hate it, too!

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  54. How about people who DM you and then when you try to respond...you find you can't because they aren't following you back....They shouldn't be allowed to DM someone they aren't following. I HATE THAT! Although I do acknowledge that for some people it is simply an oversight...they may not even realize that they aren't following you until that point.

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  55. Been there, done it...hate it.....I agree with JC...these people come out of no where and they RT @urscreenname and then type some nonsense and it looks like it came from you...HATE IT!

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  56. So many of these Dirtbag Behaviors also apply to how we behave offline. Having savvy, smarts and consideration works in both worlds.

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  57. OMG - I hope some people see themselves in this! But unfortunately the one's who need to take a close look at their own actions and behaviours probably would not recognize them selves. What comes first: personal ethics, professional ethics, or social media ethics?

    Dianne

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  58. Very true, Susan. Very true, indeed.

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  59. I know, right? So many offenders would be shocked to know anyone considered their behavior offensive, huh?

    As for ethics, I say personal ethics comes first. If you have that, it bleeds into professional and social media.

    Thanks for chiming in, Dianne!

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  60. I think we could expand #8 to include any lame name such as ninja or evangelist (unless that's your corporate given title).

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  61. Yep! Indeedy! Those words never seem to win points with people, do they?

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  62. I'm not sure whether it fits the spirit of the list [or counts as a single bulletpoint; it might be a topic unto itself], but nothing irks me more greatly than basic laziness. The alarming goodenoughism defended by laughable statements like 'its the net so it dont matter'; the weird narcissism allowing a given genious [sic] to tweet whatever he likes, and it's our fault that he forgot to make sense.

    Spelling's a big one, though holding out for it invites charges of GrammarNazism. I don't get how misspellings even happen in modern times. As I write this, I've got five words underlined as misspelled—two intentionally, two compounds, and one neologism I admittedly invented. The underlining occurs when writing tweets, too; that's a hint to stop and think whether the word could possibly, as suggested, be misspelled; if it's still a mystery, rightclick for suggestions, or even copypaste the word over into google.com and search for how it might be spelled. It's never okay, to my thinking, to guess after a spelling and defend it in realtime with a question: that definately(sp?) annoys me.

    Related to that is using definitions in place of words. This one's trickier, since few people have a vast vocabulary. But, trust me: if in discussing the second-to-last thing you call it the penultimate, if I don't know the word, I do know how to doubleclick it, rightclick it, and see what google.com thinks of it; it won't take me long to find it at dictionary.com. And you'll have got your point across without pushing the twoosh threshold. A dozen times a week, I'll use a fairly uncommon word in a tweet or post or whatever, and get a response like this: 'I had to look up "antepenultimate"; good word.' Awesome: I crammed the thing into 140 characters, and you learned something; we both win.

    Factoids. Fun Fact: a factoid isn't a tiny, tweetable fact; it's a lie. 'Did you know that we only use ten percent of our brains?' No; but I'm inclined to believe you in this case; get up to thirty or forty percent, and it might occur to you to look that up and discover that it's a timeless urban legend on the order of Earth Is Flat.

    And so on. Any mistake leading to the followup excuse that precision never mattered. Which itself leads to my followup question: if it didn't matter, what was the point in the first place.

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  63. Wow! That's quite the comment, indeed!

    I, like you, abhor misspellings. And, although I don't think poor spelling makes someone a social media dirtbag, I do agree with everything you've said!

    Laziness is our worst enemy. It's everywhere.

    Spelling errors, as you say, are completely unnecessary in this day and age. No need to haul out the 20-pound dictionary anymore. A quick spell check is only seconds away.

    Sloppy typing happens sometimes. I'm guilty of it, too. However, when someone illustrates a pattern of spelling or grammar errors, I know it's not just a typo.

    I can tell by your comment, you're a kindred spirit (you may like my "Iz Americah alitarit?" post: http://bit.ly/fXWpRp)! Thanks so much for stopping by ;-)

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