Trust us, they're everywhere: 8 ways to identify a social media douchebag

by Marina Arnaout | Culture

We’ve all been there—peacefully tweeting along, reading up on our favourite blogs… when suddenly you spot one (or worse, it makes contact).

We’ve all seen that dreaded social media douchebag.

The “social networks” have all become valuable tools for business and personal use, through which you can genuinely meet some awesome people. However, there’s also the “dark side” (AKA the douchebag side) of selfish, pushy, know-it-all humans who think they own the internet.
They come in many shapes and sizes. Here’s how to spot them (and make sure you're not one of 'em):

1. Self promotion

It’s all me, me, me. Their only sole purpose is what you can do for them, or how they can sell you something. They will try to sell you as soon as you engage in any sort of communication with them, or pay any sort of attention to them. They offer no value and will often flood feeds with “lol” and “wtf”. Your best bet: ignore them best you can.

2. Ego maniacs

These douchebags will usually have something along the lines of “I follow back” right in their bio. That’s nice…. is that suppoused to make me actually follow you back? First of all—who are you? They will add “friends” to social media networks, and then never interact with that person again in hopes of boosting social media numbers. They will also often write things like “Help me reach 2000 followers, almost there! Please RT! I’ll follow you right back!” FYI, no one cares dude. If you have to resort to doing that, you obviously have nothing valuable to say.

3. The know-it-all geeks

They used to be the mocked computer nerds until internet start-ups and social media became the big thing. Apple is their emblem and Mark Zuckerberg is their god. They feel you live in their world and they know it better than everyone else. They’re arrogant and will often make it known if they don’t agree with your opinions because theirs are obviously correct. They sound smarter than they are and your best bet is to just place them in the same category as the self-promotion douchebags.

4. Name dropper

Addicted to networking and decreasing their 6 degrees of seperation thanks to the internet. They will most likely look through your LinkedIn contacts and will try to develop a conversation and pretend to be your friend. They really know how to do their research so beware if they think they have a use for you.

5. Quote tweeter/Retweeter

Someone who offers no value of their own, and relies on other people to provide thoughts. They will tweet “inspirational” quotes and expect you to feed their ego with “Omg thank you, you inspired me." There’s nothing wrong with sharing a great quotation but it’s a problem when you post about 10 a day. Unless specified as a niche content curator catered to your interest, it’s probably better to follow the people that the douchebag retweets or quotes firsthand.

6. Poser

They have over 100,000 followers and will provide you with a social media strategy but nobody knows what they actually do. So wait, do you even work in social media? Marketing? Do you even have a job? Where did you come from?! They are harmless if genuine—but harmful if they’re sycophants.

7. “Internet Celebrity”

These are the ultimate douchebags. They may have gotten some positive feedback, or even published an ebook and let it get to their head. They actually believe they’re famous and important. LOL good times, I say.

8. Memorize

If you hear anyone actually talking like, you’ve come across a douchebag. Examples include but are not limited to:

  • Utilise social currency to amplify experiences and drive conversations.
  • Facilitate audience conversations and drive engagement with social currency.
  • Maximise buzz by driving word of mouth from relevant influencers.
  • Provide brand ambassadors with compelling conversation hooks to enter into communities and fuel advocacy.

They use big concepts to make them sound important. There’s an easier way to say whatever it is you’re trying to say that sounds much more genuine that can get your point across without making you sound like a douchebag.

To conclude, you can avoid being an intrusive and aggravating online personality by not putting up a front and simply toning down your annoyance. If it’s not something you’d care to hear from someone else, don’t share it. If you wouldn’t enjoy someone else making that comment to you or selling you something, don’t do it. Last but not least, have fun.

Because we’ve probably all been guilty of being a douchebag at one time or another.

Oh, and for more perspective, check out this Xtranormal video that must be the source of all these goons:

San Francisco, California, United States

Twitter is a privately funded startup with offices in the SoMA neighborhood of San Francisco, CA. Started as a side project in March of 2006, Twitter has grown into a real-time short messaging service that works over multiple networks and devices. In countries all around the world, people follow the sources most relevant to them and access information via Twitter as it happens—from breaking... more

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Marina Arnaout

Marina Arnaout

Marina Arnaout is a frequent contributor to industry publications often covering the latest technology and business trends. She currently holds the role of Regional Head of Digital at SAS - a global leader in business intelligence and analytics. For more, follow Marina on Twitter @marinarn. more

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