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If You Are Easily Offended…

dist If You Are Easily Offended...A friend of mine came to me recently saying that she was “blatantly approached with an insulting proposition” </quote> by another member of the social media network where she participated. She looked really worried and angry. I recommended her to block the guy and forget about that.

Another friend of mine keeps complaining that he is often “spammed”</quote> by his social media friends who ask him to vote for their stories. I said that social media is all about sharing information, so that’s quite natural.

If you participate in social media:

  • you are most likely to be thumbed down;
  • you are most likely to get negative reviews;
  • you are most likely to receive insulting messages from random people;
  • you are most likely to be often misundestood;
  • you are most likely to spend time answering meaningless (as you might think) PMs;
  • you are most likely to get requests for a favor…

Why is it so, you ask?

  • Social media network is a community of people from different countries and cultures – what seems OK in one country is unacceptable in another country. Very often this can result in a cultural shock;
  • Social media network is a community of people who speak different languages - hence people may mean to say one thing and sound as if they mean something else;
  • Social media network is a community of people of different ages. Generation gap may cause misunderstanding.
  • Social media network is a community of people with different motivation. Some people are there to meet friends, others to find love, and some – to network with business partners;
  • lastly, social media network is a community of different people - let’s face it, people can be wicked and bitter.

What if you are easily offended but still want to participate in social media?

My advice is to join Myspace and start adding friends (Digg is also quite OK for this by the way). You will be spammed, insulted and pissed off to the extent that your activity at any other social media will seem enjoyable after that experience. Just try it and you won’t be as easily offended as you thought before. icon smile If You Are Easily Offended... Good luck!

offended If You Are Easily Offended...

Image: the rules

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  1. 34 Responses to “If You Are Easily Offended…”

  2. Pretty much hit that one on the head. Any social network has its disadvantages, whether that is application requests on facebook or shameless self promotion on myspace.

    Currently LinkedIn is the only place I think is relatively safe, as it remains predominantly professional.

    Tell your friend that on behalf of good men out there we are shamed by those who cross the line. I thought it was only gaming where you couldn’t be a woman without showing ‘pics’.

    Cheers,
    Mike

    By Mike Tighe on Feb 10, 2008

  3. So true. I guess I have a tendancy to insult people on social networks, specially Americans, by being “brutally honest” :)

    By Hjortur Smarason on Feb 10, 2008

  4. Hi Annie – thanks for the warning. I’m still learning social networking, so I’ll try not to cry too much when those things happen to me.

    By CatherineL on Feb 11, 2008

  5. @Mike: Yep, LinkedIn is a fairly save place, I for one have no negative experience with it yet – but, to be honest, I am not that active there.

    @Hjortur: I feel your pain, very often I too feel I am misunderstood.

    @CatherineL: I am glad I was some help!

    By Ann Smarty on Feb 11, 2008

  6. Ever notice how people will say things to others online that they wouldn’t even CONSIDER saying if they were in the same room face to face? The majority of us are respectable but social media sure makes it easy for some to behave like immature asses. Good read Ann ;)

    By status_girl on Feb 11, 2008

  7. Hahaha, right after I posted my comment here, I got a death threat at stubmledupon via my review page. I’m so offended I could cry… NOT ;)

    By status_girl on Feb 11, 2008

  8. You will be spammed, insulted and pissed off to the extent that your activity at any other social media will seem enjoyable after that experience.

    By Sean Maguire on Feb 12, 2008

  9. Looks like the tail end of my comment was cut off. That was a funny quote Ann, and a very insightful post. Thanks.

    By Sean Maguire on Feb 12, 2008

  10. Yes, LinkedIn is still pretty safe, as is Facebook (for me at least). As for blogging and being offended, I’m pretty used to people leaving negative comments about me or my writing over the years and you ust have to learn to not take it all so seriously, unless it is, very constructive criticism.

    Agreed Annie, by taking part in social networks we’re opening ourselves up to the pleasure and play which comes along with them, both positive and negative.

    By Loren on Feb 12, 2008

  11. Ann – While this can happen anywhere, it’s becoming a lot more common in the social space. I am a lot more concerned with the back and forth (arguing?) going on at Sphinn between the old school and so-called ‘new school’. There IS a difference between SEO, SEM and Internet Marketing. I guess I would be considered ‘old school’ but if you consider that a ‘social person’ took one of my pieces HOT on Sphinn (YOU) in record time, it’s time for everyone to pay attention and help get rid of the people ‘selling air’ and scraping content.
    (Feel free to use this any way you wish)
    Fondly,
    Charlie

    By Charlie Anzman on Feb 12, 2008

  12. A funny post – but very true!

    By Norbert on Feb 12, 2008

  13. Hehe, I liked the idea of fighting fire with fire. Here is why Myspace members are so numerous ;)

    By www.copywriting911.com on Feb 12, 2008

  14. A very nice read, Anne,

    Yet another good thing about online communication is that you can always BLOCK the offender or mark him as SPAMMY in your social media profile, while in the real world getting rid of bothersome people is a bit harder… Did I make myself clear? ;)

    Tina

    By LinkZaZa on Feb 12, 2008

  15. @status_girl: You are right, Melanie, the fact that no one sees us may encourage to behave the way we like, this is another side effect of the online world.

    And I am so sorry that you experienced connection problems while posting the comment. I’ll have to contact my hosting provider, I guess.

    Block the guy at SU! Grrr, I hate it when something like that happens (yep, I am too fairly easily offended, but thanks to my MySpace school, I can live with it ;) )

    @Sean: thanks for stopping by, that’s always great to meet fellow Mozzers here (same to Mel btw).

    @Loren: yep, and apparently there are more advantages than disadvantages as we are all still taking part in SM.

    @Charlie Anzman: I’ve been just an ‘old-school-seo’ for far too long, so recently I’ve made up my mind to join as many social media sites as I can follow up with :)

    @Norbert: Thanks :)

    @copywriting911.com: that’s actually how I did it :)

    @LinkZaZa: yep, that’s great we can always block the guy.

    By Ann Smarty on Feb 12, 2008

  16. Good advice! thanks!

    By Margo on Feb 12, 2008

  17. scratching from pepsi

    By uh huh on Feb 19, 2008

  18. http://sphinn.com/story/30900

    Hi Ann; You state you are old school SEO, but you are now promoting blackhat search engine spammers on spin. Do you wish to be known as a blackhat SEO? Anyone who promotes blackhats and what they write is certainly not a whitehat SEO, so I’m just wondering what you want to be known as now. And BTW; the blackhat’s blog post is saying that some scraping is whitehat. That’s total BS.

    I’m also wondering if you will allow my opinion in your blog.

    By Doug Heil on Feb 25, 2008

  19. @Doug: First things first: not only I allow your opinion at my blog, but I encourage and welcome it! Thank you!

    Now to the shaky ground, I answered comments at Sphinn, so if you are interested, you can check it out. I don’t want to persuade anyone how ‘white hat’ I am – that’s not my style. What I recommend and encourage everyone to do (and what I do myself) is to explore all sides of each topic. If I do SEO – I want to know both blackhat and whitehat. Am I ‘Old School’? Am I using blackhat techniques or am I just aware of them? Sorry, I won’t tell you. I do whitehat SEO for my clients, but I have the right to risk my own sites the way I want and I reserve the right to treat blackhat SEOs the way I feel. Trust me, I have suffered from scrapers and blackhats many times myself with this blog and my other sites – and I do need to know how this all works and what to expect. Hopefully, I answered your comment.

    By Ann Smarty on Feb 26, 2008

  20. Hi Ann; Yes indeed, you do have the right to do anything you wish and so does everyone in the USA. You also have the same rights to cheat at playing cards as well.

    You wrote:
    but I have the right to risk my own sites the way I want and I reserve the right to treat blackhat SEOs the way I feel.

    Yes, you have that right for sure, but just because we all have the right to do anything we wish, does it make it right? I can understand that slightlyshady guy promoting his own blog and his own blackhat tactics, but you actually promoted his blog and tactics. I think that’s something entirely different. You also state you may do blackhat for your own sites. I guess you think it’s OK as long as it’s your own sites? In my opinion, cheating is cheating whether it’s your own sites or a client’s site. I fail to see the difference.

    I know my opinion is very unpopular with most people who frequent places like spin or the conference inner circle crowd. I know many others in our industry who totally agree with me as well. I’m just really one of the few who would call things as I see them and am not afraid of going against that inner circle crowd. And yes indeed; I’m certainly of the “old school”…. eleven years of it.

    By Doug Heil on Feb 27, 2008

  21. Doug, thank you for visiting my blog. If you take time following my posts here and at other blogs I post from time to time (SEOMoz, SEJ), you will see that I never recommend anyone doing anything illegal. Speaking of my Sphinn submission, I never said this should be done. I shared a post that seemed of interest to me but never expressed my own opinion about the tactic – I just cited the shady and that’s it. I don’t think this can be interpreted the way I am promoting it – I just submitted it for discussion (to hear what people think and what they know about that).

    As for cheating… Sometimes we need to cheat to succeed in life – and I can live with that. I am sorry this is against your principles, but that’s just me.

    By Ann Smarty on Feb 28, 2008

  22. Great post. Loved the conversation about black/white hat SEO as well.

    This social bookmarking/networks scene is more intensive than “organic” SEO has turned out to be – enables the “less geek” of us to shine a bit more (or is that more right/left brained?)

    Hope you continue your work down this line. It certainly is a good example.

    By Robert Worstell on Feb 29, 2008

  23. @Robert: Thanks for thumbs up :) Yeah, I enjoyed the conversation – have a feeling I need to write a post on that to hear others’ opinions as well. At Sphinn there were plenty of different opinions as per that submission…

    By Ann Smarty on Feb 29, 2008

  24. No doubt you want to amplify these words in this post if you run a Internet startup!

    One prerequisite in running such is you have to have thick skin, otherwise the various noise will drag you down and worst of all make you give up.

    By Ryan on Mar 22, 2008

  25. Good article. So true about MySpace.

    To those who feel as if they are misunderstood, you have to keep in mind that people’s personalities don’t change just because they go online. If they are an asshole off line then they will be an asshole online. If they are Miss Congeniality at work and at home among their friends then they will be the same person online. And so will you.

    Miscommunication happens online mostly because people don’t step back and re-consider what someone else might be saying. Since you don’t have the benefit of body language and voice tone, you just have words on a screen, you have limited information on which to base a judgment about somebody’s intentions. That means the onus is on the receiver of the communication to provide a benefit of the doubt to the sender unless, of course, it is plainly obvious that the same words off line would have been construed as intentionally insulting by any reasonable person.

    Two cents from the dime store gallery.

    By Allen Taylor on May 16, 2008

  26. LOL yeah!

    People come so unprepared and do a bunch of absolutely uncalled for silly things! And you are trying to put them in the deep water right from the butt… Well, this definitely will work for strong souls, but may seriously backfire for weaker ones. I would think starting with less harsh environment like Hubpages will work better for most :)

    By Mapquest Driving Directions on May 17, 2008

  27. Nice article!

    By Navin Poeran on Aug 26, 2008

  28. I don’t normally consider myself to be that easily offended but I’ll tell you about one time on SU some guy that I don’t know and never spoke to comes by my page thumbs me down and leaves a review calling me a spammer. Then I noticed that he had also randomly done the same thing to several people. It was as if he went down my friends list doing this or something, I guess being on the internet it is easier for some people to troll a platform. I’m sure if it were IRL the same guy wouldn’t have called me a spammer to my face. This is a good time to use block.

    By Gerald Weber on Jan 12, 2009

  29. Oh dear

    With social networking all the rage… this is a timely reminder that it is not all sweetness and light out there.

    Thanks for the warning and thanks for the advice about Myspace.

    Bill

    By Bill Simcox on May 19, 2009

  30. I like your article, but respectfully disagree about using myspace. I think it is the worst social network when it comes to getting spammed.

    By media buying on Oct 22, 2009

  31. Heh heh, great advice.

    I have been on the internet for some time so mostly immune, but the WORST attack I ever experienced was in response to a question I posted in the eBay community! They were worse than people I’ve encountered in contentious political forums.

    Maybe it was just shocking ’cause I didn’t expect it there.

    Laura
    (who has realized through social media that while she is NOT easily offended, she IS easily annoyed!)
    Who has l

    By Laura on Feb 21, 2010

  32. Isn’t that the truth, Ann…

    We choose to take part in those sites; better be ready to take it, if need arises.

    No one is under the radar.

    Ana

    By Ana | CommentLuv on Aug 12, 2011

  1. 3 Trackback(s)

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