I’m a pretty relaxed and patient person. I’d say that I even let quite a bit slide, when others wouldn’t be able to. However, there are a few things that really make my blood boil, not in anger but in shake-my-head frustration, toes curling and cartoon steam coming out of my ears. It takes every ounce of me to keep my mouth shut and sometimes I just can’t.
So, here is a list of online pet peeves that I may not approach you personally about, but drive me so crazy I may just have to scream into a pillow when I see you do it.
1) SHARING AN INTERNET HOAX
Snopes.com people! Even from a mobile phone it just takes an extra 45 seconds to find out if by chance, that crazy mind-boggling article or photo is real, fake or a really long stretch. Did you know that close to your current city, someone snapped a photo of a mountain lion, carrying a deer by it’s neck, even though your city denies the presence of any mountain lions? Or how about that lovely Facebook Privacy Statement, that if you add it to your status, it protects you and your photos? A quick search on Snopes would have told all you needed to know – which was to stop sharing them immediately.
2) ASSUMING ANYTHING YOU DO OR SAY ONLINE IS CONFIDENTIAL
I know this may sound strange, coming from someone who, as it appears, displays her entire life online. While the truth is that I definitely have been known to share more than let’s say the average person online, there is still quite a lot that I chose not to share. I have to assume that every word I write, on this blog, social media and even my private email accounts, can and will always be available for potential future employer’s to find. I also have to assume that my children, husband or even complete might someday read them as well.
Deleting also do not make it go away for ever. I know we have all seen that status update, the “oh my, I can’t believe they wrote that online” status. A rule of thumb. If you wouldn’t want your grandmother, a police officer or a complete stranger seeing it, you probably shouldn’t post it online.
3) BELIEVING SATIRE WEBSITES TO BE TRUE
Yes, that story about how Kanye West claims he’s the next Nelson Mandela is totally appalling and unbelievable. It was also posted on The Onion, one of the most famous satire websites in the northern hemisphere. I’m not saying you have to keep up on all the different news websites and colour-categorize them in a notebook by genre – however, when you are in line at the grocery store, you get to know which magazines are a little more credible than others. Would you trust an article written in The Weekly World News or The National Enquirer? Then you don’t trust something written by The Onion. It’s simply entertainment, nothing more. Of course, there is a learning curve so next time you read anything that just seems off, perhaps a quick Google search of the source might give you a little more information – and save you from spending 20 minutes writing an intelligent response to a completely ridiculous article.
4) REFUSING TO ACCEPT CHANGE
I know, I know. You JUST got used to the last set of changes to your favourite site or application and there they go, changing it up again. Frustrating right!? The thing is though, for any company to exist in today’s internet world, they really do have to constantly be changing. Like daily. If they don’t, someone else is going to come along and swoop in from right underneath their nose.
So while it may be frustrating at first, many companies actually do have all users in mind – even those with a slower learning curve. Take the time to actually watch that Tutorial video they posted. Or read the FAQ on the site. You may actually find out that this new change will actually be beneficial to you. Of course, not everyone is expected to like these changes. They can’t possibly please everyone. In that case, no one is forcing you to like it – but if you want to continue using the site or application, you really have no other choice than to learn to live with it. Hey, maybe it will grow on you.
Some of you may already know where this is going.
Within the hour, your email inbox is full of emails such as:
“Oohhh how fun! I will bring my famous dip I made for Sue’s baby shower last month”
and if you are lucky…
“I’m not sure if I’ll be in on Friday. I have an appointment before lunch to get the corn on my foot removed and depending on how much pain I’m in, I may or may not come in. If I come in, is it okay if I just bring a pie from the store?”
You get the idea. It’s annoying, especially for those who already replied (privately) that they will not be taking part. Do not use Reply-All, ever. Well, unless you are reading this and nodding uncontrollably. You get it. So you can have a pass to use it when necessary.
Also, if you are reading this and thinking “but wouldn’t it would be helpful that others know what I have decided to bring”?, then step away from the computer, you are now banned from using the internet.
xo – J