7 Facebook Updates That Are Making You Look Stupid

By Damian Davila on 17 November 2014 2 comments

While 73% of online adults use several forms of social media, Facebook remains their first choice.

And that's what we love about Facebook. When we put up an update, somebody is going to read it. However, not of all your updates are as smart as you think. Actually, some of them might be making you look inconsiderate or, even worse, dumb. (See also: 5 Ways to Break Your Social Media Habit)

Here are the top seven types of Facebook updates to avoid.

1. Accusing Somebody Before Checking the Facts

One of the best things about Facebook is the ability to interact with people around the world in real time. However, this ability should increase your awareness of what you're about to post.

For example, when Facebook rolled out a feature that allowed its users to donate money to fight ebola, an user was quick to call out this as a marketing ploy from Facebook. The user even asked how much Facebook was donating to the cause. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg personally replied to this comment pointing out that his wife and he had themselves donated $25 million to fight ebola.

Before you post, make sure to check out your facts. After all, they're often just a Google search away. If you are too lazy to do it, you deserve to be called out.

2. Including Spelling and Grammar Errors

Nobody is perfect. A minor typo in a long essay or memo is understandable. However, short Facebook updates, such as "Grandma, your amazing!" and "And that's why I told their wants fewer waters" make spelling and grammar errors stand out. (See also: 12 Grammar Mistakes That Are Making You Look Stupid)

Here are some steps to prevent those mistakes:

  • Most desktop and mobile browsers (e.g. Firefox) offer a spell checker, so use that feature to proofread your posts.
     
  • The bulk of grammar errors result from homonyms, which are words that share the same pronunciation, regardless of their spelling. Some examples are your/you're, to/two/too/ and they/their/they're. Review this list of 200 homonyms and keep an eye out for them.
     
  • Remember that you can edit the text of updates after they go live.
     
  • Thank people that point out your grammar and spelling errors. A simple "thank you" is the only right answer; anything else only highlights your mistake even more.

3. WRITING EVERYTHING IN CAPS

Using all caps in your Facebook updates makes them harder to read. When you write in all caps, your text is 40% less legible than text using the right mix of uppercase and lowercase. You should reserve the use of all caps for very few instances, such as abbreviations and acronyms. Otherwise, you will come off as the crazy person in the park that shouts out random comments to strangers. That's a terrible look!

Try this test. Read out loud each of the sentences below:

  • "What are you doing?"
  • "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?"

While the first sentence sounds friendly, the second one sounds scary and intimidating. How would you rather be perceived?

4. Getting Your Priorities Wrong

Imagine this scenario. You just poured battery fluid all over your hand and are experiencing a terrible allergic reaction. You are desperately searching for antihistamine cream, but can't find any.

What would you do?

a) Call a friend or relative for help

b) Head to your neighbor's place to check if they have any antihistamine cream

c) Drive or walk to the nearest pharmacy

d) Dial 911

e) Post about it on Facebook

Don't be the person that goes for option e.

5. Being Passive Aggressive

I agree with American Idol's host, Ryan Seacrest, in that the passive aggressive Facebook updates make you look like a brat.

Here is an example from Ryan:

"I'll never be able to forgive you for what you did. I hope you realize that what goes around, comes around… you'll see soon enough."

While people understand that you may have an ongoing argument with somebody, they may not understand why you're involving all of your 500 Facebook friends in it. Stop chastising that somebody with random and vague Facebook posts (also known as "vaguebooking"). Instead address your issue with that somebody in private and, more importantly, move on.

Your Facebook friends will thank you for keeping their feeds free of drama.

6. Sharing Too Much Information

If you feed looks like this…

  • "Today, I'm heading with Bobby to the new Thai restaurant, Spices."
  • "Only one hour until Bobby and I head to Spices!"
  • "Allright! Lunch time! Spices, here we come!"
  • "Just got to Spices, OMG, everything is so good."
  • "Selfie with the waiter."
  • "Bobby got the panang curry!"
  • "Nom, nom, nom, this is SO GOOD!"

…then you're annoying the crap out of your Facebook friends. A recent survey puts "people sharing too much information about themselves" at the top of the list of what Facebook users strongly dislike.

There are plenty of studies that recommend that the posting frequency sweet spot is between 5 and 10 posts per week. Keep your feed smart by posting around once per day — and maybe twice.

7. Sharing About Others Without Their Permission

"Posting things about your or pictures of you without asking permission" ties at number one on that same survey about Facebook user dislikes. It makes sense for two reasons:

Don't assume that people (and their children!) want to be on your Facebook wall. Check for their permission and respect their desire for privacy if they decline your request. Be smart and stay out of trouble.

What is your pet peeve of Facebook updates? Please share in comments — or on our Facebook page!

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Guest's picture
Sherri

I think you should check your article for grammatical errors, especially if you are going to report on it.

Damian Davila's picture

Sounds fair, Sherri. Could you please point out those grammatical errors?