10 Ridiculous Ways People Use Social Sites to Compete

Social sites can serve society in some very useful ways, we admit. They give us a connectivity, a closeness and immediacy to our communication that never before existed. But, when all is said and done, it’s still people that put it to use, so you just knew there would be some silliness going on eventually. Let’s consider these 10 ridiculous ways that people use social sites to compete: 

  1. Public Feuds – It’s getting harder and harder to get through even one day without a news story emerging about some celebrity showing his rear end online somewhere. In sports, Twitter has become the go-to platform for smack talk.
  2. Corporate Espionage – Practically every company has a social media profile. They’re a terrific marketing tool, and very useful for keeping up with public opinion. Some companies, however, use their profiles to spy on the competition.
  3. Retweets from hell – Any social media contest that prompts its participants to spam the web with more clutter and jingoistic jargon just smacks of silly to us. Why people allow themselves to be employed as barkers for greedy corporations is beyond us.
  4. Charity as Bait – Look, if your company has $10,000 that they can afford to donate to Save the Asian Ladybug from extinction, then by all means just write the check and be done with it. If you really care about the little critters, then why bug the rest of us by asking 10,000 of your followers to re-post your status before you’ll agree to help them?
  5. Spam – Generally speaking, any content that is unsolicited by the recipient and seeks to sell them something is spam and, therefore, unwanted. When company profiles attempt to gain followers just to build a social network mailing list, we say leave us out.
  6. Fake Profiles – We’ve always suspected that company shills were posting positive comments in places like the customer review sections at Amazon and the like. Now, social media are seeing the same thing. Witness the Honda Facebook incident of a few years ago.
  7. Suspect Selection Process – That same year, Asus staged a competition for bloggers to shill their products for them. They sank even lower by discarding the winning choice for blogger, in favor of their own choice.
  8. Planking – Remember this abomination, and the mutations that followed – owling and coning? When social media profiles start competing with each other by posting photographs or videos of themselves doing stupid – even dangerous – stunts, it’s time to find a new hobby.
  9. Facebook Games – We’re just going to put this right out there: we don’t ever want to see another request or invitation associated with Mafia Wars, Farmville, whatever. If you’re hooked on these games, that’s fine. Just leave us alone.
  10. Buying Votes – Call us old-fashioned, but we’ve always believed that a product or service should be able to stand on its own merits. Offering swag in return for positive reviews, posts, or blogs just isn’t the way to build a company’s reputation in our book.

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