Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 22 January 2020

The Moaning Myrtle to The Lurker: The seven common characters crowding your social media feed

Which camp do you slot into?

There may be millions of people on social media, but many fit into a few select camps when it comes to their online traits. Getty Images
There may be millions of people on social media, but many fit into a few select camps when it comes to their online traits. Getty Images

My 2019 New Year’s resolution was to stop sharing on social media. It is ironic, because last year a big part of my job became sharing my thoughts and feelings, but I still managed to curtail my personal online usage. Sure, I have tweeted here and there, but they are more statements attempting to be jokes, and my Instagram Story is sporadically furnished with things I have seen or done.

My social media backseat may have turned me into the human version of the Kim Kardashian bush meme, but it has also given me the opportunity to identify seven social media behaviour patterns that people I know (and sometimes love) are guilty of …

1. The Aspiring Insta-star

We all have a friend, often with fewer than 10,000 followers, who post like they are Instagram royalty. Tell-tale signs are solo shots with incredible backdrops, an onslaught of hashtags usually hidden in the comments – #travel #wanderlust #bloggerlife #borntotravel – and the lingering question: how do they afford all those trips?

2. The Hansel or Gretel

Hansels and Gretels are typically found on Facebook. They are friends, often from days gone by, who drop the digital equivalent of breadcrumbs. “OMG, I can’t believe it,” they write, using the status tool last commonly used by the masses in 2012. They are always hoping for a “What happened?” To which they always reply, “I’ll DM you”, leaving the public none the wiser about what the girl they went to school with until the age of 16 cannot believe. The audacity.

3. The Cryptic Crossword

The truth about a Cryptic Crossword poster is only apparent when you have insider knowledge. Does your friend seem to be doing a lot on their lonesome? Dinners for two but no one in shot? They’re coyly feeding you a new relationship. They aren’t ready for the world to meet the new Mr Cryptic Crossword just yet, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t going to post that romantic, candle-lit dinner.

4. The Moaning Myrtle

How can so many things go wrong for one person? Are they actually unlucky, or is the story more entertaining if a few #firstworldproblems crop up along the way? Although it does seem likely that Moaning Myrtle was the first person ever to get downgraded on a flight, have a dry-cleaner lose and shrink all their clothes and have an allergic reaction to a face mask they regularly use – all in the same day – but they could at least have enough self-awareness to label them first world problems.

5. The Straight Talker

Have you encountered this crop of the social set? People who got a higher-than-usual engagement on a post they once wrote that was refreshingly honest, so they flog the proverbial horse in every second post, be it about parenting, romance or body image, hoping to score a similar engagement time and time again?

6. The Lurker

We don’t necessarily know they’re there, but they certainly exist. The friend who claims not to have social media but seems very up-to-date on their social circle’s coming and goings. You know who you are.

5. The Club Promoter

I will use this opportunity to admit I fit into this category. A solid 70 per cent of my social media posts are used to promote an article written by me, or a colleague (but it’s usually selfish). This makes me the Twitter equivalent of the person who scatters flyers for a nightclub you’re not going to go to, posting links that you may or may not click into. Please click into them.

Updated: January 11, 2020 02:57 PM

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