12 Most Irritating Social Media Words And Phrases

12 Most Irritating Social Media Words And Phrases

Dear world of Social Media,

Hi, how are you? Good, good. Well, I’m here because I have a huge favor to ask of you. I’m literally typing this on bended knee, which is kind of silly because you can’t see it. You’ll just have to trust me. This is really painful. I’m on bended knee because I am begging you, I am pleading with you, to please retire the following 12 words and phrases. They want to go down to bathe in Florida’s glorious sun. They want to play shuffleboards. Which words and phrases am I speaking of? Hey, that happens to be the meat of my post!

1. Influencer

What does this word mean? Do you shake hands with people at a conference and say, “Hi, I’m an influencer?” Who or what are you influencing? And how do you know? Do you check with people and say, “You’re doing that because of me, aren’t ya? Awwww yeah!” I am perplexed, confused, but most of all, I’m just tired of this word. Let’s get rid of it.

2. Authentic

Let’s take a dose of truth serum here. Authenticity is as dead as a uh…well, it’s pretty dead. Miracle Max cannot help this word. When you have ghost tweeters, ghost G-Plussers, and just plain phantasmic events in the online world, authenticity is not at a premium. If you are authentically what other people think you should be, or authentically what you think other people want you to be, you are not really being authentic. I think we can toss this word out. Maybe we can give it to Goodwill and they can pass it along to folks who could use it, if you feel better about that way of doing things.

3. Fake it till you make it

Eh? I had never run into this until I came into the online world. What does this mean? Fake it till you make it, but we need to be authentic. Hmm. *scratches head* Can someone help me out here? Also, if you’re a business person, announcing that you are or were “faking it till you make it” is not something you want to put on your LinkedIn profile or your CV or your Twitter bio or your company website. Right? Or am I missing something here?

4. Be awesome

This was very motivational the first time it was used. Then, it went viral, and now you run into this recommendation everywhere. Hey, I’m already awesome. What now? That’s what I say, anyway…don’t you?

5. Transparency

Much like authenticity, the use of the words “transparency” and “transparent” in the online world has run its course. It’s transparently obvious that a lot of people have lost track of what this word means. It’s not reporting the results of your colonoscopy. TMI, meet transparency. Go have beers.

6. A-lister

Are you tired of hearing about a-listers? I want to know who the B-listers and C-listers are. And where am I in this alphabet? I think we can go ahead and take the hyphen out and return “a-lister” to that from which it came, to wit, “a lister (n): one who makes lists. ex. Santa Claus.”

7. A-hole

Closely related to a-lister in usage is the colorful use of the word a-hole, except that most folks in the online world do not take care to hyphenate. Calling someone a donkey-hole would at least be a variance, but there are so many other great insults to hurl at people. Here, watch. “So and so is such a frickin hamster.” “Yeah, those guys smell of elderberries.” “I’m calling you out, you carrot-head!” See? I mean, the possibilities are endless. Give a-hole a break. It has put in its time for you. Boy, that sounds gross, doesn’t it?

8. D-Bag

I find it interesting that it’s mostly men who use this adjective to demean others. In any case, please see number 7 for other ideas on how you can offend people in disgusting ways. As a side note, I think it would be awesome if I saw an uptick in the word “poop-head” in the Blogosphere.

9. Haters and/or haters gonna hate

See also: “drinkin’ the haterade.” Am I the only one who envisions a Sci-Fi show where a new race of alien is discovered call “The Haters?” Who are these people? People who disagree with you? If so, I’d like to bring in some more high-brow and interesting verbiage. For example, contrarians. That’s kind of high-brow, right? Contrarians just gonna be contrary. It works. It has that hard cacophonous alliteration going for it. Haters gonna hate sounds like something you’d hear on a playground. A really silly playground.

10. Calling or calling out

Whenever I see tweets or blog posts that say “I’m calling you out” or “calling BS” or whatever, I imagine a bunch of really sharply dressed people at a business conference saying that to each other. Then moving into a game of Red Rover. We get it. You want to trash somebody. You’re not really “calling them out.” You’re on your blog and they may not even see it. Also, if you have to announce that you’re calling someone out, you may need to strengthen your calling a bit more. I am just tossing ideas here, just tossing ideas.

11. F-Bombs ahoy

In my offline world, I have no problem with people talking however they want to talk, but somehow, use of the f-word in the online world has evolved into, “Wow, that person has cajones.” It does not take cajones to use yucky language online. It just takes a touch of bravado, a pinch of insensitivity, and a dash of, “Ount care what nobody thinks o’this.” Why not use words or phrases like “fudge-sickle” or “flying foondangle?” Again, it’s much more colorful and creative than dropping f-bombs all over my personal space. Yo.

12. Is dead

How many more things must we consign to death? Advertising, printing, print, marketing, B2B, blogging, Twitter, Facebook, the internet, the world…it’s downright depressing and silly, don’t you think? It kind of lost its power and shock-value after the 70th thing was consigned to death, and I think that happened on April 5, 2007. Let’s let “is dead” play some golf and enjoy its waning years.

Of course, this is just my opinion. It’s entirely possible that these words and phrases need more usage online. Boy, I hope not though.

What other words and phrases could you do without in the world of social media?

Margie Clayman

http://www.margieclayman.com/

Marjorie Clayman (@margieclayman) is the Director of Client Development at her family's 58-year-old marketing firm, Clayman Advertising, Inc. Margie is the resident blogger at www.margieclayman.com and is the resident librarian at www.thebloglibrary.com. Margie's writing has been featured on pushingsocial.com, problogger.net, convinceandconvert.com, and dannybrown.me. Margie has recently published an e-book called The ABC’s of Marketing Myths. Margie is still not used to talking about herself in the third person but is working on it.

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62 comments
SheriABell
SheriABell

LOL. RT @12most Encore: 12 Most Irritating Social Media Words And Phrases http:\/\/t.co\/4L3nuEGH

pbehnia
pbehnia

Calling one's self authentic or transparent is like calling one's self beautiful or intellectual, etc. These are things that other people say about you and not a descriptor you give yourself.

AuthenticPRPro
AuthenticPRPro

OK, so first I have an issue with "Authentic".

Second, while you may not like the terms in your article, they are widely used and will continue to be. It's just life in the sandbox. You just play nice and go with the flow.

Influence is the very essence of PR. How do you even put that on the list?

And regarding the A-list? You're either on it or not. There is no B, C, D list....

@authenticprpro

AuthenticDustin
AuthenticDustin

I greatly disagree with your assumption that "Authentic" is one of the most irritating social media words. I believe that authenticity is still alive and thriving. I am sorry you are irritated by the word...I do feel it may not used correctly in all circumstances.

samfiorella
samfiorella

Can we please add "Klout" to this list? Please?

bpmoritz
bpmoritz

@ProfHB "Haters" should be banned from the English language, and anyone who says it should be tarred and feathered. Too strong?

dbvickery
dbvickery

I'm a Z-Lister, and Klout says my influence is in slow but steady decline ;) The F-Bombs are shocking and still one of the first things I look for in a timeline before deciding if I will follow someone. I may forgive one. I see a 2nd one, then I move on to people who can spell beyond 4-letters. Interesting, that is the first time I heard "Fake it 'til you make it".

spofcher
spofcher

Margie - Good post. There are meaningless jargon words in SoMe (as there are in many industries). I would add: Guru, Thought Leader and Expert.

I always wonder how does one become an Influencer, Guru, Thought Leader or Expert anyway? Is there a governing body that bestows these labels on folks? Like a Social Media International Top Ranking Committee? (Who would be on this committee anyway?)

And, what are the requirements to get labeled? Is there a ranking order - Is a Guru better than an Expert.? Is an Influencer more important than a Thought Leader.

I want to know, how does a person on Twitter who has 28 Tweets - get 6,000 Follwers and be labeled as a Social Media Expert? That person must know something special, right?

In any case, since you are a SoMe top Influencer, can you tell me how I can become a Guru?

InThisAge
InThisAge

How about "Thought Leader." Everybody wants to be one but how do you get that title? Very overused and quite vague. Enjoyed the post, Margie!

douglaserice
douglaserice

Great post, Margie! I can't tell you how many times I've used these words. The speed of change is overwhelming on the web. The moment you learn the language, it changes and makes you look cliche when you use it.

dabarlow
dabarlow

Margie love this list of over used buz words! Here is a couple on my list "Deployed" what can't use "Layoff" anymore did it get removed from the dictionary or is it a PC word we must now use. The other, I used its initials, as use techies tend to do, "Politically Correct", what happen to just "Respect" each other. Okay, I will get off my soap box & stop my rant.... Thank You for this list of 12!!!

DixieLil
DixieLil

@MargieClayman Your post really does "leverage" the irritating words pounded to death on keyboards everywhere...Is "leverage" dead? ....oops, that was #12, sorry!

PaulBiedermann
PaulBiedermann moderator

So many of us get caught up in using the same words over and over again, and they do become such sickening clichés after awhile.

Sorry Margie, I try to avoid them and know I fail all too often. Unfortunately, they just do such a great job of expressing exactly what it is I want to say! They also happen to fit so darned nicely into 140! (except for “transparency”, of course, but I stopped using that word about three years ago ;-)

EmmaofCEM
EmmaofCEM

Fantastic list. I would also add the word "guru." If I see someone calling themselves a guru one more time, I'm going to break my zen-like patience streak.

NancyD68
NancyD68

Anyone who describes him or herself as a "ninja/guru/rock star" makes me a little sick. My old bosses kept saying they were "social media experts" yet they did not know how to use Facebook! You tell me...:)

BruceSallan
BruceSallan

How do really feel about these word, Margie? Should "Engagement" also be included? It is being used to death and I keep on thinking marriage whenever I hear it - for me, twice is enough!

danielnewmanUV
danielnewmanUV

@margieclayman Margie - you are so the expert in being authentic. I'm so glad that I engaged you and became a more influential leader in Social Media. I was quite worried that IRL networking was dead so I took to the social world.

Not that I have said that, I am going to have to call you out. Even though you are an a-lister, I think you are being a bit of an a-hole here. I mean, I don't want to swear and just drop F-Bombs all over the stream, but there are so many d-bags on twitter saying the same thing.

I hope you realize that I am just trying to be awesomely transparent here..I mean, is there any other way? For now I may be faking it, but tomorrow I will be making it.

Will you be there with me? If not, you are kind of being a hater.

Love this post - that is all

Signed

Papa

SocialMediaDDS
SocialMediaDDS

Ha ha ha...This is a GREAT post @MargieClayman It is funny, relevant (is that word still okay?) and absolutely true. A-lister is my personal pet peeve. I love the line..."I want to know who the B-listers and C-listers are. And where am I in this alphabet?" I think about that a lot...who ARE the B and C listers and where exactly am I? I'm thinking I'm probably an S-lister. ;-) Thanks for making my day @margieclayman

Claudia

ptaylor98
ptaylor98

@samfiorella I absolutely agree. Klout is misleading and whimsical. Yeah, let's add it to the list!

margieclayman
margieclayman

@spofcher haha, great comment! I have no idea how one attains this official status. Is there a secret ceremony I don't know about? Is there a badge? A sticker?

I would never want you to be called a guru even though you are one. You should not be associated with anything irritating! :)

Latest blog post: The Myth of Give To Get

ptaylor98
ptaylor98

Absolutely agree with this one. If I want a guru, I'll go to India. And anyone who claims to be an expert probably isn't. These titles can only be conferred by others, not self-proclaimed.

dabarlow
dabarlow

Okay, you may not see the above much on Twitter, they are still hang out there... Oops ranting again... :)

margieclayman
margieclayman

@PaulBiedermann Yeah, sometimes words catch on because they really do say what you mean. But even so, it was Emerson who said "consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds." Or was that Axel Rose? Anyway, it's always good to try to spice things up :)

Latest blog post: The Myth of Give To Get

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  1. […] Marjorie Clayman is the resident blogger at http://www.margieclayman.com and the resident librarian at http://www.thebloglibrary.com. She works for her family’s marketing firm, Clayman Advertising, Inc., where she represents the third generation of the Clayman family. A version of this story first appeared on the 12 Most blog. […]

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