I recently read an article in ReadWriteWeb about amateur food porn and how it needs to stop. I couldn’t agree more. In fact, it’s one of my least favorite aspects of social media.

Social networks, in essence, are platforms for people to share and disseminate information. This sadly includes a number of things I could care less about, amateur food porn included. For those who don’t know, Wikipedia states that food porn is “a glamorized spectacular visual presentation of cooking or eating in advertisements, infomercials, cooking shows or other visual media.”

This is one of the many activities that needs to be stopped across all social media. Another pet peeve of mine is overusing Foursquare. Now, I have nothing against Foursquare. After all, I used to be an avid user. But there was one thing I never did: share my location when it wasn’t cool. To be honest, I’ve deleted friends from Facebook and Twitter because 50 percent of their posts were Foursquare check-ins. There’s literally nothing I care less about than when you’re at Target. What value does this bring to my Facebook or Twitter feed? None. Now, if you’re somewhere awesome, like a museum, sports game, hole-in-the-wall bar or a concert, then by all means, check in. I want to know when you’re at a cool place. But please, stop telling me every time you go to the drug store.

I know this seems like an over-the-top rant–and it is–but things need to change. Food porn and Foursquare usage aren’t the only things that need to be reevaluated, either. The thing that concerns me the most is the status update (or tweet).

Everyone’s guilty of posting mundane, valueless statuses (myself included), but they’re getting a little out of hand. I think Jesse Eisenberg’s character in “Zombieland” summed it up best: “The best thing about Z-land … no Facebook status updates. You know, ‘Rob Curtis is gearing up for Friday.’ Who cares?” Exactly! Who cares? No one … well, not me at least.

I know it’s completely unrealistic for every status, tweet, check-in, etc. to contain meaningful content. There are things I’ll post that’ll violate my own rules from time to time, but it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t strive toward a future that has smarter social media.

Aside from sheer annoyance, there are actual real-world implications poor social content can have. We’ve discussed it a few times already, but Google has completely revamped how their search service works. Search, plus Your World has completely changed the game with social content (Google+) showing up in search results, which makes this even more important. If you’re a Google+ user, for the sake of everyone in your Circles, keep an eye on what you’re posting.

When I post something to a social network, I usually ask myself, “Would I want to read this?” If the answer’s “no”, then I don’t post it. You should do the same.

We want to know what annoys you in social media! Tell us in the comments.

2 Responses to Amateur Food Porn and Other Things I Hate in Social Media

  1. Separating valid social content and filler garbage is a near-impossible task. The unfortunate truth is that a social network is defined by its community, and the overwhelming majority of the internet community are vapid content consumers – not producers. The reason that 90% of Facebook updates are mundane check-ins and food porn is that these things are often the only things people have to talk about. We don’t all go to theater openings and foodie meccas every weekend, but that doesn’t mean we should all be banished from social. Until society changes, social networks – which are a reflection of their society – will always be the same.

    Tim Howell | February 1, 2012at 10:20 am

  2. Tim, I agree with you that social networks are defined by the community of their members. And I also agree with your reasoning of why most Facebook posts are mundane. And I would not support banning someone from social media for simply posting things I don’t like. But I honestly believe that if we all asked ourselves if we would want to read what we’re about to post before we hit “enter” it would greatly improve the content across social media. I am a firm believer in free speech, and this includes amateur food porn, but I am also a believer in smart speech.

    Michael L. Hoffman | February 13, 2012at 4:52 pm

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