Real Simpleasked readers to share their biggest Facebook pet peeves. Here, get the results of this exclusive survey.

By Kristin Appenbrink
Updated December 09, 2011
Illustration of pie chart of percentages of annoying online habits
Credit: Graham Roumieu

What’s the Most Annoying Kind of Facebook Update?

24 percent: Intentionally vague posts meant to generate concern and attention, a.k.a. vaguebooking. “Jennifer wonders whether it’s all been worth it.”

20 percent: Chronic complaining. “Ugh, who ordered this RAIN? It’s making my carpal tunnel act up again.”

19 percent: Meaningless calls to action. “If you want to fight world hunger, put the color of your socks as your status update for the next half hour. I want to see who is brave enough to take a stand.”

14 percent: Oversharing. “Note to self: Next time, wear a thong with that wrap dress.”

13 percent: Miscellaneous posts—including polarizing religious or political statements, indecipherable txt spk, and game updates.

10 percent: Posting too frequently. “12:03: Chicken salad or tuna? 12:12: Chicken! Thanks for the responses.”

Want more than just the gripes? Get Real Simple's complete guide to social media sites.

What’s the Most Irritating Status Update You’ve Seen in the Past 24 Hours?

  • “Love you, sheriff!”* (That’s her nickname for her husband. Sometimes she includes a picture of herself in lingerie.)
  • “I’d like to thank my wonderrrful boyfriend for bringing me cinnamon rolls in bed this morning and making this Monday a great start to my week.”
  • “With 10 grams of fiber per serving, Uncle Sam cereal should come with a warning label: Do not eat if your commute is longer than 10 minutes.”
  • “I wish someone cared.”
  • “Who just ran 11 miles around town and feels great? This guy!”
  • “So tired. Going to bed now.”
  • “Tanning at the country club.”
  • “[NAME OMITTED] just checked in at Omaha Nasal & Sinus Center.”*
  • “I’m already in a bad mood, then this girl in class has a stinky lunch! How did she know I wanted 2 smell that crap 4 the next hour!?”

Other Dishonorable Mentions

  • Quotations and song lyrics
  • Bad grammar and spelling
  • Anything involving Mondays

*Some Identifying details have been changed to protect the guilty.

What’s the Most Irksome Facebook Request?

35 percent: Quizzes. “Which literary heroine/classic movie/pizza topping are you?”

32 percent: A friend request from a stranger.

23 percent: Invitations to join random groups. “Share memories of Camp Slippery Elm!”

10 percent: A friend request from a near stranger—that is, someone from the distant past—with no message.

Facebook Photos: To Tag or Not to Tag?

74 percent of readers don’t ask permission before tagging someone else in a photo.

62 percent post photos of people who aren’t on Facebook.

Despite these statistics, a common reader complaint was being tagged in photos that don’t flatter them—or even feature them. (One poor woman reported that her “friends” tagged her in a photo of a balloon in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.) “What if we’re doing something inappropriate?” wrote one reader. “I’m in law school and cannot risk offending a future employer.”

As with language, follow “the grandmother rule,” advises Smith. “Post only pictures that person would be pleased to share with her grandmother,” she says. “Otherwise get permission first.” Never post a photo of someone else’s children without permission. And if you do come across an image of yourself on Facebook that’s less than stellar, click the Report/Remove Tag option below the photo on the right, which will let you unlink it from your profile; report it as spam; or send a message to the person and ask that it be removed.

Other Photos We Would Rather Not See

  • Multiple PDA photos. (Says one reader: “I don’t care about your love. Your love is gross.”)
  • Every single one of the 3,668 blurry shots that you took of the Grand Canyon.
  • What you are eating/are about to eat/have eaten.
  • Self-portraits in the bathroom mirror. (“You’re all dolled up to go out, but I can see your toilet. Not sexy!”)
  • Inebriated people.
  • Shirtless people (men or women).
  • Endless baby pictures.
  • Profile pictures of pets, cartoon characters, or anything that isn’t the person in the profile. (One reader commented that when she receives a friend request and all she sees is a sonogram, she gets confused.)
  • Duck face—that pouty, “sexy” expression characterized by pooched-out lips.