Guys, sometimes you do things on social media that baffle and seriously infuriate the ladies in your life. Not sure what you could possibly be doing wrong? We’ve got your back. Men’s Fitness asked girls what social media moves men make that drive them totally insane. Here, we reveal their answers, and chat with Daniel Post Senning, Emily Post Institute spokesperson and author of Manners in a Digital World: Living Well Online, about ways to salvage a situation after you’ve screwed up.
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The Complaint: “I cannot stand when guys are active on Twitter and Facebook with their friends, but they never acknowledge their girlfriend's electronic existence. Electronic displays of affection can really make a girl feel special.” —Jessica, 27, New Jersey
The Fix: Paw your way out of the dog house by reminding your significant other just how public social media is, suggests Senning. “Explain that your love life is something you like to keep private, which is why you’re active with your buddies on Facebook but don’t post love notes to her wall.” That reasoning should make sense to her.
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The Complaint: “I cannot stand those shirtless Instagram selfies that guys take in their fluorescent-lit bathrooms. Is that supposed to entice me? Because it doesn’t.” —Sonia, 26, New York
The Fix: There’s no need to delete your old photos, but moving forward only post selfies that tell a story, advises Senning. Finally beat your personal squat-weight record? Write that as your caption so it doesn’t seem like you're posting a gym selfie to just show off your muscles. Providing some context helps you look less self-indulgent, adds Senning.
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The Complaint: “I talk to my boyfriend every day in person, so it totally irks me when I find out something major happened in his life by reading his Facebook wall. If a guy has something to share with the world, he should first tell his special lady and then loop in everybody else.” —Allison, 28, Rhode Island
The Fix: “Sharing big news with your significant other sends the message that she is part of your inner circle, which makes her feel special, explain Senning. "Keeping her in the dark creates tension and can be perceived as rude." Apologize for not telling her your news firsthand, vow to never let it happen again, and follow through. This helps build intimacy and will ultimately help her to forgive your bad judgment call.
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The Complaint: “I hate when guys (or anyone, really) complains all over Twitter and Facebook. It's never a good sign if a guy spends his time being negative in such a public way.” —Alexandra, 25, New York
The Fix: While it’s OK to share a gripe from your workday once in a while, it’s more alluring to women if you try to connect with others by sharing positive experiences and interests, says Senning. Plus, posting about your awesome white water rafting trip rather than your a-hole boss will likely help you connect with women who are into the same things. Over time, as you continue to portray a more positive attitude online, the ladies will likely forget that you were once such a Debbie Downer.
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The Complaint: "The worst is when there's just no response to a tweet or a Facebook message. Its 2014, so he definitely saw it. Why can't he just take a second to respond?" —Naomi, 24, Massachusetts
The Fix: “Not responding sends the message that you’re not interested and she should stop reaching out,” says Senning. If that’s your intention, fine, she will eventually get the hint. But if that’s not the case, you need to manage expectations or she’s going to get pissed. Saying something like "Facebook was taking over my life so I’m trying not to log on as often. I apologize in advance if I don’t respond as much as I used to" can do major damage control, explains Senning.
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The Complaint: “I hate when men try to portray themselves as being a bigger deal than they actually are on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram. Humility is so much more attractive than arrogance.” —Megan, 25, New Jersey
The Fix: “People often come off as arrogant without meaning to by doing something called the ‘humble brag’ (trying to mask a boast with a slightly deprecating statement),” says Senning. To share an accomplishment without coming off as cocky, be brief and straightforward, and keep self-promoting posts to a minimum.
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The Complaint: “I hate when guys post statuses about drinking and blacking out. I also can’t stand it when dudes post photos of the beers they are drinking. I wish guys would post more pictures of their puppies instead. Now that's something I want to see!” —Jordan 22, Tennessee
The Fix: Women are looking for signs that you’re mature and have good judgment, explains Senning. When you talk about your drinking in a very public way it doesn’t exactly send that message. Keep photos of alcohol to a minimum and never brag about how much you’re guzzling down.
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The Complaint: “I hate when guys live tweet sports events. I don’t want to read your play-by-plays or have to sit there while you share LeBron’s every move to your followers.” —Sarah, 30, Michigan
The Fix: Tweeting sports commentary should be reserved for the times when you’re tuned into a game with fans doing the same thing. If you’re watching with your girlfriend and you’re on your phone the entire time she’s going to feel ignored. The other option? Try to engage your lady by tweeting at her about the game, suggests Senning. Who knows, maybe she’ll jump on the bandwagon.
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The Complaint: “It’s annoying when a guy you’re involved with "likes" or "favorites" other girls' questionable photos or tweets.” —Alex, 25, Pennsylvania
The Fix: If you are involved with a girl casually, you’ve done nothing wrong, but if you’re in a monogamous relationship, a seemingly meaningless double-tap could embarrass your girlfriend. “Liking sexy photos of other women in a public forum like Facebook or Instagram is the digital equivalent of complimenting a girl at a party in front of your girlfriend and her friends,” explains Senning. If you wouldn't do that in “real life," don’t “like” the photo, advises Senning.
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The Complaint: “Even after our short affair fizzled out, an old flame use to randomly Snapchat me half-naked photos, totally unprovoked. I'll never understand why he thought I would want to see that.” —Leigh, 27, New York
The Fix: “This is so rude, and borders on criminal,” says Senning. “If you’ve done this, don’t try to excuse your actions. Make a genuine apology and then propose a solution. Saying something like ‘I will never do it again,’ works great. Then follow through on your word. That’s the only way to establish sincerity and salvage the relationship after this kind of blunder."