The Biggest Pests on Social Media

April 17, 2020

Social media is both a blessing and a curse. It has made it easier than ever to stay in touch with family and friends around the world, something that is proving more important than ever during the coronavirus pandemic. But, there are those who use and abuse social media in ways that bug others and many people are currently experiencing more of these kinds of posts because of their increased time on social media during the pandemic. From political posts and trolling to meme abusers and scammers, there are countless ways people misuse social media platforms and annoy those unlucky enough to stumble upon their content.

At Insight Pest Solutions, we spend our workdays dealing with real-life pests, but in our downtime, we love scrolling through our social media feeds. With those two things in mind, we got to wondering: Which of the digital “pests” that invade our social media feeds are the worst of the worst? 

To find out, we surveyed social media users from all over the country to find out which kinds of posts and behaviors “bug” them the most when they log on to their favorite social media platforms. All in all, we collected responses from over 750 people, giving us insight into the kinds of pests people really wish they could eliminate from their feeds. Read on to see our findings!  

Bar graph outlining the top 5 most popular social media sites and percentages of how long people have been on social media

Before diving into the data, we wanted to get a sense of how long our respondents have been active on social media and which platforms they use. Facebook proved to be the most popular platform by far, with over 88% of those we surveyed having an active account on the site. We also found that respondents aged 25-34 are the ones most likely to have been active on social media for more than a decade, with 37% of that group indicating their earliest social media account was created at least 11 years ago. People aged 45-55 were just over half a percent behind them in this regard. 

Pie charts outlining the percentage of people that find a specific type of social media pests annoying

To really get a sense of what kinds of behaviors annoy people the most on social media, we came up with three categories of social media pest:

  • Those that are financially motivated
  • Those that are overly personal
  • Those that are just doing “too much” of whatever they’re doing. 

We asked respondents to rank five distinct kinds of posts or posters in each category from most to least annoying, the results of which can be seen in full above. 

On the financial side of things, almost one-third of respondents said that people who post about their multi-level marketing (MLM) business or any generic get-rich-quick scheme were the most annoying. Following these pests were bots that automatically respond to you with almost 21% of the respondents’ vote. Three different categories of influencers or wannabe influencers finished 3-5, each being named most annoying by 14%-17% of those who took the survey. 

When it comes to overly personal pests, we found that people who only post about their own personal or political beliefs are the most annoying to the most people, with over 27% of respondents putting them first. One-in-five responses named people who share too many details of their personal lives and people who post cryptic messages or song lyrics as the overly personal thing they find most annoying on social media.   

Finally, when it comes to people who are doing “too much” on social media, the consensus was louder than ever, as obvious trolls/people who go out of their way to troll others received over 40% of the vote as the most annoying behavior in this category. No other behavior earned even half that number, indicating to us that general trolling behavior is one of the absolute most hated things on the entire internet. 

Bar graph outlining the behaviors people find most annoying on different social media platforms 

Finally, we asked people what behavior they find MOST annoying overall on each of the five most popular social networks. For this question, we did not provide options to choose from. Instead, we let users write in their own answers. This resulted in hundreds of unique answers (including some oddly specific ones), but we reviewed them all and were able to pull out a few recurring behaviors for each. 

On Facebook, we found that over 10% of people find both political posts and oversharing to be the most annoying behavior possible. On Instagram, people who post salacious or indecent photos and influencers were named the biggest pests on the platform. Twitter users joined Facebookers in naming political posts their biggest annoyance while bullying was the second-biggest problem on the site. For Snapchat users, those who post too much, as well as those who make overly attention-seeking posts, took the top two spots. Finally, we found that YouTube users find the ads and the comment section to be the worst parts of that platform, with each being cited by over 5% of respondents. 

In these times of increased time indoors and online, we hope that this look at some of the biggest social media “pests” proved to be a lighthearted and interesting way to spend some time on the internet. We also hope that your timeline and your home are free of pests, both digital and real. In case you are unfortunate enough to suffer from the former, all we can do is encourage you to utilize your “block” button, but if you have noticed any bugs or other pests invading your home during this quarantine and need some essential service pest control work done, get in touch with the team here at Insight Pest Solutions today!

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