Social Etiquette Crimes: Are You a Kloutbragger?

The etiquette of using popular games and sites--including Words With Friends, Klout, and Draw Something--is simple. Until some bonehead gets annoying and takes all the fun out of it.

Crimes Against Friends

Most faux pas that occur when you're gaming online or using popular social sites boil down to oversharing and underthinking, coupled with a large dollop of narcissism.

Don't commit these ten blunders when you play--or interact--online, and try to avoid being on the receiving end of them, too.

[Related: "Mind Your Mobile Manners"]

Words With Friends Crime: Unresponsiveness

You've just been challenged to a WWF match by someone you loathed in high school. Fight the temptation to simply ignore the request. That challenge ties up one of the 20 active game slots allotted to each player, which means that they can't pester someone else until you either play or say no.

Some people are so obsessed by WWF that they have to play all the time, regardless of whether the plane is about to taxi for takeoff. (Alec Baldwin, I'm talking to you.) Do them a favor and set them free to play elsewhere.

Klout Crime: Kloutbragging

You say that you just got a seat upgrade or a nicer hotel room because of your great Klout score? Please, keep it to yourself. Most of us don't give a rodent's posterior about how influential Klout thinks you are, because we aren't reading your endless tweets and inane Facebook posts either.]

The fact that Klout generates these boasts automatically in a shameless attempt to expand its own influence is no excuse.

Your punishment? You must now tell everyone what a Klouchebag you are.

Foursquare Crime: Badge Whoring

You're now the Mayor of your front lawn, and you just checked into your kitchen for the third time this week, making you a Local. Is that what your life has been reduced to?

Inventing new venues to check into on Foursquare just so you can boost your score and collect badges isn't merely bad sportsmanship, it's pathetic.

Instagram Crime: Instaboring

That photo of you sleeping is so much more interesting now that it's sepia-toned and drenched in dappled sunlight--not. Just because Instagram enables you to create old-timey-looking photos in a few clicks, that doesn't mean you have to share them all with the rest of us. (Case in point: Do you really think food looks better Instagrammed?)

Boring is still boring, even with the "Inkwell" effect. Save your Instagramming for the real Kodak moments.

Pinterest Crime: Pinboard Spamming

Are you a fashion obsessed proto-teen who has to share every picture on every Pinboard you create, or a slimy affiliate marketer with a thousand fake identities who makes money every time someone clicks one of his or her photos?

If other people can't tell the difference between you and a spammer, you're doing something wrong. Knock it off.

Image: Courtesy of rosietonline

Quora Crime: Question Trolling

Got a question? Someone on Quora will be happy to answer it, regardless of their actual expertise. But some people don't visit this Q&A social network for answers. Instead, they come merely to annoy the people who like to compose 2578-word answers to simple four-word questions.

If the question touches on a hot-button topic such as religion, politics, or sex, odds are its real purpose is to manipulate other Quorans into writing pompous and/or outraged answers. And that's not cool.

This image shows part of Marcus Geduld's answer to the question: Life Lessons: What are important things and advice to know that people generally aren't told about?

[The full answer took 4017 words and 17,393 characters (not counting letter spaces).]

World of Warcraft Crime: Unrestrained Mayhem

While wanton destruction helps puts the wow in WOW, even a Death Knight can go too far. For example, it's bad form to challenge the same person to a duel over and over until they accept. If you're a Warlock or a Paladin, don't butcher lesser beings like Priests and Rogues.

Don't start looting until the fighting is over. Don't kill steal, gank, or bluewall anyone. And most important, never chat IN ALL CAPS.

Follow these rules and you'll get out of WOW in one piece, or at most three or four. Or you might consider playing something slightly less cutthroat, like Words With Friends.

Image: Courtesy of Everything in the Blog

Draw Something Crime: Letter Drawing

In this mobile version of Pictionary, the object is to draw objects that other players must then identify. Yet some people insist on "drawing" the name of the object they're drawing.

Thus a picture of a cow will feature the word cow. This tactic definitely improves others' ability to guess what you're drawing, but it also renders the game kind of pointless.

Let me spell it out for you: Don't spell it out for me.

Zyngaville Crime: Gratuitous Inviting

Just because I'm busy playing Zynga's WWF with my close personal friend Alec Baldwin doesn't mean I want to be your "zFriend" too, or play any of Zynga's other obnoxious games.

Nothing personal, but FarmVille, CityVille, PetVille, FishVille, and all the others are NowheresVille, as far as I'm concerned.

Yelp Crime: Indiscriminate Friending

I live in Sleepytown, South Dakota. You live in Pigeon Fart, Pennsylvania. The odds that either of us will visit the other's domicile are nil. So why are you asking to be my friend on Yelp?

Pointless friending is pandemic on the social Web, but never to less purpose than when done in connection with a service that's all about local recommendations. If you will never eat, drink, sleep, or shop there, why do you care what I think about it?

The moral: If you're not local, you're just a yokel.

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