If the Internet were a giant chalkboard, these three things would be the fingernails.

Note: If you’re reading this, I’m sure you’re not doing any of these. But here’s your opportunity to forward this post to that friend who just might be and blame it on me. I can handle it.

One: Twitter Validation Service

Why I hate it: If you follow me, I’ll click on your profile and check it out. If it looks interesting, I’ll follow back. Usually I do. Unless there are boobs in your avatar. But when I get this message that says I have to verify myself, forget it. No follow.

Please don’t do this.

Why? Because if you really found me on Twitter and decided I’m interesting enough to follow, you know I’m not a sketchy spammer. If not, I don’t care enough to follow you anyway. So what’s the point of this service?

I’m not going to name the service, because I would never do anything that might tempt y’all. Their website says their purpose is to “Verify people from robots, avoid Twitter spam and save time engaging your followers.” Crappy grammar aside, those are nice goals, but all can be accomplished by looking at someone’s profile before you click “Follow.”

It’s really not much different with a private profile. Unless you have a really good reason — like one that starts with witness protection— don’t do that either. I’m not going to request to follow you. So don’t wonder why you have few followers.

Two: Twitter Auto DMs

Or this. Please.

Why I hate them: Because I’m on Earth and I draw breath. Everyone hates these. No one thinks it’s awesome that you made pseudo-personal contact and I can promise you, very few people are going to follow the link to your “super-cool fabulous website.”

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Don’t insult my intelligence — I know it’s automated. And even it it weren’t, it’s annoying.

From time to time I resolve to unfollow anyone who sends an auto DM, just after I reply to their auto DM to tell them why. It might be time to make good on that.

Three: Beth S on LinkedIn

Why I don’t get it: I can’t really say I hate this, but I sure don’t get it. Why would someone post all their work and professional credentials on a networking site, then not reveal their full name? You do know search engines go there, right? And if you want potential employers or contacts to find and connect with you, why not make yourself easy to find? Say you meet someone who could be a great professional contact at an event and they decide to connect. They search for you on LinkedIn, but they only find the strange and mysterious Beth S. And, goodness, no, I didn’t post a photo of myself … see the problem?

Honestly, what are the chances of a creepy stalker on LinkedIn? Just use your last name already.

What have I missed? What makes you click “Unfollow?”

Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn here if you’d like. And you’ll note that I do use my full name there. The screenshot was altered in Photoshop to illustrate a point.

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