The 7 most annoying digital habits

Do you know if your digital habits are annoying? Find out and then, knock it off!

Published Date
25 - May - 2015
| Last Updated
25 - May - 2015
 
The 7 most annoying digital habits

There are things that annoy all of us – road traffic, poor phone signal, long queues and slow restaurant service. We’ve been complaining about these for decades now. A new age is coming though, and a new age deserves new pet peeves. So guys, this is our #Digitrant. Remember, this is #justforfun. We’re not being #judgemental. But holy cow, these are #soannoying. #wearerunningoutofhashtagshere. If you haven’t gotten the drift yet, our first annoying digital habit on the list is...

Excessive Hashtags
Hashtags were introduced as an easy way to give context to a particular statement/post. They allow web aggregators to compile all posts relevant to a certain story quickly and easily, and this in turn makes stories easier to spread. But that was before hashtags became the ‘in-thing’. Today, your typical Instagram caption is 10% words and 90% hashtags, including such inane tags as #thiswholephrasecouldbeatag even though #theresnowaythisgivescontexttoanything. Here’s the thing: if your tag is so long and complicated that you’re probably the only person using it, then it defeats the purpose of tags itself! This isn’t as annoying as it is utterly pointless. What’s even worse than this is the practice of #tagging #every #word #in #a #sentence. This can be extremely counterproductive as well, given that being sorted under #pirates, #of, #the, and #caribbean isn’t quite the same as being sorted under #piratesofthecaribeean. Kids, this doesn’t help spread the message and it doesn’t make anything easier to read. Are you sure you want to be categorised by Twitter in the feed of the #the tag?
Annoyance Rating: #two #stars

Typng lyk diz
Leet speak became popular a long time ago, and until recently were still justified when SMSes had word limits per page. That’s not a problem we face anymore in the day of the internet-based messenger. The usual argument by most people for continuing to use SMS lingo is that it saves time and effort. They don’t realise, however, that the amount of effort it takes for the other person to understand what they’re trying to say is twice as much as it would take for them to type that additional letter. Sometimes, even that claim doesn’t stand true – “irrezyztyble” instead of “irresistible”, for example. Now you’re just eager to use more Y’s, and it shows. It’s imperative that if you’re reading this and still communicate using SMS lingo, you switch before Facebook starts offering translations for every word you type.
Anoync Rting: dpndz n hw urgnt d msg yz; btwn 3 strs n 5 strs.


Photo Source: The Oatmeal

Food Pics
Everybody loves food. Even if the food is far beyond our means, there’s great pleasure derived from looking at pictures of attractive food. This is entirely understandable and is the secret to the success of Masterchef, and more recently, movies like Chef. Food porn is a legitimate form of art, so what’s the problem? Well, the problem is that all porn isn’t equally good. Posting pictures of your meals regularly on online forums and captioning it with various onomatopoeias to describe your reaction to it is sort of the equivalent of amateur porn that nobody really enjoys. Your photography is substandard, your captions might be lacking, and the food itself may be ordinary, but a happy consumer who is satisfied with his meal is blind to all this, and won’t think twice before posting his work online. We can’t say we have much of an issue with the occasional dabbler, but a repeat offender who refuses to get any better at his job can often be quite grating on the news feed. Here’s some advice, lads: leave it to the professionals.
Annoyance Rating:  * * *

Using your phone during a conversation
If we’re talking about annoying digital habits, then it’s safe to assume that texting on the phone while someone else is trying to talk to you is perhaps as annoying – bordering on rude – as it can get. When you’re done with all your important chores in Second Life, and are finally ready to give this other world that you were born in a try, we encourage you to actually give it a fair shot.  Don’t be mistaken – we’re all for you having a thriving digital life (We’re called Digit, after all) – but getting lost in your gadget while spending time with other people is not only annoying for the other person, but is also very disrespectful. To give you an analogy you’re probably more familiar with, imagine if in a game of DOTA you’re being ganked in the bottom lane, and your teammate who is a whisker away is busy farming neutral creeps while you’re feeding the opposition – that’s what holding a conversation with someone who‘s texting someone else feels like.
Annoyance Rating:  * * * *

Pseudo fanboys/Pseudo intellectuals
Two days into the FIFA World Cup and you’d be surprised how many people suddenly seem to know everything about the game. People would be so vocal on social media, you’d be forgiven for mistaking them to have not just switched sports, but also nationalities. There are the obvious ‘Ronaldo+Robben+Ribery+Dhoni+… =Messi’ arguments that are extremely polarising, and also pretty evidently show the expertise of the poster in the subject matter. And then, there are the more impressive impostors. They’ll scour all the post-match reviews, pick up bits and pieces, and string them together to form intelligible and extremely safe opinions that no one can argue against, leading them to believe that the online world has now recognised their proficiency in the subject matter – which couldn’t be farther from the truth.

This isn’t limited to sports however, as the days following the release of Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar showed us. Suddenly, everybody was an armchair astrophysicist and could speak quite intelligently about how feasible it is for a habitable planet to exist so close to a supermassive black hole. The Wikipedia page on ‘spaghettification’ received more hits in a few days than it had in years, and literally everybody on your newsfeed knew that ice clouds were the most unrealistic part of the movie. Maybe, we’re being pseudo intellectuals ourselves by dividing people as “real” and “fake”, but we’re going to live in our little bubble and continue being pretentious while calling out the posers.
Annoyance Rating:  * * * or Annoyance Rating:  * * * *, depending on which side of the argument they’re on – yours or against yours.

Selfies
You knew this was coming. There are some things that you know are bad for you, yet you indulge in them now and then just because you enjoy it – they’re called guilty pleasures. That ‘Death by Chocolate’ you just can’t resist, the daily ‘I’m quitting after this one’ cigarette, or the odd Honey Singh song you stop humming just as you realise someone is going to hear you – all fall into this category. Almost all of these are understandable (even the Honey Singh one), considering how often these songs are played. But then, there are things that are inexcusable – selfies. Sure, we’ve all indulged in them at some point of time – blame peer pressure – but just the fact that they make such an easy target for all the narcissism and self-objectivism allegations ensures that we’ll all remain hypocrites and condemn selfies. The nature of selfies has advanced since its inception, and we’ve moved on from bathroom selfies to protest march selfies and road accident selfies. The gift of a selfie-stick today can be a genuinely thoughtful one, or an ironic jab, depending on who’s doing the gifting. To make matters worse, there are now devices being made that can click selfies by just tapping them. Skynet is next, we’re sure.
Annoyance Rating:  * * * *, but * if the subject is an attractive individual who comes up with better captions than that ‘misfits’ quote by Steve Jobs

People who argue without reading the entire article
We’re calling it right now – there’ll be people reading this article who without having read the entirety of it would safely call the writer of this article pretentious and preachy without realising that this is a tongue-in-cheek article that’s meant to be taken light-heartedly. They aren’t reading this paragraph, so we took the liberty of saying it again. Combine this trait with the rise of clickbait titles, and you’ve got a recipe for hundreds of misguided comments under popular blogposts, explaining how everything is wrong and the writer is an idiot. He may still be one, sure, but at least do us the favour of reading our work before branding us.
Annoyance Rating:  * * * * *

Clickbait articles
One of the more recent phenomena that has completely taken over our feeds. Absolutely every Facebook timeline is filled with people posting clickbait articles, tagging their friends and going “1, 5, and 33 are soooo YOU :D :D :D !!!” We know it’s frustrating, but you’ve got to pause for a second and admire whoever reintroduced these type of stories in pop culture, for s/he is a genius – an evil genius, but a genius nonetheless. Such stories toy with the human mind in more ways than one. Let’s look at a list citing whythey are so effective:

1. Numbers: The human mind loves things that pop out and catch our eye – and numbers do exactly that. They also make you feel in control of the subject, and give you a false sense of mastery.

2. Images: Just like with numbers, the human mind grasps images and retains them for a lot longer. Listicles – by reducing on the amount of content – leave a lot of space for images, thus making them very attractive to a human mind that likes to locate and digest information spatially.

3. Makes you feel special: By making a list of about 17 points, there are bound to be more than one that relates to more or less everyone, in turn indirectly making them feel more connected to the article.

4. Appeal to curiosity: “Number 14 will blow my mind? Really? What’s so special about number 14? Well I guess I’ll just have to see for myself.” Note that the item that’s supposed to blow your mind is never in the first half of the list, and therefore requires you to quickly traverse at least half the list if you want to see it.

However, listicles have adverse effects on the human mind. They don’t exercise your brain at all, proven by the fact that the average attention span of a human being now is eight seconds – one second less than that of a goldfish! We’re finding it tougher to go through a wall of text now than we did two years ago. Further, since all articles containing disparate points, a need for structure in thought has diminished. Despite knowing all of this, we’re sure to click the next clickbait listicle title and spend a precious two minutes on it. It’s really a surprise the word ‘gullible’ isn’t in the Oxford dictionary.

On an unrelated note, we hope this story titled 'The 7 most annoying digital habits' really changed your life.

Annoyance Rating: “India’s leading tech magazine gives rating on how annoying listicles are, and it will blow your mind!”

So, this was our list of the most annoying digital habits that people have. If you indulge in two or more of these, we encourage you to rethink your digital habits. #justkidding

Avinash KothuriAvinash Kothuri