Last updated on Jun 11th, 2021 at 11:20 am

It may sound complicated and a bit daunting, but using social media is la ot like dating – you need to employ your sixth sense when it comes to sussing people out.

Last week I covered how you should and should not behave on social media. This week, I want to give you some pointers on how to maintain your social media networks.

Just because we are using electronic and text-based media to communicate does not mean that you can forget to practise basic interpersonal skills. In fact, the skills you would use when networking face-to-face become even more important. It makes sense, then, that you want to employ this in deciding whether a contact, or potential contact, is worth connecting with.

These are the five types of people you’ll want to avoid on social media:

1. The creep

Unfortunately, you are probably going to encounter this type across all your social media accounts. They will start conversations with you, pretending to know someone you do (maybe they do, maybe they just went through your list of friends/followers/contacts), or wanting to connect you with one of their business contacts.

Their questions will take a more personal turn – they will ask you about where you live, whether you are married, and don’t be surprised if they start sending you pictures of themselves. There is only one way to deal with them: report and block!

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2. The chronic complainer

You know the type – they post cryptic and sometimes not-so-cryptic messages about all the things that have irked them – they complain about poor service delivery, go on rants about why they are entitled to x but don’t/can’t have it, and are just generally negative and miserable.

3. The jealous lover (or hater)

This type is a combination of the first two categories, but, while they are as self-obsessed as 2., they are also stuck on comparing themselves to, and competing with, anyone they see as successful or happy.

Driven by greed, envy, and a belief that they need to keep up with the Joneses, they are one of the worst types of people you’ll encounter in life or on social media.

4. The user

Characterised by an attitude of ‘What have you done for me lately?’ they’ll try their luck in all sorts of ways. They will try to use you for a place to stay, for a lift, a free meal, and for free advice. Nothing comes cheap or easy – don’t let them waste your time and energy.

5. The troll

Their arsenal includes bullying, gas lighting, and emotional and verbal abuse. There is no cure for this one, so report and block. You’ll also want to take that approach if that behaviour extends beyond social media.

So, how do you maintain meaningful connections while navigating this minefield? Social media can be exhausting and overwhelming, especially if you use it for many interactions. The key is maintaining and curating only the relationships you really want. Learn more about this next week!