Brits think 'showing off' is the most irritating social media habit

We recently conducted a survey commissioned by Populus in order to find out which types of posts on social media people in the UK consider to be the most irritating and how they respond. Over 2,000 responded, of which, 84% have a social media account.

  • More than half of Brits find posts that 'show off' and about 'self-pity' the most annoying on social media.
  • Men admit to finding photos of other people's children on social media more irritating than women.
  • The older you get the less you can tolerate selfies on your timeline.
  • A quarter of Brits will hide or delete a person from their newsfeed if they find their posts too annoying.

Over 2,000 responded, of which, 84% have a social media account. We gave a number of common post topics such as 'selfies', 'showing off', 'children' and 'travelling' and asked people to say which annoyed them the most. We then asked them whether they'd ignore it, delete the person responsible or hide the posts from their timeline.

More than 50%of Brits think that people who show off on their social media accounts are the worst, and women find this particularly more irritating than men. People in social groups AB and DE also said this was their greatest bugbear.

The survey found that 'self-pitying' posts get on people's nerves quite a bit too. This was the highest annoyance for social groups C1 and C2 and women admitted to finding this more irritating than men. Interestingly, the older you get, the less this bothers you. Over a third of 18-34 year olds dislike these types of posts compared to only 10% of people aged 65+.

Finally the lesser evil, selfies. Overall 40% of people found selfies bothersome, which was surprisingly much less than self-pity and showing off. Maybe not as surprising is that it is less of a concern the younger you are with only 7% of 18-24 year olds considering this to be the biggest issue.

Next we asked people how they respond to these sorts of posts. The younger generations are much more likely to hide or delete a person who repeatedly uploaded things they found annoying. More than a third of 18-34 year olds admitted to this, whereas only 18% of people aged 65+ would take action. The rest would just ignore it.

Lastly, we can say that it's good news for people who like post about their children, what they've had for dinner, their dog's daily step count and latest holiday pictures. Kids, food, travel and pet posts bother Brits far less than we had predicted; less than 10% of people said these irritate them the most.

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