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Save yourself the agony of social networking website blunders, from keeping creeps away from your friend list to not uploading those embarrassing party pictures. We list this and more...

Social networking sites are here to stay. They are among the most popular destinations on the web. And even though they can be extremely annoying at times, there is one inescapable fact: there is a 100 million-strong army of people who use the most popular of these sites. However, sitting in your room in front of your laptop, being connected to so many people, it’s easy to forget that whatever you say is out there, and will stay out there to be read by people, for a long time. Think about it. When did you last see someone posting an embarrassing picture, or someone else saying something irritating in their status update? It could be you, the next time. Don’t become that person...

Add old friends and then forget about them
This is the biggest social networking crime of them all. How many times has it happened? You haven’t seen someone for 20 years; you vaguely recognise their name but not their face. They add you as a friend and then after you accept them, you never hear from them again. If this was how you were going to treat them, why bother in the first place?

Adding people you don’t even know
If you’re a woman, and just maybe you have the kind of looks and bikini bod that could cut it on Miami’s South Beach, you’re probably used to the term ‘creep’... And meeting them online. Okay, maybe not everyone has a figure like that. Adding strangers is like that annoying chap at a party who slaps everyone on the back as if they were old pals, when in actual fact he has no friends, largely because of this habit.

Update your status when you’re supposedly ill and on sick leave
How many times have we seen it? Someone calls in sick in the morning and then updates their status minute-by-minute, documenting a day of ice cream, pizza and video games. Get dressed and get to work you lazy hoodwink, or else you’ll probably be fired. And it’ll be your own fault for adding your boss to be your friend.

Write on a wall instead of communicating privately
The driving force behind the success of the most successful social networking site out there is... vanity. People love the idea that others are watching what they’re doing. Tell me this: for what reason would you invite someone to a private party by writing on their wall, other than to show off to all the people on their friends list who you don’t want to come? It just makes you look like an A*s, so don’t do it.

Moan in your status update
The most annoying thing that people do on these sites is to spray their walls with vanity-filled drivel, by posting self-indulgent awfulness in their status updates. ‘Rachita is sorry how it ended but it had to be done. I will miss you, and I hope you can apologise ne day’. If you’ve got something to say to someone, say it. Don’t post it on your wall because no one else is interested, and people just think you’re an idiot.

Irritating status updates
No, ‘Shannon is’ is not an acceptable status update, nor is it original or in any way clever. ‘Shannon just is...’ is equally as inexcusable. And ‘Shannon is Shannon is Shannon’ is downright daft. Oh, and song lyrics are also a no-no. ‘Whole lotta love, need a whole lotta love’ will give people one of two ideas. First that it’s a ‘drunkate’ (a portmanteau of ‘drunk’ and ‘update’) and then they will laugh at you, not with you. And secondly, for people who don’t know you’re quoting a Led Zeppelin song steeped in awesomeness, they’ll just think you’re desperate or need a cold shower. And speaking of ‘drunktates’...

Drunken status updates, comments, pictures or uploads
Have a little common sense. If you go out for a big one on a Friday night, keep yourself far away from that multimedia, social networking website-ready, super-duper phone because you’re just a few clicks away from embarassment the next morning. Think about it. When was the last time you felt it was completely okay to type ‘fush yo mang’ in a photo comment of other relatively sane comments and then wake up the next morning and survey the carnage?

Joining ridiculous chain-mail groups
Why do people insist on joining groups such as ‘You cannot fathom the immensity of the f**k I do not give’? Come on people, how stupid are you? There’s one group on a social networking website devoted to nullifying the vegetarian moral crusade, and it’s called: ‘For every animal you don’t eat, I’m going to eat three’. That’s a good group name. ‘I think Justin Bieber is the best singer ever’ is not.

Lazy grammar and spelling ‘mistrakes’
Sometimes, reading a bunch of status messages is like perusing a six-year olds’ English Language exercise book. Come on, people: ‘Your’ is ‘your’. ‘You are’ is ‘you’re’. It really isn’t hard to get that little one right. And understanding the difference between there, their and they’re surely isn’t too much of a challenge?

Upload photos and deleting originals
Uploading photos can be a very handy way of sharing your holiday snaps. But for the love of God, don’t lose your originals. Social networking websites are terrible at compressing and resizing images — it turns your 14MB panoramas into 14KB monstrosities. These are not suitable repositories to store your precious photos!

Inviting friends to be a Zombie Pirate Snot Monster or to help you out in Farmville
Please don’t do that ever, ever again. While you’re out living it up with your buddies,tweeing and updating every lame observation while a few drinks down, it’s quite possible that somewhere else, a few people might be having a good laugh.
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