It’s a hard life being a British tennis player. You’re constantly being compared unflatteringly to Tim Henman, you have to schlep around the world’s minor tournaments before going out in the first round at Wimbledon, and worst of all, you can’t boast about your burger and cider habits on Bebo without getting suspended by the Lawn Tennis Association. Harumph.
However, it’s not just tennis pros who are getting caught out. Social networks are meant to bring us closer together – which they do – but they’re also a minefield of potential shame and embarrassment. Here’s 20 more ways you can come a cropper – you get a prize if you’ve done more than ten of ’em.
1. Get dropped by your hard-partying kebab-munching friends when they read your Bebo profile and realise you’re really a teetotal fitness-focused tennis professional.
2. Reveal yourself as a two-faced hypocrite by praising both pirates AND ninjas on your Facebook profile. For shame.
3. Blog at length on Vox about your boss being an incompetent pompous halitosis-ridden idiot, and forget to set the privacy setting to Friends Only (and yes, it’s the incompetent pompous bosses who Google their own names obsessively every night).
4. Put your whinily rubbish songs on your MySpace profile and expect friends and strangers alike to spend even a few minutes of their busy lives subjecting their ears to your caterwauling. Yes James Blunt, I’m looking at you.
5. Create a well-designed, easily-navigable MySpace profile with artistic use of white space, and stylish yet unobtrusive fonts. What were you thinking?
6. Swear copiously and change your interests to read ‘Crack cocaine, bestiality’ just after signing your mum up as one of your friends.
7. Actually, signing your mum up to a social network is pretty embarrassing in its own right…
8. Boast about how many drugs you hoovered up last weekend, the day before a job interview where your potential employers are bound to be Googling you as research. Unless you’re a professional cyclist, in which case this isn’t an embarrasment: it’s a deal-clincher.
9. Too many exclamation marks on your profile. By which I mean any.
10. Tell your other half you were well-behaved at last night’s office party, only for them to find 17 comments on your profile saying stuff like ‘I can’t believe you snorted the office gecko / urinated on the CEO’s wife / went off with those two strippers’.
11. Forget your Last.fm Scrobbler is publishing every track you listen to on your Facebook profile, and be shunned when people see you spent an entire afternoon listening to the Big Brother twins’ cover of ‘Barbie Girl’ on repeat.
12. Allow old school-friends to add you, and then cringe as they reveal your hated nicknames / post photos of you in all your pudgy acne-faced bowl-haired childhood glory.
13. Sign up to a comedy Facebook group six months after it was actually funny. Punching slow walking people in the back of the head doesn’t even raise a smirk now. Sorry.
14. Inappropriate use of l33t speak on your profile. People can see your photo, they know you’re not a teenager any more.
15. Click on the wrong file when posting an innocuous home video, and accidentally upload the Meg White sex tape instead. Hell, that’s probably how it got on the internet in the first place.
16. Fail to delete Tom from your MySpace friends on the day you sign up. Even if you’re Tom’s actual friend. Or his mum.
17. Have a Facebook profile that takes 17 years to scroll through, because you’ve added so many applications. People know you’re trying too hard.
18. Change your profile status from Married to Single before actually breaking the news to your other half in the real world.
19. Get your MySpace profile hacked and have lots of pr0n and gambling spam appear on it. Unless you work for one of these companies, in which case you deserve a promotion for innovative synergistic web promotion.
20. Create a separate profile for your cat / dog / hamster. Pretending it’s ironic doesn’t make it any less shameful. Even if they prefer ninjas.