The ninja endures excruciating physical strain to succeed at difficult tasks. Standing out online means not calling yourself the exact same thing as tens of thousands of other people. So “social media ninjas” suck at both parts of their own name.
If you want to call yourself a ninja you should still be able to wind-sprint 50 kilometers and leap into a pit filled with fine ash to disappear in a puff of smoke. I don’t care if they ever really did that. You don’t care about what they were really like either, otherwise you wouldn’t name yourself after an eminently disposable murderer who worked himself to death for no other reason than he’d been told to. Besides, a true social media ninja would be someone no-one else could see, except a very few people who really didn’t want to, and so would suck at their job.
There are also an appaling number of “social media mavens.” A maven is a “self-proclaimed expert,” which should be the perfect social media match because self-proclamation is all it’s for. Except people don’t say maven. And when you’re using words which nobody ever says, but there are still thousands of other people using that exact word to describe themselves, you suck at social media. Because you call it “social media” instead of “talking.” From now on when someone buzzwords instead of communicating we can say That’s So Maven.
They’re all side effects of how we turned talking to people into a job, then hired people who couldn’t do anything else to do it. If you absolutely must describe yourself as a “social media noun’, you have my sympathy. And my suggestions for better names:
Social media golem: a thoughtless lump created with specific instructions by someone else. Most corporate accounts on every social service.
Social media vampire: an account which must survive by stealing social media life from others, with replies and trending topics and manual retweets instead of fangs. Considerably less sexual. Yes, even less sexual than the Twilight vampires. And they look like someone bleached a Ken doll because it had too much convincing human magnetism.
Social media megavillain: someone presenting themselves as an absolute authority on a subject, often backed by a gigantic corporation, but whose mistakes are routinely pointed out by teenagers.
Social media mamluk: One who rises to strength and prominence by slavishly following/loving/hating someone else.
Social media viking: accounts that barge into other conversations just because they contain one thing the Viking wants. Usually a mention of a brand. Vikings barging into polite conversation for the sake of trademarks is somehow even more tragic than burning monks for gold.
Social media self-flusher: someone who screams about unfollowing you because you pissed them off, unaware that they’re improving your life in the process.
Social media quality control officer: the worst thing is this isn’t even a joke for some poor @$$#()!%. Hey, buddy, I know you need the money, but if you leave and look around you can probably get a proper job with a hammer somewhere. Because if you’ve ever worked in social media, the idea of smashing things with a hammer all day sounds pretty good.
Social media knights: charging forward weighed down by the antiquated weight of obsolete customs based on feudal superiority. Only to be shredded by people with more modern technology. As seen in all racist/sexist celebrity tweets.
Social media spartans: anyone who gets naked online but vastly overestimates how tough and awesome they actually were.
Social media sphincter: This one’s physiologically accurate. A corporate intern with a list of pre-approved responses which they’re employed to release at a predetermined frequency. It’s bad enough that some idiots will take such $#!+ for no pay, but now they’re using computers to give it to the rest of the world.
Luke McKinney writes about games, drink, science, and everything else that makes life amazing. He’s a columnist on Cracked and writes for several beer magazines. He’s also available for hire. Follow him on Tumblr and Twitter @lukemckinney.
Luke recently praised The Glory of Gin.