Give “avid” a rest on social media … and 10 other words to avoid when describing yourself

Posted on 11-03-2014 by
Tags: How-Tos & Guidance , social media

’Crazy’ is a term of art; ‘Insane’ is a term of law. Remember that, and you will save yourself a lot of trouble.” - Hunter S. Thompson

“Crazy” … “insane” … 2 terms to describe yourself? Good choices if you’re selling yourself as a pro wrestler; otherwise, they’re bad choices, right?

When describing yourself, here’s 10 more “bad choice” words from Inc. writer Jeff Haden:

  • Generous
  • Humble
  • Self-disciplined
  • Passionate
  • Witty
  • Empathetic
  • Fearless
  • Straightforward
  • Adaptable
  • Independent

Got 1 more for Jeff’s list … a word that’s endemic to social media. That word is “avid.”


adjective - having or showing a keen interest in or enthusiasm for something.

Maybe I’m an avid ass for asking, but why are so many social media users “avid”? On Twitter, you’ll find plenty of “avid” profiles / bios, as in “I’m an”:

  • avid runner
  • avid gamer
  • avid hiker           
  • avid collector
  • avid blogger
  • avid fisherman
  • avid coffee consumer
  • avid believer
  • avid reader

How does an “avid” runner differ from a runner? Likewise, what’s the difference between a blogger and a “keen, eager, enthusiastic, ardent, passionate, zealous, hard-core, devoted, dedicated, wholehearted, earnest” (a/k/a “avid”) blogger? What Jeff says about the word “passionate” holds true for “avid”:

Passion is displayed. Plus it's really easy to sound over the top; claim you're passionate about, oh, designing functional workspaces and you sound just a bit hyperbolic.

The passionate ones aren’t “avid.” As Jeff says, their passion is displayed. Need proof? Here’s 5 non-avid social media users who regularly display their passions:

Avid writer ....

Avid runner ....

Avid football player ....

Avid actor ....

Avid dreamer ....


Posted on : 9 Jun 2015 5:40 AM

The most important part in writing a description on about yourself is that it is about you! Do not copy-paste descriptions of another individual's profile or page. Create and put-on the actual information about yourself.

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