Social media survival guide for those born before the 90s

Sometimes, listening to young folks is the only way you can grasp the tricky nuances of social media. So we asked Aakash Pant, our snarky 19 year old intern to guide those of us fortunate enough to experience a time without internet to social media mastery.

Hey you, yes you. Did you put on prescription glasses to read this article? Have you had little to no success in convincing your child to accept your friend request? Do your posts only gather comments from distant relatives and childhood friends? Have you ever asked a younger relative or child to proofread your status before posting it? Has a child or younger relative asked you to please re-read your status before posting it? If you answered yes to any of these questions, I have bad news for you. You suffer from a serious phenomena that has plagued the elderly in recent year; Facebook-isis.

 

For the love of god do not share viral messages

Here is a simple rule of thumb, if anything recommends that you send it to 15 other people, please don’t send it to anyone else, especially me. Viral WhatsApp messages and Facebook posts share the same root as chainmail which emerged almost simultaneously with the internet. What was originally an handy tool to spread viruses has now become an handy tool to trap aunties and uncles.

What do the creators of the chainmail get out of this? I’ll be damned if I know. The one thing I do know is that whenever you do forward these weirdly photoshopped posts, your entire social media circle lets out a collective groan. Apart from that, one weirdo takes it upon himself to share it with new victims. So if you want ganapati baba to bless your spawn, please go to the nearest temple. Reserve the shares for something with value.

 

YOU WON’T BELIEVE WHAT THIS KID HAS TO SAY ABOUT ONLINE NEWS PORTALS!!!

To quote the Supreme leader of the free world, “that’s fake news”. Since Google ads came along, every Tom, Dick and Harry can set up an online news portal and make it profitable. Well, let me tell you something about Tom, Dick and Harry: they didn’t study media, follow rules, let alone ethics, and they have no journalistic integrity. Take everything you read on the internet with a grain of salt, please. It will save you and your social media circle a lot of dead brain cells.

Now I won’t go as far as the glorious commander in chief and claim that everything apart from Fox and Friends is fake news. There are legitimate online news portals doing good journalism, there are also news portals perpetuating conspiracies and dabbling in media sensationalism, avoid those like the plague and definitely save yourself the trouble of sharing those. Here’s a quick rule, if someone claims “You won’t believe what happened next,” tell yourself “Okay then, no use clicking on that link” and go read something more legit.

 

#Not everything deserves a hashtag (and emoticons)

Congratulations! You discovered hashtags. Now do us all a favour and use them sparingly. Hashtags are there for Jimmy Fallon to market his show and for the politically active to kick off movements and protests. #When #You #Give #Everything #A #Hashtag, hashtags look lame, and you remove any seriousness from your post. Do us all a favour and ration your hashtags.

The same goes with emoticons. When using them be very careful about what they mean and what the kids are using them for, an eggplant emoji might not mean exactly what you want it to mean. Being careful with them can save you a lot of embarrassment in the future. Manage hashtags and emojis as you you should’ve managed the economy in 2007, lending sparingly and without excessive risk taking.

 

Grandma’s dead lol

I am sure you have seen this (possibly fake) text message exchange between a mother and a daughter. The mother, innocently thinking that lol means “lots of love”, informs her daughter, “grandma is dead lol”. This simple text message exchange, fake or not, is a commentary on our society and the fact that the internet is driving people apart and is the source of friction among individuals. It’s a testament to the fact that the very media that claims to be social is actually making us ever more anti social. Well maybe it isn’t.

But it does show how embarrassing half knowledge about a topic can be. The internet and social media is a rapidly evolving social environment, and if you want to be an efficient member of said environment you need to stay on top of things. If you don’t know clearly about something, do not be involved in that. Dwell on the things you do know about. You will save yourself embarrassment.

 

Don’t think about the children once in a while

What I’m going to talk about next is one of the most frequently violated. Now I know some of you have reached this far in this article, smugly smiling to yourselves thinking, “Hehe, I am so hip and modern, I don’t do any of that weird things.” Let me take a minute to address you. Especially you young parents.

Yes, you had a kid, we saw the hospital picture of the tired mother smiling holding the newborn. We would have loved it if you’d stopped there. Here's a list of all the firsts your baby will do. Are you ready? Smile, laugh, roll, sit up, grow their first tooth, grow their second tooth, grow their third tooth (you get the idea), crawl, eat, stand, walk, speak, birthday, holidays, get a haircut, get mad about said haircut, etcetera. It’s wonderful that you have documented all that and I’d love to see that when I’m over at your place.

But if you, and I say this with all my love, if you shove 50 baby pictures down my throat via social media every day, I will lose my marbles. And to all the other more mature parents, I’m sure you’re proud of every little thing your teen does but I’m equally sure that your child doesn’t appreciate them being on your profile all the time. Save it for the special occasions please.

 

Social media belongs on electronic devices

I’m sure you have said to someone at some point, don’t bring your work home. Now I will tell you something, please don’t bring social media out of social media. Have you noticed how whenever you talk about what you commented on a post, or about how someone hasn’t accepted your friend request, the conversation quickly turns awkward and tapers off. This is because people do not like listening about social media outside of social media.

For a lot of people, their social media persona is completely different than real life. It’s quite difficult to figure out who’s who. So it’s just simple to not talk about posts on social media with anyone else. I definitely don’t want to hear your extensive analysis about my tweet.

Social media cynics ask their frequently thought questions

I have no one to share my private pictures with. Do I still need a Snapchat account?

Yes! Snapchat has this really advanced feature where you can send Snapchats to yourself. That is not sad at all. Also, there are tons of models on Snapchat, male and female. Whatever you fancy. For a few bucks, you’ll also get access to their “Premium Snapchat”. Don’t ask me what happens there. I haven’t tasted the forbidden fruit.

How to take the perfect selfie and what do I do with it?

Grab your phone with your right hand, stretch your hand as far as you can. Now give your phone to the person in front of you and ask them to take a picture of you because that will capture you much better than a selfie ever would. Take that “selfie” and indulge in the modern mating dance in Tinder. (Swipe right on me please)

Is Twitter just a bunch of random thought vomits?

Go to twitter.com, find @theRealDonaldTrump. What does he have there? Did that answer your question?

My dog has more followers on Instagram than me. What is the point of my account?

As Wes Anderson said: “There’s really no point in doing anything in life because it’s all over in the blink of an eye. The next thing you know, rigor mortis sets in.” There is no point to anything so be content with the fact that everyone dies sooner or later. It might be sooner for your dog than you though.

I recently posted a fiery comment on a YouTube video, something on the lines of someone being born in Nepal. Does that make me a troll?

No, not really. To actually achieve the highest level of troll, you have to have engagement. The person who you directed the initial comment towards needs to hit back with a furiously worded comment which is at least 40% in caps. Only then can we grant you the rank of troll. Besides pick a topic more controversial. Everyone knows Bhuwan KC was born in Nepal.

I know Facebook sells my personal data to data miners. Should a good-hearted average Nepali joe like me be scared?

Not really. Facebook actually has difficulty selling Nepali data because no one uses their real name and a plethora of “Vaxo kto moh” who work at “tero bau le jagir dinxha molai?” doesn’t really go for much.

Where do trolls come from?

4chan.

Does social media make young people anti-social?

Nah, young people were pretty anti social to begin with. The only difference is that instead of locking themselves in their room doing heaven knows what, now young people can be anti social with other people.

How would your life change if you stopped using Facebook?

I would migrate to Instagram and start taking pictures of everything I ate and go to the Annapurna Base Camp trek to diversify my online portfolio.