The other day I received a tweet from an extremely beautiful woman. I followed her instantly, because the comment she had sent me was profound, of course, not because of her striking resemblance to Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bündchen.
Imagine my surprise when my research indicated that this uncanny likeness was caused by the fact that the woman’s avatar was indeed a pic of Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bündchen, and that the woman was actually an overweight middle-aged housewife.
Her tweets instantly seemed far less profound and I unfollowed her, of course. But it taught me an important lesson, which is that who people think you are online is far more important than who you are in reality. Here are some practical suggestions to help you make yourself seem cooler than you are in the virtual realm, so no-one ever has to discover the loser that is the real you.
Unlike Facebook, where it’s almost impossible to make yourself seem cool simply by virtue of the fact that you’re on Facebook in the first place, Pinterest exists for the sole purpose of making people seem cooler than they are.
It’s where people go to post pics of cars they will never drive, homes they can’t afford, or celebrities they will never get to sleep with, so that when you click on their pinboard you are confronted with a shrine to the life they wish they had. If you live in a hideous Tuscan-style townhouse it’s fine, as long as your Pinterest page proudly displays the actual villa in Tuscany you would live in if you ever won the lottery.
What’s more satisfying than posting a pic of your cat on the internet? Posting a pic of your cat with a super-cool Instagram filter. Fluffy has never looked this hip. But why stop there? Why would you ever want to use a normal picture of yourself when by applying an Instagram filter you can instantly transform into a work of art? Why not spend hours taking pics of you and your BFFs looking moody and pensive in a variety of settings and then upload them onto Instagram so that your life resembles a French art film? And if anyone rips you off about being on Instagram and calls you a hipster, simply rebuke them by explaining that you were on Instagram before it was cool.
Hell is, I imagine, a well-populated place. And, if you were to be taken on a tour of hell, after you’ve seen the murderers and thieves and the telemarketers, once you’ve walked briskly past the rapists and the kiddy fiddlers getting sodomised with hot pokers for all eternity, you would find a special section reserved for the loose collective of Twitter users who call themselves #teamfollowback.
The idea behind #teamfollowback is that these people follow you and then harass you to follow them back. Some of the more successful members of this team have amassed thousands of followers this way, and have thereby achieved the orgasmic feeling of bliss you attain from amassing a huge following just for the sake of it. Follow one of these people and your life will be enriched by their tweets — every single one of which is about how you should follow them back.
So, ja, this may be a way of getting more followers and making yourself seem cooler than you are. But I wouldn’t recommend it. It’s not worth being sent to hell over. And if Twitter users wanted completely random interaction with people they neither know nor care about, we’d be on Facebook.
A blog is a little slice of the internet you can call your own, where you can invite people into your world (and by people I mean your best friend and your mom).
Everyone knows most people on the internet are too busy updating their blog to look at anyone else’s, and for this reason most people don’t take their blogs overly seriously. But there’s nothing stopping you from treating it like a Pulitzer-prize-worthy bastion of journalistic brilliance.
You could even start calling yourself a ‘professional blogger’, because that is a career that instantly demands respect. Your parents will weep tears of pure pride that you have made something of yourself and members of the opposite sex will fall at your feet. And you can sleep soundly every night in the knowledge that your posts about where you like to shop and what you had for lunch have enriched the world and made it a better place.