Tag Archives: Instagram

How to lose touch on social media

Like most people on social media, I have blinked and seen five years or more suddenly go by. Have I really known all these people that long, despite never meeting? I’ve seen their dogs and listened to tales of the mums and dads and Christmas dinners for year upon year, yet never laid eyes on them in the flesh and, aside from a few shaky videos or Vines, have never heard them speak.

Our social media connections rumble on and on like endless novels, with shock twists and new characters but always the same face and typing fingers at its heart. You become used to them, they are scenery, until one day, out of nowhere, something happens and everything you knew is gone.

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I remember my first Twitter death. A guy I was following, who was bright and funny and kind of related to someone I actually knew in real life, one day turned his patter from well-observed snark to real-life scares. He had cancer, and it killed him. His story ended. Our conversation finished. Dialogue into echo.

It’s easy to feel  detached from rolling news’s horror show of refugee deaths and wars and bombs and all that, but when a voice you’ve never even heard out loud goes quiet, it feels very close to home. I still miss his humour.

There have been a few demises since, both actual and virtual. As well as the mercifully rare sad passings, there have been huge flounces off-grid, and people being hounded away, along with quiet departures from those simply unable to face another day of mansplaining.

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While I’ve become desensitised to most of this loss, I felt sad when I noticed a couple I’ve been following – note, following, not stalking – seemed to have broken up without me noticing. It seemed odd in a world where every minute detail of our lives – from what we had for dinner to our partner cheating on us – is shared, that these two had managed to keep it offline.  Continue reading How to lose touch on social media

We are all terrible on social media – we just won’t admit it

We are all very fond of gossiping about what everybody else is up to and how they live their lives. This isn’t new – nosey neighbours have been slagging off the colour of their nearest and not-so-dearest’s net curtains for decades, but now it is so much easier to stick your oar in.

Ever since the very first messageboard opened and newspapers appended that dreadful/amazing “Add comment” feature, we’ve been waxing loud and proud about what everyone else should be doing in a very vague, annoying way. And that’s fine, really.

Social media, however, is different because when it comes to people we know, we don’t really say what we mean. Sure, we will bitch to friends or on Twitter about the stupid stuff people do on social media – photographing lunches, posting endless inspirational quotes, ripping off old memes and passing them off as their own – but rarely do we tackle the offender head on.

Why? Well, it simply wouldn’t do. While commenting on things from a distance is fine, calling somebody out directly for curating their social media in an irritating manner would be bad form. And quite right too.

An anonymous group of mums in Australia have ripped up this unwritten rule book, however, putting poison pen to paper to tell a fellow young parent that her constant baby updates were getting on their nerves. The letter (pictured below) was very direct – they were Australians after all – and extremely unkind and left its recipient reeling. Especially thanks to the lack of signature at the end of this malicious missive.

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Continue reading We are all terrible on social media – we just won’t admit it

29 social media truths we’d never say out loud

We say so much on social media – over 500 million tweets are sent in one day alone – but what’s more interesting is what we don’t say.

There are some things we’d probably love to post on social media but, unless we’re feeling extra bitchy, never would. Nor would we admit we’d even think of such a thing.

But I’m on to you. And if you can’t recognise that at least 5 of these cross your mind as you scan your social media faves, you’re in denial. Aren’t we all?

1. “We’ve never met but we have a mutual friend on Facebook so I have been through all your profile pictures and dreamt of you kissing me.”

2. “I only like your drab status updates because I’d quite like to bone you.”

3. “I’m friends with you on Facebook to get to your boyfriend.”

4. “I follow you in case you post pictures of this better-looking boyfriend.”

5. “I post screenshots of the ridiculous things you say in a private group on Facebook and my friends and I laugh ourselves raw at how witless you are.”

6. “You don’t reply to me because you think you’re a rockstar. Newsflash: you tweet for a biscuit brand for a living; I’m only following you because you tweet shirtless selfies on a Saturday morning.”

7. “I like every picture you Instagram of your dinner so that I don’t look like a weirdo who only likes your topless pictures. Although I am that person.” Continue reading 29 social media truths we’d never say out loud

12 things you do that scream “thirsty”

Not sure whether you look like a desperate, cloying nightmare on social media?

Wondering if perhaps you may be going a little over the top when it comes to trying to impress someone on Twitter? We’ve all done it.

Fear not! Here’s the most common things we all do that leave us open to being exposed as massive attention-seekers, along with a thirst mark out of 10, so you can work out just how absolutely tragic you (we) are.

First, the thirst scale:
1. I could really do with a sip of water.
2. I’d probably lick a tomato for moisture.
3. That plastic cup from the vending machine looks like it might have a bit of water in the bottom of it.
4. Throat getting quite scratchy.
5. No, I’m just going to sit next to the watercooler if that’s OK.
6. It’s quite hot in here, isn’t it? Can we open a window?
7. If the air were any drier, it would be Joan Rivers’ diary.
8. I’d be able to sniff out a raindrop from 10 miles away.
9. Make it 100 miles.
10. All I can see, hear, smell and feel is sand and I would kill everyone I love for a dribble of stagnant water out of a verruca sock.

And now, the ‘actions’:

1. Tweeting how ugly you feel

If you’re actually ugly: 3
If you’re mildly unattractive: 4
If you’re quite good looking really, in the right light: 6
If you’re what Grandma would call handsome: 7.5
If you’re incredibly hot: 9.5
Horse-frightener, but with accommodating mates you know will big you up: 10
Jake Gyllenhaal: 11

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Here, please, sip this – it will save us all.

Continue reading 12 things you do that scream “thirsty”

11 men you really don’t want your boyfriend to follow on Instagram

They’re hot, they’re bored and they’ve got a smartphone. Meet the boys of Instagram who, you hope, your boyfriend hasn’t met yet.

Because when he does… you’ll be filtered out of view.

1. Topless “night-night” selfie

You daren’t take selfies at bedtime because, eight days out of seven, you’re bloated from too much wine and you’re saving that spot to squeeze in the morning. Meanwhile, Prince Charming has plonked his pretty head down to rest in a sea of Touche Eclat, and is saying to your boyfriend “Imagine us here, together”. Your other half will have sweet dreams all right – you don’t get so much as a cameo role.

2. “Look at the state of me. So #hungover.”

Absolutely nobody with a true hangover would be in any fit state to endure the hours of studio time these pictures entail, swathed in immaculate white bedlinen. And if this is what he says he looks like hungover, you can bet your dry-mouthed ass your boyfriend will be asking himself why you look like shit ALL THE TIME.

3. Downview shots of bare legs with new trainers or feet shots with perfect toes at the end of them.

#NikeMornings…. Marseille here we go!

A post shared by ⬜️ ⬜️ g u i l l e r m o ⬜️ ⬜️ (@geeyay) on

Your trotters are so hideous you wear socks in the bath so you don’t scare your rubber duck. All your shoes crave polish and your trainers smell like a tramp’s dog. You cannot compete.

4. Healthy lunch photographer

American Salad! 😍 #salad

A post shared by Nash (@nashtified) on

You’d take pics of your food, but a) it’s always pie and chips and b) your gut would always get in the way unless you stood up from your seat, took a few paces across the room and then snapped away – and that would cause a scene. Once your boyfriend points at this guy’s picture of a heap of salad with misery dressing and says: “Ooh, we should try that sometime” your days are numbered..

5. Me and my doggy

Some down time in NYC with my buddy Rambo 🐶 #Frenchie

A post shared by Nick Bateman (@nick__bateman) on

There’s no better way to reel in a gay who’s a bit ticked off with their other half than a cutesy pic with a dog, usually with brunch or a sexy Manhattan apartment lurking in the background. You like the idea of a dog, but your general lack of enthusiasm for picking up dog crap and having everything you’ve ever owned covered in hair has helped to elevate this Instagram dog-worshipping idol to boyfriend material in just a few clicks.

6. New hair, don’t care!
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He cares, and despite having the most average haircut this side of Michael Gove at a christening, your boyfriend has doled out a like. He’s never commented on your hair, not even when you got an orange buzzcut, grew a beard and said you were now a one-man Eurythmics.

7. #nofilter

#noholdsbarred more like. He’ll let him put it anywhere.

8. Wearing a face mask.

Just your average Face Mask Friday! #facemask #clay #friday #goofy @taylorgandy @frogjuicefat

A post shared by Nick Mangiapane (@nick_eat_bread) on

He’s sorting out his skin so he can “steal ur man”

9. Starbucks name LOLs
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“I told them my name was Matt, but the barista wrote ‘Cocksurfer’ on it, LOL. Get it right!!!”

Do you really want to date a man who hangs on every word of someone STILL amazed by this phenomenon of Starbucks baristas not giving a shit what your actual name is?

10. Changing room Charlie

Movie Premiere in Toronto tonight 🎬😜

A post shared by Nick Bateman (@nick__bateman) on

Which outfit do you like best? He is broadcasting a show called “Your potential perfect partner” right into your boyfriend’s eyeballs and there is NOTHING you can do about it but hope he puts on weight.

11. You

A post shared by The Guyliner (@theguyliner) on

Because then they’ll be able to see you behave like a drooling lech over every swimsuit-sporting twink in the Insta-world – and that simply won’t do.

Main image: Flickr

Note: If your Instagram pics have been used here and you’d rather they weren’t, get in touch and let me know. Please don’t send dick pics.

Social media: Form of self-help or enabler of self-doubt?

The 2010s are truly the age of the share, whether Instagramming pictures of your breakfast, Facebooking all your friends about your holiday or tweeting a link to your latest blog. Social media has turned us all into broadcasters, producing special-interest programming on every aspect of our lives and thoughts. We are all our own chat show.

But while we gently mock those who overshare or bore on about their children or their dull jobs or impart half-baked political opinions, social media has also given us a window into people’s lives that we’ve never had before. Total strangers upload pictures of themselves in new outfits, on nights out, in fabulous apartments and occasionally – on Naked Sunday, for example – undressed. And we observe, we judge, we aspire. We envy.

Looking at photos used to be restricted to close friends boring you to tears with glossy 5x4s of their holiday to Alicante (“Don’t get fingermarks on them!”) or your mum embarrassing you with childhood snaps, but now we are all willing autobiographers, snapping every moment and flooding the internet with selfies or snaps of our favourite puddings.

But these pictures are not for personal reminisces in our dotage –we know we have an audience out there, so must look our best. ‘Touching up’ is no longer restricted to those who know their way around Photoshop; all manner of apps and programs are now available to ensure we are always ready for our close-up. Blemishes, wrinkles, freckles and folds be gone – our public awaits!

Have you ever noticed that the most prolific snappers seem to have the most remarkable of everything, bodies especially? Six-packs and pert boobies don’t just belong to Hollywood superstars with home gyms at their disposal. Now we all have personal trainers and workout routines and love to post the results of our labours – followed by a sepia-tinted snap of a garish cocktail that we’re having as a reward, of course.

Sculpted pecs, toned arms and bellies you could bounce a nickel off are de rigueur. Whereas the body beautiful seemed only attainable by celebrities and sportsmen and the odd gym-nut who didn’t have a social life, Joe Public is getting in on the act too. But has it always been like this? Are we taking care of ourselves more because we know someone will be watching? Most of us want to look good on the beach or in the bedroom, but do we need to make sure we’re internet-ready too, all too aware that the next comment or retweet could be a cruel remark not a compliment? Keeping up with Joneses isn’t just about nosing over the neighbour’s fence – the world is our Mr and Mrs Jones.

For everyone else back on Planet Normal, balancing work and personal lives means there’s less time than we’d like to work on our hotness or to furnish that apartment to make sure we have the optimal background for all those pictures of us posing next to a colourful salad.

Musclebound gods clutching pornstar martinis in private members’ bars with a couple of models can both inspire and demotivate. Sharing on social media can very easily divide us into the haves and have-nots; the cans and the cannots. Some decide that if these otherwise utterly ordinary Joes can live the high life and look great, then they can do it too. Let’s hit the gym a little harder; let’s say no to those chips; let’s skip that last pint of ale and have a vodka shot instead. And the circle begins again. For others, however, it’s just another enabler to drive them further into despondency and reaching for that family pack of Doritos. Envy is a carbohydrate.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but that isn’t always the case. Mostly, a snap shared by social media tells only a small part of the story. It’s a freeze-frame, aesthetically buffed and primped, and shared only because the subject or the observer thinks it paints them in a positive light. They are sharing a look, not their minds. As the blemishes are airbrushed out of existence, it takes personality with it.

Before you look down at your own wobbly belly and become wistful or glance around your dingy hovel with charity shop furniture and feel inferior, think about what you don’t actually see – what aren’t they sharing? They look great, sure, but how do they feel? What do they think? Do they think anything at all?

Amid all their fabulousness, they still have a real life, a mass of insecurities, fears and doubts. Their snap-happy, brainless declarations of amazingness are just another form of comfort-eating, but the buzz is temporary and expensive – looks fade fast and martinis don’t come for free. Your mind and your personality, however, are yours alone and, if you’re lucky, will always be with you.

Don’t envy the oversharers their wonderful life; pity them that they have to brag about it to feel good.