Tag Archives: social media

Which Twitter A-levels pundit should you aspire to date?

It’s A-level results day on 18 August, which means a lot of people who maybe once years ago sat some exam have a great deal of opinions, bons mots and tales of struggle and survival to share with… well, each other. No teens are really watching are they? Who knows?

But which one of these educational experts or university of life graduates would make the best boyfriend? Let’s see!

“Don’t worry about it. I didn’t get any A-levels and look at me now!”
Look at him now! Jeremy Clarkson sipping champagne in St Tropez and trying not to assault anybody! Richard Branson, a zillionaire who still looks like Santa left under the grill too long! Simon Cowell, still has no idea about jeans. None of them got A-levels! Not a one!

What do they all have in common? They have lots of money and live a perfectly decent lifestyle. And yet.

Hand on heart could you ever truly say you wanted to be them? Or shag them? Ending up being sewn into your dad-jeans every day with a hairstyle that a magician couldn’t fix, let alone a barber, is the best advert I can think of for retaking those A-levels over and over again until you’re in your mid-fifties.

Date rating: 2/10. 4 if you really, really like Talksport, cava and collapsing into a heap of cholesterol on your 61st birthday.


“Just follow your dreams!”
Following your dreams is actually harder than it looks, because some people dream about being an astronaut or being able to walk through walls. Following your dreams does take hard work, yes, and usually, I’m afraid, rather a lot of self-confidence and MONEY. Got none of that? Um, well, maybe see if there’s a Marilyn Monroe quote out there to help you along.

Men who tell you to follow your dreams have usually achieved theirs – which is great – but they’re only really happy for you to follow yours if a) it does not in some way interrupt the express ride to their own achievements and b) you are funding this yourself. Oh, and c) they don’t have to talk to you about them.

Date rating: 6/10. Think of all the fridge magnets he’ll buy you at Christmas.


“Let me tell you about my victory over adversity.”
You think you’ve had it hard? He’s had it harder, you know. There may well be some Venn diagram overlap with the “Follow your dreams” guy, but this one will have tales of grit and hardship.

There are some odds to be overcome, a struggle to be had and – because every boring story told down the pub needs a hero – a huge, exaggerated victory.

Yet he makes it sound so easy! That’s because he has left out the four years he spent working at CarpetRight, crying in the stockroom.

Date rating: 5/10. Hours of fun to be had saying “Axminster” at random intervals.

“It’s not the end of the world.”
Says the media darling tweeting only to the clique he’s worked with, or met networking, or wants to meet, or might find useful, or screwed, or wants to screw, or wants to write for, or wants to write for him, or… you get the general idea.

Failing A-levels is not the end of the world to him because he is 34 and editing out double-spacing or hyphens that think they’re en-dashes in agency copy. Now that is the end of the world.

Date rating: 3/10. That should read a 4, but he hasn’t spotted the typo.


“I just, you know, got my A-levels, went to uni, got on with it and that’s it, really.”
What? No humblebrag? No Hollywood ending? This can’t be happening.

People who ‘just get on with it’ are myths – the unicorns of social media. If you find one, hang on for dear life.

Date rating: 7/10. Perhaps you could ‘adapt’ their story into something more exciting when you’ve finished tweeting your own. It’s what your followers would have wanted.


“I can’t believe I got my A-level results 17 years ago.”
Should you maybe not be thinking about something else, then? Maybe time to let go. Men who are amazed at the concept and passage of time tend to be dull over-thinkers, endlessly pondering their own mortality and forgetting to take the rubbish out.

Date rating: 4/10. They tend to be poor sleepers, worrying for hours at a time about something they said in 1984.


“Teenagers don’t care about your advice anyway; they are not reading your feed. You are 100.”
Every kingdom needs a ruler and when it comes to Twitter’s echelons of superiority, this arch commentator thinks he’s it.

He will compose his snide, wryly amusing tweets and press “Tweet” with a maniacal flourish, like Dorothy Parker ordering another round of absinthe for the Algonquin Round Table.

The trouble with kings is that they are never fully in control. And they never look up. But if they did, they would see that the sky is not the very top after all; there is… more!

Date rating: 7/10. At least in his own small bubble, he’s top of the heap. You might enjoy the odd bask in his glory when he passes 8 retweets and texts you excitedly about it.


“Everyone moaning about people talking down to teenagers who don’t care about your advice anyway – you are the lamest of them all.”
Kings give way to emperors and here’s our Lord and Master, who has recently become the sole heir of Twitter in its entirety thanks to a few strategic deaths or social media hires. His plinth is the highest of them all (as far as he knows) and this meta-God can only shake his head in disappointment as we all fall into the same trap we do every year when A-level results come out.

“They just don’t get it,” he cries out into the wilderness, from the tallest window of the uppermost floor of his lonely palace. “They… they are just as bad. They’re worse. You’re all terrible.”

Date rating: 9/10. He’s the one. He knows it all. And if you’re lucky, his head might burst and then Twitter will all be yours.

“I am going to write a blog about things people say about A-levels on Twitter.”
No. I’m stopping now. Don’t fuck this guy.

More like this:
What your man’s favourite Spice Girl says about him
21 people you should never kiss at festivals
25 men you should never date this summer
33 things your date will worry about while waiting for you to turn up

Image: Flickr


How to reject an apology

When you do something wrong, you’re taught to say sorry.

Screaming toddlers are forced into awkward handshakes, colleagues send grovelling emails to avoid mediation with HR and lovers who screw up – or around – keep florists in business all year round.

But what they don’t tell you about apologies – the big secret – is you don’t have to accept them.


Oh, sure, the done thing is to graciously smile and absolve your offender, both moving on with your lives as if it never happened. And most of the time, that’s the best thing for all concerned. But there are some misdemeanours that don’t deserve it. It may not be a very 2017 thing to do, but there are times when an apology could, and should, be met with a “fuck you”.

I feel awful having another pop at social media because it’s all anyone ever writes about these days, and it really is brilliant, but it doesn’t half come with some baggage. It keeps you in touch. Embers continue to burn. And, worst of all, it can reunite, long after you’d thought – hoped – you’d never see someone again. It can be grim.

One such subset of “My God it’s you!” that not everyone has to endure, thankfully, is the school bully. Everyone’s experiences at school differ wildly, and you can be sitting in the same form room as someone for five years and never know what’s going through their head, but, for me, there’s something quite distasteful about an old tormentor getting in touch, usually on Facebook. Continue reading How to reject an apology

How to be cool on social media

Apologies if you have clicked through or scrolled past the title expecting some top tips on achieving coolness. I have no idea. I have existed for all my 39 years on the periphery of something that can barely be called tepid, let alone the ice white coolness  we all seem to crave.

It is a cruel truth we reveal to ourselves when we admit we are not, and will never be, cool. What we don’t understand is that coolness can only be awarded by other, less cool people. You can’t proclaim it of yourself and even your supposedly cool peers don’t get it. Coolness comes from those looking up at you in admiration.

What limbs I would have torn off and donated to medical science to be considered cool at school. I thought it would be the answer to everything. To have bullies blind to me, except in adulation, to have all the other cool boys and girls – not to mention the desperate no-hopers – all gently swaying to my rhythm, entranced by everything I said and did. But it wouldn’t have been real.

Whatever trainers or jeans I wore that would’ve given me my cool demeanour – my intelligence and wit were never welcome at any parties and nobody ever wanted to fuck my GCSE results – I would still have been me, unsure, worried, ugly. I wore what I thought were the right clothes, had the right hair, passed the right subjects, smoked, even caused a few problems in my French class, wore Joop to school (helloooo again to the nineties) and yet coolness eluded me. The entrance criteria changed by the second, becoming more convoluted and confusing with each iteration. Coolness saw through me just as I saw through it, and we never got on.

And, unfortunately, maddeningly, cliques follow you once the school doors slam shut for the last time, be it among your own friends, or in the gym, at work or on social media. Continue reading How to be cool on social media

The real basic is you

I once read an interview with a recording artist in which she claimed she never went to McDonald’s or read Heat because “it’s so bad to be basic”.

Is it?

Basic is an interesting word – so evocative and yet covers a lot of bases. And a lot of basics.

I find it yucky, but I’m nothing if not a massive hypocrite and have, of course, used it myself here and there. Yet I still puzzle over its meaning. It does seem it’s a byword for poor, or less fortunate, or less cultured or not as well-educated.

Well, I’m calling out all you faux-sophisticated drones. Use “basic” as a shortcut for poor or uneducated or liking ‘simple’ things? Think that by being ‘extra’ or glamorous, you can escape it?

Beware: the real basic is you.

Hold on to your middle-class ironic jumbo hot dogs; some real talk is heading your way. Here are 33 things that are the true barometer of basic:

1. Congratulating yourself for living in the “cultural melting pot of London”…
…yet moving to some zone 3 wasteland full of white people with Bugaboo prams and a high street stacked with Bill’s, Byron and Pizza Express.

2. Going gluten-free for no apparent reason.

3. Eating a posh burger piled to the ceiling with ironic cheeses and weird sauces called “hickory smoke salsa jus” and paying £15 for the privilege. 

4. Thinking that eating junk food is OK as long as it’s served in a series of jars in a place called “Rude Dude Food” and eaten ironically by people with mortgages.
But if you saw a fat person in a tracksuit eating it at a bus stop, of course, that would not be “OK”.

ezgif.com-resize (1) (2) Continue reading The real basic is you

31 things you will see people do on dating apps

Dating apps, whether they’re for long-lasting love or a three-minute hook-up you can brag to your friends about, have revolutionised our love and sex lives.

But even with tec so new and exciting, we’re still a habit-forming animal – we can’t resist becoming a cliché.

So here are a few things you will almost certainly see on hook-up or dating apps. Swipe. Left.

1. A guy who does the same facial expression in every photo.
It’s usually a lop-sided grin or a grimace or that wide-open scream face that Caitlin Moran does a lot. Or a pout. They’ll find a preferred pose and stick to it. And it will never be just a smile.

2. Someone who has accidentally uploaded the same picture three times.

3. “Looking for a gym buddy.”
I have a boyfriend, but I would like to get unspeakable with you  in the changing rooms once a week.

4. A selfie taken in a dirty mirror.

5. A selfie with a pile of dirty laundry in the background.

6. An impossibly good-looking 19-year-old who would rather sleep with the Tollund Man than you.
But you try anyway. Continue reading 31 things you will see people do on dating apps

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.


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

Yesbasicgays proves oversharers don’t care who’s watching – even the bullies

We all have that oversharing friend, don’t we? The one who posts millions of selfies or is always checking in on Facebook, drowning under the weight of their own humblebrags or passive-aggressive attention-seeking.

And only the very kindest of us wouldn’t have a quick sneer with other mutual friends – maybe fire off a bitchy text or a moany DM. “They’re at it again!” And that’s OK, that’s human nature. Unless you’re very careless or downright malicious, nobody finds out and nobody gets hurt.

One opportunistic person wanted to take this process one step further. And so, out of nowhere, appeared a brand new Tumblr – many an internet arsehole’s weapon of choice – dedicated to screenshotting these needy McReadys, and adding a pithy (in their head at least) caption under each one.

yesbasicgays, featured pic after pic of gay men – of all ages – posing in a mirror or at the business end of a selfie stick, all with the same twisted mouth expression as if to say “What? Me? Taking a selfie? Nah, mate!”

Perhaps it had seemed like a good idea at the time, but the creator didn’t have the comedy smarts to carry it off. His or her comments were mind-numbingly obvious and fatally witless, playground-quality jibes drafted in seconds just so the blog itself could quickly get enough pictures on there so the second prong of this fatuous attack could begin – a Twitter account!

Continue reading Yesbasicgays proves oversharers don’t care who’s watching – even the bullies