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Humor and Satire | Mr. Bouchard’s guide to the world of social networking

Humor and Satire Editor

Published: Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, November 28, 2012 15:11

Hello my fellow Vassarions! As the work begins to pile up, colds and flus run supreme, and friendships are brutally ripped asunder by discussions over Senior Housing, I decided that it was as good a time as any to hide from my real-world obligations and devote myself entirely to the realm of social networking. And what a glorious realm it is! Where else can you find pictures of your high school bully’s new baby right next to really, really annoying and useless copy-and-pasted statuses about retaining the copyrights to the inane dribble you post? And even though you’re probably thinking, “But Mr. Bouchard, I’m already a social networking GOD,” I’ve still decided to compile a handy-dandy guide to the different social networking sites, despite your shameful hubris. If you follow my advice, you may find yourselves in a world of job opportunities, life-long friendships, and international recognition. (The keyword here is “may.”)

Ah, Facebook. God’s gift to the socially awkward and the creepers who are just too lazy to leave their rooms. Afraid to speak to people in real life? Get an erotic thrill out of “Farmville” requests? Then Facebook is the site for you. Here are some tips to give you an edge on Earth’s most popular procrastination tool:

1. Photoshop every profile picture you have into grayscale with some sort of blurry filter behind it. Having a grayscale profile picture tells the world, “Hey, not only do I know how to do graphic design, but I may also be colorblind, so give me your pity.”

2. Constantly quote your own philosophical musings in your statuses, giving yourself a title like “Life Artist” or “Thinkmeister.” This is largely how Gandhi got his big break.

3. Be strategic with your “likes.” Like every post by one person for a week, no matter how boring, and then don’t like his/her posts for two weeks afterwards. Craving your approval, he/she will work harder and harder to produce more-likeable material. In doing this, you will have raised the average quality of Facebook posts for future generations. You’re welcome.

Twitter is an incredibly versatile social media tool, capable of fuelling Middle Eastern mass protests and giving you more information about what Justin Timberlake and Louis C.K. had for breakfast than you ever thought necessary. Twitter is the perfect platform for the verbal virtuoso who just happens to make witty remarks and powerful political statements in 140 characters or less. Here are some tips to become the world’s foremost tweeter:

1. Don’t follow people; only have people follow you. When you subscribe to follow another Twitter user, you express interest in what they have to say. Social networking interest is a zero-sum game, my friend. The more attention you pay to other people, the less attention gets paid to your tweet about that awesome roast beef sandwich you just ate. Look at Kanye: he has 8,849,923 followers, and he only follows one person—Kim Kardashian. Check and mate.

2. Always feed into the machine. Check out what’s trending that day and make sure you jump on the bandwagon. You may have no idea what Cyber Monday means, but anything looks appropriate after a hashtag. No one ever got anywhere in life by taking a risk.

When done correctly, LinkedIn can score you a new job or internship. When done incorrectly, LinkedIn can serve as yet another platform on which to feel inadequate next to your Grammy Award-winning, Harvard-graduating, Goldman Sachs-owning peers. Here’s how to turn what is essentially an online and even-more-fabricated version of your resume into your ticket to success:

1. Take advantage of LinkedIn’s feature that shows you the list of people who have viewed your page. It’s a feature we all secretly wish we could use on Facebook, but that only we had access to. (I didn’t even KNOW you put up photos of your trip to the beach!) Find out who’s been looking at your page recently, and then hold it over their heads as a sign of dependence and emotional investment in your success. Force them to get you a swanky job in exchange for never revealing how they visited your page once a week for a year to see if any updates had been made to your “Skills” section. (“No, Murray, I still don’t know Java.”)
2. Make your LinkedIn photo a picture of someone much more attractive than you. This isn’t Facebook, kids; the HR representative of Liberty Mutual doesn’t know about your weird eyebrow thing. Attractive people get better jobs and are always happier. FACT.

Don’t go on MySpace. Just don’t. 

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