Be better than Kim K: a guide to social media

Jonathon Boylan outlines how to dominate social media

There is a common misconception that you don’t need others to be envious of you in order to be happy. People will say things like, “don’t worry about anyone else”, or “just concentrate on yourself”. While these sentiments may have had some legitimacy in the past, the rise of social media has changed the game entirely. It is foolish to suggest that you can enjoy a night out without posting an Instagram story, naive to think that your breakfast will be just as enjoyable if you don’t tweet about it, and utterly idiotic to say that your year in college will be in any way beneficial without a Facebook album entitled Year Two fist emoji, crying emoji, 100 emoji. As for those who go to the gym without documenting it, you are only fooling yourselves.

“For beginners, Facebook is always a good place to start. It’s a bit like a Leap card; everyone has one, it’s easy to use, and nobody really cares about it.”

If you are reading this and thinking, “oh no, I don’t do any of that!”, rest assured – there’s plenty of time to adapt your ways. But if your social media presence isn’t where it needs to be, you probably didn’t have any friends to begin with. If the latter is something you are after, what follows is a comprehensive guide on how to make social media your greatest tool. It is time to stop living a balanced lifestyle, where you genuinely appreciate friends and family, and time to start using social media to make others jealous, and prove that you live the world’s most interesting life.

For beginners, Facebook is always a good place to start. It’s a bit like a Leap card; everyone has one, it’s easy to use, and nobody really cares about it. The first thing you will need to do is change your occupation. Something along the lines of ”Full Time Mad Bastard”, “McDonalds :L” or “Philosophical Thinker” will undoubtedly catalyse a great profile. For younger readers, it’s also very important to update your education information to STUDYING IN TRINITY COLLEGE the day you receive your CAO offer. This way, everyone knows you’re the smartest person in the world. The profile picture is obviously crucial. While photos from nights out may seem like the correct option, they most certainly are not. You will look like a try-hard and strangers won’t know which one is you. Indeed, if you truly want to inspire envy, make sure your profile picture is a solo shot of you either sipping a cocktail, or smiling in some place interesting. Wow, so niche.

Once you’ve got your profile covered, you’ve won half of the battle. If you want to garner aggressive envy from your fans however, you’ve got to keep fighting. The true social media kings are the one who do not let their profile lie dormant. You should click “going” on events you really have no interest in, ensure that you are tagged in other people’s photos constantly, and make as many similarly-titled albums as is conceivably possible. Naming them after the flower or sun emoji can be a serious sign of intent.

“Your breakfast, your lunch, your dinner, your dog, your Mam, your Dad, even your postman, all need to regularly feature on your Instagram story.”

What separates the wannabes from the success stories, is of course, Instagram. Instagram is a tricky one, as all you have are photos and captions. At least, that’s the excuse that the rookies use. Your first port of call is to set up an account and follow as many influential people as you can. I’m talking the rugby player you met on a night out. I’m talking the edgy dude who sits in your tutorials. I’m talking that random girl from the library, or that society veteran who is always making speeches in your lectures about free pizza. Forget your Aunty Susan or Uncle Dave, it’s time to make some serious power plays. Simply being associated with these figures will give you serious clout amongst your electronic peers. A common mistake social anonymities make is posting as soon as they make their profile. Would a spice bag be as exciting if it came immediately? No. What makes a spice bag great is the same thing that makes an Instagram post effective. That is, anticipation and intrigue. For these reasons, it’s best you wait a week or two before you put up that picture of you drinking a cocktail beside the ocean. Also, don’t put too much work into the caption. A clever pun or inside joke will suffice. Once you’ve posted, you’d be a fool to do so again within the next couple of months. Be sparing with your information, that creates a little bit of mystique and a whole lot of envy.

During this intervening period you can’t afford to go quiet. Thats where stories come into play. If you want to climb the social mountain, you need to be posting stories daily. Your Dublin Barista School coffee needs to be up there. Your new jacket has to make it. Your breakfast, your lunch, your dinner, your dog, your Mam, your Dad, even your postman, all need to feature regularly on your Instagram story. It’s a lot of work, but if it were easy, everyone would be doing it. In order to bring your stories up to scratch, you should probably go on a night out at least once a week, documenting each drink. If you miss a night out, don’t worry. You can always recycle photos from the week before. Never ever admit that you’re staying in. People may notice but they’ll quietly respect you for staying on the grind.

“In terms of the don’ts, if you’re trying to make people jealous of your crazy wonderful life, Twitter, Snapchat, or LinkedIn aren’t the places to do it.”

If you’re worried that your new role as a social influencer is making you forget who you really are, then great. You’re doing it properly. However, some of us like to maintain a shred of our personality, or at least pretend to. That’s where a finsta comes in. That is, a second Instagram account, normally with a humorous title – your name followed by -agram is a popular choice – where you post whatever you want. If you are to finsta effectively, your posts can’t be too honest. Nobody wants to see the real you. We recommend you keep your photos to film posters, edgy bands, books, and sometimes ugly selfies. That way, people will envy not only how culturally aware you are but also how down to earth you can be.

In terms of the don’ts, if you’re trying to make people jealous of your crazy, wonderful life, Twitter, Snapchat, or LinkedIn are not the places to do it. Twitter is more a forum for memes and passive comments about everyday life, and the real influencers know that this is just too open and too risky when it comes to maintaining a pristine image. The odd “RIP [deceased celebrity]” or “Omg I love *insert Ariana Grande song* kweeeeen” tweet may help though, serving to demonstrate that despite your fame and global importance, real will always recognise real. When it comes to Snapchat, nobody uses it, so a world leader like you certainly doesn’t. If you are cool enough, however, which, of course you are, it’s always good to have Snapchat on your phone as “like a, haha, I dunno, major throwback?” As for LinkedIn: ha, gas.

These are merely the stepping stones towards becoming a behemoth of the social media age, but should you have the discipline to follow them, you will yeet yourself all the way to the top.