I use YouTube quite a lot, usually to watch makeup tutorials, but I always end up clicking through different videos until I end up on a weird conspiracy theory (usually Shane Dawson’s web series, where he covered the killer clowns). That’s when I know it’s time to stop.
I used to use Twitter to stalk One Direction, but I haven’t tweeted since 2014; it’s another one for my parents. The only thing I use WhatsApp for is sending pictures, because who’s going to pay the charge to send them by text?
Uploading a selfie to Instagram is a long process. I will take at least 40, delete 30, and send the rest to my group chat on Whatsapp, to see what everyone else likes most. Then I usually ignore their advice and choose another one, then stare at it until I don’t like it any more – and end up not posting any.
It’s always, always important to tell your friends before you post a selfie, so they can be the first ones to like it and comment on it 20 times, to make it seem you’re popular. Good lighting, a good camera and good positioning will make your selfie the best it can be. Basically, stand by your window for lots of natural light, don’t take it on an android and don’t do the duck face. The best person to look to for advice is Kylie Jenner. Recreate any of her pictures and you’ve a guaranteed win.
Timing is everything
The moment you choose to post your pictures is important. You don’t want to post at 3am when no one’s awake and end up getting three likes, one of them from yourself. The best time to rack them up is at 8pm, after everyone’s had dinner and is refreshing their phones a thousand times in an attempt to avoid homework.
The only reason I’d delete something is if I got hardly any likes. After you’ve taken millions of pictures, gone through the gruelling process of picking your favourite, edited it, consulted friends and decided to post it, getting two likes in 20 minutesdoesn’t seem worth it.
Filters: what not to do
Editing pictures is an essential part of the process, but you have to make it subtle. Facetune is a good app, the one all the “Instagram famous” people use: it perfects all your features (whitens your teeth, narrows your nose, removes your spots). When you use the filter, don’t add loads of makeup to your face: everyone will know you used an app to do it. Don’t blur out all your features; don’t try to change your eye colour; and never, never use an Instagram filter. It just reminds people of when everyone first got Instagram and posted hundreds of pictures of the skyline with a million different hashtags. They’re also just not that flattering.
What not to do on Snapchat
Snapchat has developed many filters you can use to keep your posts interesting. But it can be a dangerous place, and it’s all too easy to send something to more people than you meant. One slip of the finger, and that embarrassing selfie has gone to someone random instead of your friends.
The best filters are the funny ones that give you a massive nose or change your voice. The dog filter is nice, but it’s way too overused: I’ve promised myself that if I ever use it, I will have to delete Snapchat.
Don’t overdo it: no one wants to see 10 videos of you mouthing to a song with the flower crown filter because no one cares.
When it comes to following your parents and family, it really depends on what you’re posting. If you’ve nothing to hide, then fine. If this isn’t the case (which it isn’t for most people), make your account private. For Snapchat, if you want them on your friends list but don’t want them to see what you’re posting, block them from your story; this means they can see only what you send them directly. That way, you’ve got the best of both worlds.
Don’t forget about IRL
Personally, I find meeting someone on social media whom you’ve never interacted with in real life quite strange. You have no idea what they’re actually like: you know them only through texts, selfies and emojis: not a good move. You don’t have to have had a full-blown conversation, but it helps at least to have seeneach other.
When you meet someone IRL, it’s OK to follow them the next day. If you wait a week, it just looks like you’ve been waiting a set amount of time; the next day looks like you’ve casually come across the account and decided to drop them a follow.
How to use emojis
Emojis are extremely entertaining, and I often find myself sending 30 or more at the end of every single text. But it’s important to know what they mean. The peach emoji, for instance, isn’t a peach – it’s a bum – and the one that looks like praying hands is actually a high five.
My favourite emoji is the sassy lady – the one with her hand up next to her face – because she represents everyone at some point in their life. That or the taco one, because I really, really love tacos.
I thought it was great when Apple introduced different skin tones: everyone, including me, finally felt they had an emoji that represented them. Now when I send the brown-skinned sassy lady, I really feel like the sassy lady.