How To Become Internet Famous, Part 2

Last time we looked at the first two factors you need to take as you begin to chart your path to inevitable fame and popularity on the World Wide Web. Before we get started today, you might want to catch up on how to use selfies and lax grammar to your advantage.

Now that you’re up to speed, let’s move on to the one thing that arguably makes the Internet go round. .

• Debates. Take a peek on, say Reddit and hop over to the /r/philosophy subreddit, and what do you find? Insanely long posts debating inane topics like the status of morality and whether or not intelligence is a prerequisite for goodness. Sure, there’s nothing wrong with stating your opinion, but come on—it’s only that, is it not? An opinion. But, as we saw last time, quasi-philosophers channel their boundless insecurity by creating infinite proofs and cleverly constructed arguments to articulate their position on personhood. Stuck-up, much? These wannabe cool dogs are trapped in a vicious cycle of their own ostensible knowledge, doomed to remain the underdogs of the Internet, forever forced to group up with all the unattractive and unpopular people who’ve deluded themselves into a fantasy world where the “intelligistas” are the cool ones. If only.

So how do you deal with such matters? How do you express your opinion in a cool, fashionable manner without resorting to such childish shenanigans? Well, it’s really simple, and it requires only a semblance of philosophy—so little, in fact, that it’ll be the last philosophical/historical tidbit you’ll ever need to remember. There’s this little thing called the Socratic paradox (never mind the fact that we’re not even sure if Socrates actually said it) which goes “I know that I know nothing.” Ergo, nobody knows anything. And if nobody knows anything, only unethical people—definitely throw in that word, because nobody, not even the unpopular types want to be unethical—would waste their time on fruitless activities. YOLO, after all. Why would any sensible person who can’t even tell if he’s a brain in the vat try to know what cannot be known?

Play a bit with the above paragraph and word it in a cool, popular way that makes you look simultaneously the right sort of intelligent, but also totally popular. Throw in a bit of strategically-placed arrogance, insinuating that, while we can never know anything, if there’s anything we can know, it’s that your opinion is the closest to whatever objective truth there might be, because after all, you are the boss. It works every single time, folks.

Balance. This really is the one word that sums up everything when it comes to figuring out how to get to the #1 page of Internet Fame—and stay there. The pros know just how whiny to be, but also when to stop before they become one of the dreaded attention addicts. They know when to milk sympathy from their ardent followers and when to toughen up and take no nonsense. There’s no hard-and-fast rule here, either. You’ll know if you’re cut out for it if you can handle the heat and make expert decisions in a fraction of a second. That said, I can provide you with some basic tips:

1. Not too nice, not too jerkish. Don’t be so optimistic you’re one of those annoying, constantly happy cheerleader stereotypes. However, the jerkish types are the ones without any friends and who have a grudge against the world. Definitely avoid that.
2. Not too open, not too enigmatic. Post cryptic statuses on the Internet, like “wow cant beleive wut happened 2day……,” but when someone asks, remind them that true gentleman and ladies don’t spill secrets. It’ll drive them crazy while showing them that you’ve got enough class to keep a secret a secret.
3. Not too hipster, not too mainstream. It’s totes trendy to drink Starbucks and post #instacoffee photos on Instagram on your iPhone 5c while browsing the Internet on your sparkly Macbook Pro, but remember—popular people transcend the trends. On the other hand, the hipsters, the rejected pariahs of society, wear those turtleneck sweaters and hairdos that should’ve stayed in the 90s, listening to all the oldies on their boomboxes and taking photos with their vintage 70s cameras because nobody else cares for them. Avoid that, too. Find the balance. It will take you far.

And that’s really it, folks. Selfies, grammar, debates, balance. It’s really that simple. Reread. Read again. Commit. And go forth. Study and show thyself approved of the title of Most Popular Internet Persona, good one.

And may the odds be ever in your favor.

Less than three,
Josh

How To Become Internet Famous: Part 1

You’ve probably woken up one day and gone, “Well, gee, I really wish I were higher up on the social Internet hierarchy. Perhaps a little more popular, not having to resort to Omegle and Reddit to find a likeminded individual.” If you have, then worry not: you’re not alone. There are countless others out there just like you who spend many a sleepless night staring at the ceiling and ruminating on the complex questions of life such as why PewDiePie has more a million more subscribers than you do, even though your channel has way more original and funny content.

But the time for worrying is over. Stop thinking. Start doing. Because I am here to help you—and with four surprisingly powerful tools, I will give you a nudge down the virtual red carpet of (ephemeral) Internet fame, complete with thousands of followers at your commands. Don’t believe me yet?

You will soon enough. So let’s get started with arguably the most important aspect to becoming famous, which is none other than. .

• Taking selfies. Let’s be honest, folks. Whether you’re on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Facebook, or any popular social network site, you can’t go far without snapping a photo of yourself. Studies1 show that there’s a positive correlation between the number of selfies one posts and the amount of awesome points they have. Ergo, more selfies=more popularity. This means that you, fledgling Internet star, must make it your goal to post no fewer than four selfies a week. And, if you want me to be completely honest with you, the recommended number for all true rising stars is, at the very least, one selfie a day. It’s acceptable to cross-post the same photo on multiple sites on the same day, but you simply must take a new one every day. Deleting a selfie taken a few months ago and reusing it eventually is simply unacceptable. You may congratulate yourself on your impressive subterfuge, but rest assured: you will be found out.

Now, before you rush off to grab your phone and take your first selfie, here’s some advice: You’ll probably have the unpopular types jump on you like a tiger over a T-bone steak within the first few days of your selfie streak. They’ll say some stuff about how self-centered and incredibly narcissistic you are, so you must be prepared for this. To avoid any of these ad hominems, add a caption to most selfies you upload, and put a motivational/inspirational quote there, even if it has absolutely nothing to do with your selfie. Google will provide you with a plethora of suggestions, and if worse comes to worst, you can always resort to an obscure-sounding quote you yourself made up. Also, John Green. “My thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations,” anyone? Does it really get more pretentious than that?

Alternatively, post a selfie that ostensibly isn’t about you, but ultimately pretty much just features none other than—guess who—yourself. For example, post a picture when you’re at the farmer’s market. Your picture should feature you holding a tomato or two, but make sure that the focus on the picture is on one subject: you.

I know some of you are already going, “OMG, BUT I’M NOT HOT ENOUGH.” Worry not. The solution is simple: pets. The same aforementioned study discovered that selfies featuring a fluffy dog or cat were consistently rated higher when placed side-by-side with a non-pet selfie of the same person. Little else needs to be said. And if that doesn’t work . . . well, let’s just leave it at that. What are you even doing here, then?

Enough on selfies. It’s time to move on to another vital step, namely. .

Your grammar usage and lexicon. Rule #2 of all popular folks is this: Nobody loves a smartypants. They’re stick-in-the-muds and holier-than-thous who compensate for their insecurity by hiding behind polysyllabic words (which means words with lots of syllables) and complex sentences that they throw together from their vocabulary builder they carry around with them. It’s time to assess your lexicon and eliminate all fancy words, stat. There’s no hard-and-fast rule (say, words with more than four syllables should be removed), but keep this tip in mind: shorter is better. How else did we get KFC?

Need some advice on how to go about this the right way? Well, try this: don’t capitalize any words. Skip proper nouns as well, because everyone knows a proper noun when they see it. Punctuation should be virtually truncated from speech, except for multiple interrobangs and the like to convey emotion. Shorten all words to preferably fewer than six or seven letters. The human brain is adept in filling in missing letters, so no worries. For example, instead of saying:

Wow, I had a really crappy day at work today. First, there was this ginormous bird that took a dump on my head, and then I had to go to the bathroom to wash the gunk out of my head. But the neighbor’s sprinkler system went off and. . .

And instead say:

wow so like i had a really crappy day @ word today…..like first their was this bird that took a dump on my head and i had 2 go 2 the w/c to wash the gunk but the neighbors sprinkler went off!!!!!!

While this isn’t the time and place for a in-depth analysis of the two versions, note how the latter gets the message across using thirty-something fewer characters and how it can connect with any and all readers, discriminating against none and instead welcoming all to use the same style of language that you do. None of that upper crusty pompous language and all that rot here. Everyone loves someone who’s lax on grammar. It’s a key factor to remember, young neophytes, in the path to Internet stardom.

And that’s all for this week, folks. Come back same time next week for more sure-fire methods, tricks, and secrets all designed to help you discover your virtual popularity potential. You won’t want to miss it.

Less than three,
Josh