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,