Four years on, I feel that I am sufficiently older, wiser and arguably mature enough to tell you about all the things that you are going to do in the next one year, all the things that you should not do in the next one year and all the things that you should not do but will do anyway just because I’m telling you not to do it.
(Yes, you’re still a rebel in 2015).
Since you are currently in the stage wherein you think that the Internet is magic (it’s not, by the way – it’s actually witchcraft, there’s a fine difference) most of my advice has to do with social media etiquette. Social media is one of the two places where you’ll be spending a majority of your time in the next one year. The other place is remand home.
Kidding – unfortunately, you also retain your brilliant, awe-inspiring, and frankly genius, sense of humour.
Anyway, I feel that it is my duty to inform you about the dangers of the Internet, before you become one of the dangers of the Internet.
What you will do: You are amazed. You can now send messages to your friends without having to wait for your carrier pigeon to come back! Plus, there are so many platforms to choose from – Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, AOL. At this point, you will be struck by the overwhelming desire to be different. You must stand out from the motley crowd.
Gmail? More like Flea Mail.
Hotmail? More like What Mail.
Yahoo? More like Boohoo.
AOL? More like AWOL.
So you choose Zoho, because you can’t think of a mean rhyme for it.
And then, to make matters worse, your will insist that your username be “MushroomSupRox2DaCore” for two reasons:
- Accurate spelling and grammar is too mainstream.
- You rock to the core.
This makes your email ID: firstname.lastname@example.org. You will never bother to change it, which means that, for the next four years and possibly more, you will be ostracized from civilized society and rejected from at least 17 universities.
What you should do: The carrier pigeon’s your only hope. Try to keep it alive.
What you will do: You are 13, and therefore legally allowed to make a Facebook ID. This is it; the moment for which you’ve been waiting all your life. You do the following:
- You change your Facebook display picture. To a picture of your favourite punk rock band. In a flash of brilliance, you caption it “Mah favourite punk rock band”.
- You change your age on Facebook to 107 years (because you can), change your relationship status to “It’s complicated” and because the words “interested in” are perfectly innocuous to you, you change your bio to “Interested in men and women”. You also change your career to “Working at Unemployed” (refer to aforementioned flash of brilliance), your education to “Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry” and your language to “Sarcasm” because aren’t you just the sassiest little teenager?
- You play FarmVille.
- You play CityVille.
- You play CastleVille.
- You play ChefVille.
- You play CityVille 2.
- You ask for snow for your city in CityVille by notifying all your friends “GUYS I NEED SNOW PLZ. My snowmen are dying.”
- Your mother un-friends you.
- You ‘poke’ your mother.
- Your mother blocks you.
- You change your Facebook status to “2 bored 4 lyf. I LUV PANDAS!!!” It gets 53 likes.
- This is greatly encouraging so you proceed to change your Facebook status to “I LUV CHOCOLATE!!!” followed by “I LUV 2 PLAY!!!” followed by “I LUV EXCLAMATION MARKS!!!” and finally “I LUV FACEBOOK!!!”
Many years later, a friend will stalk your Facebook page, like and comment on each and every one of these statuses, and turn your one attempt at a 13-year-old-selfie into a meme. You will be rejected from 17 more universities.
What you should do: Do whatever you want on Facebook, but don’t put your real name. Either that, or make friends whose Facebook accounts have been deactivated. That way they can’t stalk you.
What you will do: Tweet things like “Hey @JustinBieber please follow me I’m your biggest fan” to celebrities who are not Justin Bieber, until they block you.
What you should do: Stay far, far away from this website. (Rule of thumb: Don’t join Twitter if you still need a babysitter.)
So remember, dear 13-year-old-self, not to make the mistakes that I did.
But if you do, I’ll be waiting for you here in remand home.
And if you were wondering, yes, I am, in fact, on a roll today.
Mushroom Sup the Older.