10 Short “How To” Guides For The Modern Internet Persona


How to be a Photographer

Post the Facebook status update, “What’s a good, relatively inexpensive camera for an amateur photographer? Budget’s ~$700.” Tweet your status update, then field both sets of replies. Go buy the recommended camera, download Photoshop, and take a shit ton of close up photographs of everything from faces to cigarette butts. Upload them to your laptop and make everything extremely high contrast with Photoshop. Start a Tumblr and Flickr and post all modified photographs on each. Change your Twitter bio to include “Photographer.”

How to be a Blogger

Start a Tumblr with a theme that allows your Tumblr to look like a magazine. Use the word “Daily” in the title and give the Tumblr a media-centric tagline; something like “NYC Nightlife, Fashion, and Attitude.” Focus, as told, on New York City, fashion, nightlife, personal health, food, or a distinct “Just a small town girl in a big city”/ “being a 20-something” vibe. When people ask you what you do, tell them you’re a blogger, but, no, you don’t get paid. You’re hoping to monetize soon. Change your Twitter bio to include “Blogger,” and of course, list your website as your blog.

How to be an Artist

Start an Etsy ‘store.’ Draw small robots, animals or ‘things’ on printer paper. Add minimal color using the markers you used in grade school. These drawings’ overarching theme should be one of ‘cuteness’ or ‘twee.’ Frame these drawings and list them on Etsy for $20 a piece. Facebook status update that you’ve “finally” started an Etsy page “so [you] can FINALLY start selling [your] art.” Add a vague, self-deprecating line which refers to your newly-taken-up artistry to your Twitter bio; something like “Maker of drawings.”

How to be a Filmmaker

Start a Kickstarter with a $15,000 goal. Ask your Facebook friends and Twitter followers to fund your $15,000 project for a documentary on Legos and its cultural affect it’s had on, well, you. The documentary should be suburban-themed. Start a Vimeo and post a photoreel of shots of Legos set to a Sufjan Stevens song and call it the trailer to your nostaligic post-90s documentary called LEGO (Don’t Let Me Go). Start a Tumblr. Post the trailer on your Tumblr, then link to the trailer on Tumblr via repeated Facebook status updates and tweets. Wait for the cash to roll in.

How to be a Poet

Start a Tumblr with a minimal theme. Refuse to use capitalization. Post poems on your Tumblr that you posted in Craigslist Missed Connections five minutes before. The title of this Tumblr post should be “just posted this on missed connections.” Over the course of a year, comment on other poetry Tumblrs and Blogspot blogs, Facebook friend each blog’s respective author, and find yourself immersed in a rampant, very public, almost 24-hour ego-building exercise in which you and all of your new friends consciously and continually refer to each other loudly as “poets” and “writers” in the hopes of other internet-people seeing your alternative affect and thinking that you and the crowd with which you roll is deep. Obviously, never refer to yourself as a poet, especially not in your Twitter bio.

How to be a Graphic Designer

Start a Tumblr. Buy the domain name of your full name. Download Photoshop and InDesign. Use Helvetica over some otherwise mundane photos you took at the park last week or old elementary school portraits. Post them to Facebook and your Tumblr. Save the best ones for your ‘Portfolio” and “CV,” which you’ve built on your website. Add “I’m into typefaces” to your Twitter bio.

How to be a Novelist

Write a 20,000 word, overly-emotional (or overly affected) thinly-veiled account of the past six months of your life. Self publish it on lulu.com. Message all your Facebook friends that you’ve just published your first book. The day that your books arrive from lulu.com, post a Facebook status update that you’re excited, that your books have just arrived! You never thought you’d have a book published! Mass invite your Facebook friends to your book release party, which you are hosting, at your apartment, at which, you’ll be reading.

How to be a Musician

Start a Bandcamp profile, MySpace page, Facebook Group, Twitter, and Blogspot blog. Link to them via your own personal Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook. ‘Release’ an album that’s actually just a burned CD of tracks you recorded in your Dad’s den and mixed with CoolEdit. Proceed to promote it heavily on your band’s MySpace page, Facebook Group, Twitter, and blog. After six hours of burning CDs and copying/ cutting out the ‘album art,’ notify your ‘fans’ via each social network that “all [your] CD’s have arrived.” Take pictures of the CD cover and post them on all your social profiles. Mass invite your Facebook friends to the album release party, which you are hosting, at your apartment, at which, you’ll be playing. Add your band’s MySpace page to your Twitter bio.

How to be a Model

Start a Lookbook profile and a Tumblr. Get a Polaroid camera or the Hipstamatic iPhone app. Take pictures of yourself in forests and on beaches. Occasionally don your mom’s wedding dress for added nostalgia. Post all this on Tumblr. Use the Tumblr to also blog militantly about obscure, high-end brand names. Read ‘fashion blogs’ written by people who are themselves marginal in terms of fame/ influence. Reference Jezebel often. Unabashedly treat your suburban roots as fashionable and next-level. Add “Sometimes-model” and/or “Fashion blogger” to your Twitter bio.

How to Really, Really Need Other People’s Approval

Follow all How To’s contained in this article.

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image – Deutsche Fotothek