Aspire to Be #InstaFamous: 5 Ways to Improve Your Online Footprint

You’re on Instagram, scrolling through your feed, when you find a really unattractive photo of someone.  But then you notice this post has about 20 times the amount of likes you’ve ever gotten on your highest-liked Instagram post.  Oh, the outrage!  While this is certainly infuriating, you too could soon be that person—the person with thousands of likes on their Snapchat-turned-Instagram-selfie—which is why I’ve compiled a list of 5 ways to improve your “online footprint.”  Hopefully, after reading this, you feel inspired to be on the same level of InstaFamous as Selena Gomez.


Hashtags are your friend, so use them wisely.

Before creating and using a hashtag, either on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc., scroll through to find the current trending hashtags on your desired social media outlet.  This will help you gauge what people are currently talking about, so if you use a popular hashtag, it will pop up and more people will be able to see and share/like/comment on your post.  Also, make sure your hashtag relates to the content you’re posting, and is clever, informative, or funny.  It needs to get people’s attention, and add content to what you’re posting.




Save the private accounts for…nobody.

Let’s face it—you’re never going to get actual followers (other than the people you already know) by having a private account.  Sure, the occasional spam account might request to follow you, but certainly nobody noteworthy that you don’t personally know is not going to take the time to search you, request to follow you, and hope you have good content that they didn’t just waste their time on.  Additionally, even if you are utilizing appropriate hashtags, people that don’t already follow you are never going to be able to see the hashtags you use, because when they conduct a search or click on a hashtag, yours won’t pop up because the account is protected.  So basically, all that time you spent crafting a clever hashtag was a waste.  Bummer, right?  Time to have a public account!  (FYI: employers can still see your content, even if it’s private.  So what’s the point anyway?)


Online narcissism is absolutely not becoming.

Looking to lose followers?  Continue to only talk about yourself!  Although you might find yourself to be the equivalent to the Dos Equis Most Interesting Man, the rest of the world probably doesn’t.  An occasional Facebook post or tweet celebrating an exciting accomplishment is fine, but consistently only talking about yourself will only lead to a decline in interest, and eventually, followers.  Try changing it up to posting about current events, funny pet stories, or videos you find interesting.  And of course, hashtags, hashtags, hashtags!


Social media is not the place for introverts—time to reach out.

Once you make your accounts public, start pressing the @ button and reaching out to people through social media!  This could be as simple as tweeting your favorite celebrity on Twitter, or if you want someone to actually respond, sharing videos or links to a particular follower of yours that you know, but would like to get to know better.  Something like, “OMG, this video reminded me of you!” and add a “#hashtag.”In fact, Dave Lee, technology reporter for BBC News, describes the importance of reaching out, specifically on Twitter, in terms of gaining popularity.  Lee says, “there’s no denying it: the biggest news often breaks first on Twitter,” and goes on to describe how just using a simple hashtag or @ can influence people or an entire company.

“Press offices around the world dread…a wave of negative tweets…that can deeply embarrass a firm.  It can be a remarkably effective way of making a company change its policy.  Whether it’s getting rid of offensive t-shirts…there’s no faster way for consumers to well and truly kick off.  Meanwhile, on the financial markets, many have started using social media to predict the future value of businesses.  By analyzing the “firehose” (that is, all the tweets from everyone), researchers say they can make an educated guess over how stocks may perform – sometimes up to six days in advance.”

Last but not least…promote yourself!

Although you might not be quite so InstaFamous just yet, in addition to all of the steps listed above, the most important is to promote yourself on your various social media forms.  For example, link yoru Twitter page to your Facebook bio, and vice versa.  Post a clever bio on Instagram that gets people’s attention, so then they look down and find the link to your Twitter or Facebook.  Good luck!

Want more advice on how to become an Internet celebrity?  Check out these resources for increasing your Internet presence:





What Nobody Really Tells You About Being Alive

To someone who needs it:

What nobody really tells you about being alive is that sometimes life is going to completely suck and there’s nothing you can do about it.  Of course, starting from when we are young, we have “bad” days and our parents or other people around comfort us and tell us everything’s going to be alright, but don’t you just wish someone would have just sat you down and straight up said that “yeah, this is awful, it’s going to be awful, because awful things happen in life.”  Even though this might not help at the time, it’s simply true.  And the sooner you can accept that, the better off you’ll be.

What nobody really tells you about being alive is that your whole life can change within seconds.  You can wake up one morning and find out that people you thought cared about you, could actually have cared less.  You can find out while you’re in the middle of a party one weekend that some of your family members have been hospitalized and they don’t know what’s wrong.  You can realize that you have lost track of yourself and your goals, and have to change your life. And you can lose everything faster than you can even imagine.

What nobody really tells you about being alive is that some people tend to think they’re invincible to life’s problems and appear to have everything together.  What nobody also tells you is to stop comparing yourself to those around you.  “You should be more like this person, look what she just did, I’m so jealous of so and so…”  Far too often we are always concerned with what others are doing, rather than focusing on ourselves.  So what if someone gets a 4.0 GPA and you didn’t?  Who cares if someone you know just won an award, but the biggest achievement of your day is getting up and out of bed?  In reality, we’re doing much better than we think, but the important part is doing the best for ourselves.  Just for us.

What nobody really tells you about being alive is that sometimes things don’t happen for a reason.  To put it bluntly: terrible stuff happens in the real world, all the time, and sometimes there are no “good” underlying reasons for this terrible stuff to happen. Although this seems a bit pessimistic, it’s important to remember that if something horrible happens and you can’t seem to find a positive spin on it, there might not be, and it’s perfectly fine to grieve.  Sometimes grieving an awful event can help us to move on.

What nobody tells you about being alive is that sometimes you are going to want to die. You are going to want to die, because life seems unbearable, and the only way out in your opinion is to stop living it.

But, what nobody tells you about being alive is that things actually do get better, but you will not believe this during a time of crisis.  In fact, that is probably the worst thing you want to hear when going through a rough time.  Sometimes it helps to look around at the world around you and notice that life is still continuing as normal, and know that your life will continue, too.  Think about a time in your life where you thought you could never get through, and remember that you did, and where you are now.  Things will get better, but you don’t have to believe it at first.

-someone who is going through their own rough patch and needed these reminders.

The Morning After

“…We’ve spent a year and a half bringing together millions of people from every corner of our country to say with one voice that we believe that the American Dream is big enough for everyone — for people of all races and religions, for men and women, for immigrants, for LGBT people, and people with disabilities…”

-Hillary Clinton, the morning after the 2016 presidential election was decided, November 9, 2016.

The morning after November 8, 2016 was not an easy one to stomach for millions of people in the United States of America.  The morning after the 2016 presidential election was a morning of anger, sadness, fear, shock, as America came to face the painful reality of what had happened just a few hours earlier.  The morning after was not one to celebrate.  The morning after was a time when people were genuinely concerned not only for the future of this country, but also for themselves.

And these feelings don’t just end once the clock strikes noon and the “morning” after is technically over.  No, these feelings will remain for at least the next four years, while Donald Trump is President of the United States.  Donald Trump, an enigma himself, a man who has singlehandedly shattered my faith in this country, and the faith of many others.  This man is now our president-elect.

People can keep denying all they want that racism, bigotry, homophobia, discrimination, don’t still exist in the world, and America particularly, but electing Donald Trump, a man endorsed by the Ku Klux Klan who has spoken such hateful rhetoric, is proof enough that these horrifically backward ideals still exist, and are entirely more prevalent than we care to acknowledge.

Today, I am not proud to be an American.  Today, I am ashamed to call myself an American.

I am ashamed because as a feminist and a woman, I know the glass ceiling is still very much intact, and women are still fighting for representation, equal rights, and the ability to be respected.  I am ashamed because as someone who struggles with a disability, I am unsure of how more ignorant and hateful ideas will affect others living with these and other disabilities.  I am ashamed because we will now have a Vice President who believes in conversion therapy for LGBT people.  I am ashamed for immigrants, for minorities, for anyone who feels their voice will never be heard.

And I am ashamed because the great strides and change we have had throughout the past eight years have now been eliminated.

I want to live in an America that celebrates diversity of people, of thought, of opinions and ideas, rather than stunting that diversity.  One day I would like to see an America where all people feel important, and nobody has to live in legitimate fear for the well-being of their lives.

Even still, although the morning after the 2016 presidential election was a disheartening shock, I still have not lost all of my faith in this country.  As Hillary Clinton stated, we truly have spent so much time bringing people all over the country together, and we can’t give up now.

Now, more than ever, our country needs to come together and be strong against the ideas of bigots, of racists, of homophobia.  And I believe we can.  We can be strong, even in times of adversity and times of fear, in times of anger and times of sadness.

Together, we can turn the morning after, and every day next, into a renewal of hope.

“…You know I believe we are stronger together and will go forward together. And you should never be sorry that you fought for that.” 

-Hillary Clinton