IF MY DOG HAD SNAPCHAT

Take a picture, it lasts longer. Have you heard that before? Such a fun saying that usually is true. Usually. Enter a millennial who doesn’t like to be told what to do and all of a sudden you have Snapchat. Where taking a picture lasts exactly until you close it. And then it disappears forever into the cloud graveyard never to be seen again. Hopefully. Unless your friend takes a picture over your shoulder. Or if you screenshot it. Or if it happens to be in a chat and you save it. There’s always a loophole if you’re clever enough so, like with a disposable camera, always ask yourself if you want a stranger judging you from afar for years to come before hitting send.

Alright, mini lesson over! Snapchat is a thing. It’s meant to be a temporary thing, but sometimes the pictures do last longer. Use discretion. And we’re moving on. Now, as we are all probably aware, either through frequent practice or educated guesses, Snapchat is not typically the place for professional glamour shots. It’s more of a candid “this is me, deal with it” type of vibe. Sure, there are filters to up the enjoyment factor. Also to help add a little light touch up for all the times when you open the camera and do a bit of a double take at your face. Or if you like lying about the #nofilter snaps you send. No judgement, you do you. 

You may be wondering ‘how often should I be sending snaps?’ Clearly you don’t actively use your account, or don’t have an account, if this is a question. The correct answer, as all us ghost lovers know, is it depends. How bored are you and how humble-brag worthy is your current situation? Are you at work and having a, what you deem to be, hilarious Slack conversation? It’s Snapchat time! Are you on vacation? Doesn’t matter what you’re doing or where you went, open the app! Are you out to eat and just got your plate of food? Be the foodie you’ve always wanted to be! Are you feeling yourself and in a rare, no video required, work meeting? Take a break, take a pic! Are you laying on the couch doing nothing? It’s time to embrace the double chin and tell your besties you love them! Anytime can be Snapchat time if you try hard enough.

Knowing what we all now know about Snapchat, and how it’s used, imagine what would happen if say, your dog happened to get their paws on an account. We all love our dogs, right? And we all know what our dogs do all day, right? And we all know that our dogs will get entertained by the same disgusting rope toy day after day after day until it’s literally gone, right? And we all know how excitable our dogs are over little things like when we walk into the room, right? And we all know how much our dogs not so secretly love looking at themselves in the mirror, right? Are you fetching what I’m throwing?

I have zero doubt that I would be Snapchat best friends with my dog. While I like to believe we would be on the pink hearts level, I know deep down that my dog would have a smirking face for me and I would have the smiling face for her. Because she has never met a stranger and has zero shame. It’s admirable, really. I believe dogs would be the type of users that would never really respond to you, but just continue to send streak snaps whenever they felt like it. Regardless of whether or not you had opened, or responded, to their previous one. Like a dog-pile of snaps so to speak. 

Oh, you found your favorite toy? Better let everyone know. Wow, you’ve been blessed with the ability to go tan yourself on the back porch? Brag about it. Are you telling me that an actual human walked into the room just to see you? Everyone must know immediately. Are the squirrels back? Rally the troops for an attack. Did someone say ‘walk’? Make all your friends jealous. Is that a human food in your bowl? Well, life doesn’t get any better and you should tell the whole world. The humans are ignoring you? Make them feel the guilt of your sadness. You’re exhausted after a long day of nothing? Send that snap to let people know you’re going MIA for a bit. 

As you can see, our dogs would be superusers. King Boos. My dog would hit the six figure point status in no time and probably be featured on the Explore page for being just absolutely adorable. Is that the secret to winning Snapchat? Feature our pups instead of ourselves? Interesting … there are a lot of advantages to this. You get to see more cute dogs. You don’t have to retake a picture 15 times so you don’t look like a river troll because dog. You don’t have to think of a clever caption because dog. You don’t have to worry about people not liking it because dog. You basically are guaranteed a response because dog. On the flip side, if you receive a dog, you don’t have to see another backdoor brag from someone. You also don’t have to awkwardly watch a video on silent and act like you wanted to listen. All of the wins.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!


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STAGES OF LIFE: AS TOLD THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA

Social media is everywhere. On our phones, on our computers, on our watches, on our TVs, in our cars, in the office, on every website, on QR codes hanging from any and all surface areas, on voice activated home assistants, etc. And it comes in many different forms. There’s professional social media, flaunt social media, rant social media, unprofessional / expressive social media, discussion social media, evidence will last forever social media, and evidence only lasts as long as you specify social media. So many options, there’s a platform for everyone!

One of my new favorite hobbies is to ask strangers what their most used social media app is and try to guess their general age range. In my head, of course, because there are certainly outliers to this data set. Like with all good, non-research conducted, totally opinionated based on the researcher’s experiences, non-scientifically backed in any way studies. Also, that would be rude if I just blurted it out. Especially if it was wrong, or if they’re embarrassed, or if they don’t want everyone in Bed, Bath, and Beyond knowing their age.

For all of my introverted readers, you’re probably melting at the thought of participating in this hobby. That’s fine, it’s not for everyone. But, I have learned some interesting things that I can share with you. Without any need for social interaction on your part. Let’s examine some data I found / collected / assumed about the 9 most common social platforms that people use today (*NOTE: zero part of this has actually been researched and all information presented is my take on life):

TikTok

Pre-COVID: primarily used by Gen Z and hard-core judged by millennials and beyond

COVID: everyone has lost all shame, and concern for Chinese spies, and are now participating

Post-COVID: TBD, but this won’t be the first thing I throw out when we get through this mess

Snapchat

Concentrated in Gen Z and younger millennials. The point system is attractive to our senses of controlling our destiny on the leaderboard of life.

Instagram

Popularized by millennials, acquired by Gen Z, being slowly introduced into Gen Alpha, and containing some forward-thinking Baby Boomers, or people who want to keep up with their younger family members.

Pinterest

Mainly a female social media. Think Instagram meets LinkedIn meets your dreams. It’s an organizer’s online dream and can help you constantly see what you want, in a way that doesn’t involve back-door bragging.

Reddit

The most obscure of the generational breakdown. Reddit kind of appeals to anyone who likes to argue, or put their two cents into any conversation, anonymously. 

Twitter

Outside on Gen Z influencers, Twitter tends to be primarily centered on Baby Boomers and Millennials. Like a modern day newspaper where you can just express yourself, in 280 characters or less, with lots of judgement from all other Twitter users.

Facebook

As we start to phase out even millennials, we begin to question the longevity of this platform. Messenger brought forth a resurgence in “usage” among us young people, but is that really Facebook? No, it’s a chat application that uses your profile picture for convenience and probably data sharing reasons.

LinkedIn

Social is a stretch – professional media feels more appropriate. If you work and are college age and older, you better be on LinkedIn. It’s where you can show how qualified, or unqualified depending on your profile, you are to get paid. Be warned, though, this is not the place to post puppy pictures or talk about your love for Friends. Which is overrated and, like Harry Potter, had it’s time. 

Email

If you answer email as your favorite social app, you clearly are a dinosaur. Email is not a social platform. It is a professional way to communicate with internal and external clients in the workplace. Also to confirm your online shopping orders and track the shipment to know when you have to put pants on and open the door. There is no other use.

There you have it! The stages of life as told through social media. So if you’re crushing your TikTok and Insta game right now and think you’ll never in a million years stop caring about what all of your followers think about you, well, maybe think again. The evidence is quite clear. We will all end up on email forwarding chain mail to our friends and family at some point. 

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!


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HOW MANY CHARGING CABLES DOES IT TAKE TO BLOW A FUSE?

Technology is a wonderful thing – it brought you this blog after all. What else does it get you? Constant access to other people’s lives and with that comes strong feelings of jealousy, sadness, loneliness, dissatisfaction, etc. Does no one else find it ironic that some part of our day usually involves scrolling through a social feed looking at other people’s posts on how amazing their lives are. More accurately, how amazing they portray their lives to be. In other words, we spend our lives watching other people live theirs.

Here’s a thought: instead of watching other people live, why not put your phone down and actually do something. But do something because you want to, not because you think it will get you a ton of likes. What would happen if the grid went down right now? If the Internet went out and technology went dark. If you had to actually find the answer to a question without Alexa’s help. To be honest, that scares me more than it should. I’m hooked on my tech like everyone else and I have a lot of concerns:

  • How would I get to Chipotle without Google Maps?
  • How could I humblebrag to my friends that I went out (on a Tuesday, what?!) by posting to my Instagram?
  • If I was sad, where would I be able to find adorable puppy GIFs?
  • How would my paycheck get into my bank account?
  • If I was bored, what would I do without the YouTube video blackhole?
  • How would I know when that hot new album had been added to my music library so I could listen on repeat for weeks?
  • How could I watch sports? Would I have to actually go out and play them?
  • Most importantly, though, how would I validate my self-worth by the number of followers I have?

As a millenial, I really have zero idea what the world was like before technology. My only memory of there potentially being a time without Google, was December 31, 1999 when everyone and their mom thought the world wide web was going to destroy the universe once 2000 officially came around. Funny thing about that though, is it was 20 years ago and here we are still plugging along. Literally plugging along. I don’t remember the last time I went through an entire day without charging, or plugging in, SOMETHING. Because everything needs to be charged now-a-days: your phone, your computer, your watch, your toothbrush, your headphones, your speaker, your scooter, your car, your all-knowing home assistant, your blender, your clock, your TV, your portable battery, your camera, etc.

I feel like my power outlets are getting kind of pissed at me and are going to go on strike. Have you ever had several things (ok, a LOT of things) plugged in at once and your meter is all like NOPE! I DON’T HAVE TO TAKE THIS! So it blows a fuse and you’re all dazed and confused because your phone is at 2% and if it dies, you too might die. If you haven’t experienced that panic, let me just tell you that it is not fun. In fact, it’s the opposite of fun. It’s downright horrible. I, for one, don’t have a clue how to do anything if my phone is dead. Almost as if it’s my electromagnet helping me maintain the image that I’m an adult and clearly have some semblance of my ish together. But when it’s dead, all of a sudden I lose all common sense and forget how to navigate my own home. My IQ immediately drops down to zero and I become a child.

If I get hungry: what even is food? Where do I find it?

If I get cold: guess I’ll just curl into a ball and shiver until someone covers me with a blanket or brings me a jacket.

If I have a question: well, I guess I’ll never know the answer.

If I have to drive somewhere: do I need to go left or right? Left or right? Left…or…right? TOO MANY OPTIONS WHAT IF I CHOOSE WRONG!

My point is, technology does amazing things, but there has to be a balance. Go out and live your life! Figure out how to read a map, or at least memorize the drive to that banging pizza joint. Get a coloring book – it’s pretty much the only thing you can do when the power goes out. And of course, buy a portable charger because you never know when you might need it! 

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who is a bit addicted to their technology, don’t pass this along – encourage them to get offline for once. Thanks for reading!


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YOU’RE BEING SPIED ON ANYWAY – JUST EMBRACE TECHNOLOGY

There’s an app for everything now. Want to learn a new language? There’s an app for that. Need someone to walk your dog? There’s an app for that. Looking for (incorrect) weather information (more on my thoughts about weather forecasts in THIS POST)? There’s definitely an app for that. Want a virtual shave? Yes, there’s an app for that. Wonder what it’s like to count a million dollars? You bet there’s an app for that. Have you always wanted to milk a cow? Well, you’re in luck, because there’s even an app for that!

Apps, apps, apps – Oprah would be in heaven. If you think about the apps on your phone, tablet, watch, computer, etc. right now most of them are probably a bit more productive than the cow milking one (maybe not though, I don’t know you). You probably have a navigation app, a weather app, some “work” apps to keep track of your calendar, expenses, documents, emails, and other adult nonsense, a social media app (or two, or three, or twelve … I talk about the social media cycle HERE), a “live-your-best-life” app, an app with no purpose other than to waste time, a game app, and maybe a travel app or a sports app. Sound about right? Of course it does! I’m a millennial after all – that basically makes me an app guru.

Which, for the record, being a millennial does not mean that I can troubleshoot your technological problems for you. I didn’t create or build these apps. If I did, I wouldn’t still be working my 8-8 that’s for freaking sure – I’d be living off of all the ad revenue from addicted users like yourself. So please stop asking me how to fix it. Those apps have a customer support team for a reason…ask them, it’s literally their job to help you. Someone PAYS them to help you. No one is paying me to help you.

Ironically, usually the app isn’t working correctly because you thought you could maintain some semblance of privacy in your life and decided not to let the app access your location, or your microphone, or your camera, etc. Funny thing about apps though, in my experience, they only ask to access things that are required for them to work properly. Oh, you need directions somewhere? Well it’s hard to give someone directions without knowing where they are starting from. So you want to go hands-free? Kind of hard for the phone to hear you if it can’t listen through your microphone. Are you in a foreign country and need to translate a sign? This app would do that if only it could see the sign through your camera.

Are you following me? Are you picking up what I’m putting down? Are you riding my wave? Catching my drift? Snacking what I’m packing (wow the phrases that come out of a Google Search are fantastic)? Do you really think that telling an app it can’t use your location means you’ve gone off the grid and no one can see your location EVER?! I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you are sadly mistaken. Your technology is tracking your location, listening to everything you say, and (if it has a camera) it’s also watching you. Just not through the apps, but through the actual device. So all of your careful preparation to not allow your apps to work properly is really just a waste of time. You’ve only made your life more difficult. 

Embrace the technology! If it’s spying on you anyways, you might as well let it control the temperature in your house, automatically dim the lights, handle your grocery shopping, find a dog sitter, set a sleep schedule so you get the maximum REM cycles and feel amazing in the morning, etc. Otherwise it’s like buying a Tesla and deciding to always drive it manually…just a waste of potential and money.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who is avoiding the full realm of possibilities with technology, share this post, freak them out, and get them to finally embrace all the available app power. Thanks for reading!


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EXTREME QUARANTINE: GLASS HALF FULL OF EMERGEN-C AND A SUNNY ATTITUDE

Life is uncertain right now. Probably the most uncertain it’s been in a very long time. How long is this going to last? How long will I not be able to leave my home? How long until I can travel again? Go to work again? Take the daily my-life-is-better-than-yours selfie again? Sit down in a restaurant again? Go to the gym again? Well…that is not a corona issue. More of a life choices issue.

Point being that no one really knows. We can guess. Guessing is great on tests, but not so great on life-threatening diseases. In no way am I trying to belittle what’s going on. It’s very serious and I do think that it’s important everyone come together and do their part to help knock this out and move on. I’m merely here to give you great suggestions on how to fill this blessing of free time that has been given to you by nature. Some people don’t like free time – if you feel blessing is not the correct noun here, then you would fall into this category. 

Personally, I’m not a huge fan, but it would be a shame to spend the next month (hopefully that’s it?) in fear and complaining about not being able to get away from your family / roommates / evil cat / etc. That is a recipe for broken relationships. So, to avoid the “I used to know that person, but now they’re dead to me” feeling, you have to be prepared. Specifically you need enough activities to keep everyone happily occupied for the duration of the quarantine period.

Get All of the Streaming Services

One is not enough. Two is not enough. Three is probably not enough. Give yourself plenty of options because everyone has different content. You can only watch so much Baby Yoda before you need some disturbing Locke & Key up in your life. Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Disney +, HBO GO, ESPN +, etc. This is not the place to decide that your monthly spending needs a makeover. This also isn’t specific to the Corona quarantine…it’s just helpful to have for all those lazy weekends and “sick” days.

Deep Clean Your Home

LOL, I could barely write that without laughing – do something that makes you happy! If that happens to be cleaning, well how much do you charge because I, for one, do NOT like to spend my time cleaning.

Have Plenty of Food

Specifically limes, because limes make Corona better. When you start feeling that cough come on, grab your bottle of tequila, cut up a lime, and find some salt. You’ll be good as new in no time. Even if physically you’re not, mentally you’ll be feeling great. Stock your pantry with non-perishables and your freezer with everything that can be frozen (which is a surprising amount of things). Milk and fresh veggies will be great for a few days, but 30+ days is a long time so buy things that last…like chocolate.

Download Every Single Delivery App

You may not be able to leave your place of residence, but that doesn’t mean you can’t open your door. Besides, the apps are free to download so why not have UberEats, Grubhub, Postmates, Amazon, DoorDash, and any others you like ready in case of emergency. Someone will be delivering for when you inevitably run out of food (because, honestly, who knows how to grocery shop for a multi-week supply?!).

Loungewear FTW

If you’re not going anywhere, you don’t have anyone to impress. So get those sweats, hoodies, and any other oversized clothing you have washed up and ready to go. Comfort is the key to survival.

Find a New Hobby

There’s no better time to finally learn guitar, or to become a foodie, or a TikTok star, or a professional Fortnite player, etc. then when you literally can’t leave your home. Plus, there are no haters to crush your spirit. Unless you tell people, in which case, proceed at your own risk.

Order Your Summer Suit

The weather is usually on some wacky cycle, but this year is taking the cake. It’s only the beginning of March, but it’s basically summer – at least in the South. With summer comes bikini season and it’s never too early to start on the base tan. Order your summer suit so you can lounge on the porch / patio / balcony / deck … whatever you have to soak up all the rays that will be on display the next few weeks. On second thought, no one is outside anyways, underwear will work just fine. It’s also a great way to avoid people that are getting on your nerves and to remember what the freedom of the outdoors feels like.

Live Stream for Social Closeness

Obviously, our lives are the epitome of fascinating right now. So it’s only proper to share every single thing you are doing with your family, friends, co-workers, acquaintances, follow back peeps, etc. through a live stream. Stream yourself cooking, eating, playing with the dog, getting married, having a party (by yourself because the six foot rule is very real), doing karaoke, working out – literally anything! Well, except for tanning because that might be NSFW. Options are endless.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who has been affected by the coronavirus, send them your love and hope for a full recovery. For everyone else, be prepared like a Boy Scout about to go on a camping trip … but an indefinite one. Thanks for reading!


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