1. (Facebook mobile upload of a couple in a loving embrace)
Translation: Hi. I have a significant other and you probably don’t. Have fun dying alone. Bye!!
2. (Twitter update claiming that the user is “so sick of you-know-who and just wants to be done with it all…”)
Translation: I am mad at a friend, but because I lack the courage to say it to their face, I am going to post a thinly-viled dig at them on a public forum and then pray that someone asks me about it so I can launch into a lengthy tirade about them behind their back and then hope they don’t find out.
3. (Text reading “Sorry, I just saw your text from earlier! I am SO bad at texting!!”)
Translation: I read your message seconds after I received it and chose not to reply. Now I am going to call myself “bad at texting” to passive-aggressively insinuate that I am the busiest and most important person in the world, and also that I have an appealingly carefree and blasé attitude about life.
4. (Facebook status stating that the user is “so over the drama” and “doesn’t want anyone to ask them about it”)
Translation: I want you to ask me about my drama.
5. (Instagram shot of a tropical beach in a pastel-hued filter with a pair of smooth, tanned legs in the foreground)
Translation: Because my life is better than yours in every way, I am going to display my superiority by posting a shot of a tropical beach from my fancy vacation and hope that you, as a sad miserable peasant, despair over this photo while sitting at your pathetic desk job and hating your boring life. I have disposable income and you don’t!
6. (Facebook photo of a positive pregnancy test, along with the caption “WE’RE EXPECTING!!!!”)
Translation: In six months my self-absorbed lifestyle will be ruined by the arrival of a pooping, wriggling, shrieking infant that will demand all of my attention for the next eighteen years, and I am pissed. Until that happens, however, I am going to squeeze every last drop of attention from this situation that I can by making everything all about me and my pregnancy at all times until my baby arrives and steals my limelight forever.
7. (Facebook profile picture of the user posing in little-to-no-clothing along with the caption “Why am I so ugly☹”)
Translation: I have low self-esteem and I am going to attempt to remedy this in an embarrassing and ill-advised way by shamelessly begging random strangers for compliments.
8. (Facebook photo of a treadmill computer screen displaying the stats of a recent workout, complete with a sweaty rag in the background)
Translation: I am healthier, more motivated, harder working, and generally better than you in every conceivable way, and I want you to look at this treadmill monitor and see the proof. Oh, and by the way: I probably have a better body than you, too. Just saying!
9. (Facebook post of an indie song from Spotify)
Translation: Here’s a random song by this emo band with a dumb name that I just heard in an Apple commercial ten minutes ago. Even though I have never actually listened to it, I am going to claim that it is favorite song of all time in an attempt to hint that my music taste is better than yours and that I am therefore above you.
10. (Facebook status reading “Omg I HATE getting hit on so much when I go to the supermarket, it’s soooo annoying ☹”)
Translation: I have not been getting hit on enough recently, and this post is a desperate and unintentionally-obvious hint that I want the general public to boost my self-esteem by hitting on me more often.
11. (Facebook photo album filled with drunken party shots)
Translation: I am blessed with dozens of friends who invite me places nearly constantly. My social life is far more active than yours, and I am going to let you know about it as often as possible!
12. (Instagram photo of a bouquet of roses, along with the caption “Thanks, Secret Admirer!”)
Translation: Because I am crushingly single, I just sent myself flowers in order to insinuate that I am incredibly sought-after and to hint that people should pursue me before I get snapped up by one of my dozens of potential suitors.
13. (Facebook status complaining about being busy)
Translation: Watch as I strongly hint that I am busier than you by compiling an unnecessarily elaborate list of the menial errands and odd jobs I spent my day carrying out. I am the busiest busybody that ever busied, and you are not!
14. (Facebook mobile upload of a photo of a sonogram)
Translation: Have I made it abundantly clear that I am pregnant yet? Oh, I have? That’s nice. Now please pay attention as I post a 3D image of an object that looks like a collection of small blobs of dough glued together with grey porridge, and then suspend reality for the next few moments while I make the dubious claims that this alien-looking object has my father’s eyes and my boyfriend’s big toe.
15. (Instagram shot of a girl in a dressing room wearing a flattering dress, along with a caption stating that she does not think she looks good in the dress and wants to know if she should buy it)
Translation: I think I look good in this dress and I want everyone to see me in it.
16. (Locker room selfie posted on Instagram)
Translation: In an effort to attract a member of the opposite sex, I am going to display my complete lack of self-awareness by posting a photo I took of myself standing in my gym’s locker room in as little clothing as possible while surrounded by half-naked strangers. Twenty years ago the act of taking a photo in a public locker room would only ever have been performed by crime scene investigators and sex offenders, but in 2013 it’s just called a selfie, so just shut up and let me have my moment.
17. (Facebook Timeline update stating that the user just got engaged)
Translation: Get ready, because I am about to hijack Facebook for the next six months and post every imaginable detail about my impending nuptials in a concerted effort to make everything all about me at all times. What’s that? You don’t care about my newest napkin-choosing expedition or my latest spat with my wedding planner? Sit back and relax as I tell you about it anyway. My wedding is all about me having my big day, not about the precious and sacred union of two people who plan on spending the rest of their lives together, so indulge me as I enjoy my last moments to shine before I have to shackle myself to a lifetime of quiet desperation in suburbia.