Instagram Etiquette For Teens

Hey, we have an Instagram too, did you know?

Hey, we have an Instagram too, did you know?

You guys, I know this is an old person thing to say, but I am REALLY glad that I don’t have to be a teenager right now. I was listening to This American Life episode “Status Update” and Ira had on a pair of teenage girls to talk about Instagram and the crazy rules about it that govern their ENTIRE LIVES. Basically they HAVE to like and comment on every single post any of their friends makes:

Ella: It’s definitely a social obligation, because you want to let them know, and also let people who are seeing those, that I have a close relationship with this person, so close that I can comment on their pictures, like, this is so cute, or, you look so great here…

And

Jane: Especially because we, like, just started high school, so we’re meeting a lot of new people. So you would comment on someone’s photo who you’re not really super close with or that you don’t know really well. And it’s sort of a statement, like, I want to be friends with you, or I want to get to know you, or like, I think you’re cool.

If someone that you don’t know very well commented on your photo, you– it’s sort of like an unspoken agreement that you have to comment back on their photo. Like when you’re making new friends, if they comment on your photo, you comment on their photo.

But the really nice thing about it is that they only comment nice things:

Jane

So I have gorgeous, pretty.

Ella

You’re so pretty, OMG.

Jane

So pretty.

Ella

This is so pretty, OMG.

Jane

Heart eyes. So pretty. Heart eyes. Gorgeous. Gorge.

Ella

You’re so pretty, bye.

Jane

Cutest.

I guess if you have to spend 24 hours of your day responding to and liking pictures on Instagram, at least you are getting a lot of positive affirmation and love?

It’s a great episode all together, check it out.

The Good Guy Discount

These days, the “Good Guy Discount” has been getting a lot of press. Basically it entails asking for a discount for no other reason than “I’m a good guy, you’re a good guy, so maybe you could give me a discount.” Barf.

Recently, This American Life talked about this good guy discount, and I loved that it didn’t go in the direction I had expected. They sent out a reporter to three different stores where he asked for the good guy discount. He was actually successful in once instance, but ultimately felt that it was “smarmy” and like saying “the thing I’m going to do as a good guy is ask you to do me a favor and cost yourself money, that’s what a good guy I am.”

This has been the problem I have had since the first time I heard about the “Good Guy Discount.” Only a person who is not a good guy asks for a discount for no reason. It’s super pressurey and puts the sales person on the spot when they are already in a position where they don’t have much power. And it is always bad etiquette to make someone feel uncomfortable unnecessarily.

The best way to get a discount is to a) have a good reason (some kind of damage, paying in cash (but only in the type of situation where it is strongly more desirable to get cash), or just genuinely being a good guy. I have most often been given discounts when I didn’t ask for them, and I guess seemed really excited about what I was buying (also sometimes it helps to walk away and think about it and come back). But also, this has MOSTLY happened to me at antiques/vintage clothes fairs where there is expected to be some degree of haggling and you are dealing directly with the owner and they have high incentive to sell as much as possible.