Instagram's Latest Update Will Force You To Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself

It's like a best friend saying "hey, how about you *don't* post that?"

Cyberbullying is one of those wicked problems which have baffled legislators, parents and people who know nothing about the internet but have opinions they like to express regardless.

How can we restrict bullying while not accidentally blocking legitimate speech? How can an algorithm tell a joke from a threat? Is it better just to burn down the internet and return to the sea? No-one seems to know, beyond that Something Simply Must Be Done.

And now Instagram – aka The Legacy Social Media Platform Young People Actually Still Use – are taking active steps to make things less fraught in a move which deserves widespread and sustained applause: one using A1, and one in the hands of users.

First up, there will shortly be a new option: restrict.

It’s a softer alternative for young people who are worried that blocking, unfriending or reporting bullies is a great way to make things escalate IRL.

Messages from restricted people will be moved to Message Requests, meaning that people can more easily ignore them, and they don’t see whether you have read their message or interacted with their post, or be alerted when you’re on the platform. Also, you’ll be able to delete comments and messages without having to read them.

And that’s great, but there’s also the A1 powered Comment Warning, which gives people a chance to reflect on whether the thing they’re about to post is actually worth posting – and hopefully you haven’t attempted a flamewar yet because it’s already been rolled out.

These are small changes with potentially huge positive effects, and seems like something Facebook (who own Insta) should be adding to their platform asap.

Twitter, obviously, doesn’t need it since it’s already a textbook example of genteel good manners.

Twitter, today.

Making Friends As An Adult Is A Goddamn Ordeal

Frankly, it's easier just to embrace a future as a ranting curmudgeon.

When I was a younger, thinner, less beardy man making friends just sort of… happened.

I played in bands, and when I wasn’t playing in bands I was watching bands or writing about bands, and thus would keep running into the same interesting-looking people in the local scene. Eventually one of us would buy the other a drink and thus would a lifelong bond be forged.

I moved back to my old hometown about a year ago after more than a decade away. And I did so with a family in tow, a job I did mainly remotely, and a new bub on the way. And thus it wasn’t until relatively recently that my wife and I realised that oh, we don’t really have a crew anymore.

All of which made us wonder: how the hell do adults make friends?

Naturally I turned to the internets for answers and the good news is that there is no shortage of advice.

Meet parents of your kids’ friends! Join a sports club! Hang with workmates! Join a community group! Church! Rotary! Dating apps (although my unattached GOAT colleagues would like to make clear that they do not appreciate people clogging their matches and I feel honourbound to respect their views)!

Find things on! Take improv classes! Book clubs! Volunteering! Get a dog! Online groups! Say, have I heard of The Facebook?

And these are all great suggestions, absolutely. But when you’re a parent whose social time is unpredictable and limited, and who also can’t let Sweet Lady Booze be the wind beneath their otherwise flimsy social wings, all those options for making new friends just sound like a goddamn ordeal.

To be fair, when you have small, adorable children then everything is already exhausting and complicated. Going to the supermarket. Putting washing out. Trying to leave the house for a dental appointment. Sleep. Everything. Joining a book club? That sounds like a fantasy when having seven uninterrupted minutes on the toilet falls into the “distinctly aspirational” category at this point.

And look, I have zero regrets about the move and the parenting. Sure, having pals around would be nice – but feels ambitious, at least right now.

But in another 15-20 years, I’m sure I’ll be able to find a window. Hit me up then.

How To Deal When Your Political Side Loses And No It's Not Attacking People On The Socials

Hot tip: oh god, stay off Twitter.

So let’s just say that there’s been a large scale national vote of some kind, and the result is not what you expected or wanted. And you’re feeling sad and angry and terrified.

Here’s a really bad thing to do: go onto social media and, say, blame Queensland. Or old people. Or the less educated. Or respond to people smugly telling you that it’s your fault for living in a lefty bubble and that if you don’t like it you should move to New Zealand.

But what do you do instead? Glad you asked! Here’s some tips:

1. Do not go on Twitter.

2. Feel your feelings. Just feel the hell out of them. Look, they’re going to demand to be felt anyway so you may as well stop trying to outrun them.

3. Go for a walk. Somewhere nice in nature. Breathe in and get some of that ozone in your lungs. Maybe this time be a little mindful of avoiding walks near enticing cliffs and deep-water pools. Somewhere flat and landlocked, ideally.

4. Do not go on Twitter.

5. Friends are good. Express your feels to your similarly suffering buds. Then once those feels are expressed, be a bit quiet about them because your friends are not your mum and don’t have to put up with your complaints beyond a certain threshold. Speaking of which, Mum doesn’t want to hear you sob about how the terrible the future looks for the ABC either.

And speaking of friends…

6. Change your default privacy setting on Facebook to Friends Only. And also log out of there. There is nothing that will make you feel better. Honest to god, there is nothing there. NOTHING.

7. Also, do not go on Twitter.

8. Do not post on Instagram, and if you do have to spend time there do not look at anything that isn’t a picture of a cat. If that cat looks even slightly political, log out.

9. What do you have more of, time or money? Put some of it to something that will make a difference in whatever small way – donate to the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre or join a political party or sign onto volunteering with the Climate Council or something similar. The macro stuff is out of your hands for the time being, so focus down on the achievable.

10. Oh hell, seriously, do NOT go on Twitter.

11. Be patient. In a few weeks time clear eyes and cool heads will look at what happened and have some answers which are not going to appear now, when everyone is either devastated and lashing out or provocatively smug and lashing out. You can make plans and action then.

12. Focus on something else for a bit. Say, that Game of Thrones show sounds popular, maybe you should watch tha… oh, really? What happened? Ah. OK, bad example.

13. Be nice to yourself. You’ve taken a beating. You’re going to need to heal for a bit. Or hell, take the rest of the week!

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