5 Things You’re Doing on the Internet That Might Get You Killed

Sometimes I think it’s my mission in life to make sure that everyone is both adequately worried about all the things that could go wrong in their life and how to avoid it. I’m a living and breathing Worst Case Scenario book. I have lots of little-known facts floating around in my head (did you know, if you have a one-night stand you are less likely to be murdered if you go to the other person’s house because, I guess, who wants blood on their carpet?), as well as really obvious ones that I think people tend to overlook (when was the last time you got your moles checked by a dermatologist? You know you should be doing that at least once a year, right? Melanoma is deadly but detectable!).

One obvious thing I think everyone really overlooks is what a death trap the internet can be. Luckily, I’m here to remind you.

Duh:

Craigslist_Killer_Kill18001f8e-2cb6-4f3a-9d43-26e50ba538940000_20100815224922_320_240

Craigslist- Do you remember that there have been people actually murdered because of Craigslist? I believe he was called “The Craiglist Killer,” correct? Why would you trust a site that lends itself so beautifully to alliterative nicknames for murderers? That $40 coffee table isn’t worth you ending up in someone’s industrial sized freezer. Once you reach 0 degrees Celsius, that thing is going to end up right back in some Cannibal Cop’s living room. Like, he’s going to eat you ON that coffee table you needed so bad.

match
Dating Sites- Lonely, vulnerable men and women, all in one place. Just type in criteria: women, blonde, petite, vegan/yoga enthusiast (if you want a lean meat). Basically, it’s like online shopping for serial killer Cannibal Cops.

Plus, they know all of your interests.

“Wait, you love The Gin Blossoms? I love the Gin Blossoms! Wanna go to your place so I can kill you -ERRRR, I MEAN- kiss you?”

foursquare

Foursquare- In my opinion, this is just about the dumbest thing you can do on the internet. Hey, stalkerz! Here’s where I’ll be all night! Oh, you’ve never heard of Soho House? Here’s a map for your convenience!

Google

Googling- This is a more indirect way to get yourself killed, but just be wary of what you type into Google. Let’s say someone in your life ends up dead, maybe a spouse, in which case you are suspect numero uno, and the police confiscate your laptop. Even if it’s just a coincidence that you searched “how to kill someone with an air embolism,” that might be all the prosecution needs to send you to the death chamber. For this blog post, I googled “how to slowly poison someone,” so I just better hope that no one I’m close to dies of an accidental coffee poisoning.

Oh, hey, why don't you LIKE my page on Facebook?

Oh, hey, why don’t you click here and LIKE my page on Facebook?

Facebooking on Vacation- This is a great way to let people know that there is no one at your house, and with a simple brick through the window your home becomes a Best Buy and Kay Jewelers for the neighborhood vagrants. Your Pandora Bracelets are as good as gone! And, oh! Thanks to a little food poisoning, it looks like you’ll be ending your weekend trip a day early. Yikes, your front door is ajar, better investigate! Bang! Bang! Bang! The neighborhood vagrants weren’t expecting you because your Facebook said you’d be “sippin’ margz in Malibu til Monday morning #sorrynotsorry,” but it’s only Sunday afternoon! And, you’re dead.

Did this help?

10 Signs You Might Be in Your 20’s

Clueless

  1. You idealize the 90’s. It’s probably pretty similar to the way your parents talk about The Beatles and Free Love, except we seem pretty fixated on Pogs and Clueless. Maybe not as influential on the world in the grand scheme, but who doesn’t love a slap bracelet?socalledlife_3981
  2. You think having a quarter life crisis is a real thing. Only 80’s/90’s babies would find a way to extend the teen angst period.
  3. This week you have tweeted just as passionately about gun violence as you have about Instagram’s terms of use agreementScreen shot 2012-12-21 at 3.59.44 PM
  4. Then you forgot about both of those things a day later and just started tweeting Mean Girls/apocalypse crossover jokes. (I’m just saying we could stand to work on our priorities and attention spans. Use your bogus Adderall prescription to make a positive contribution to the world).
  5. You have a bogus Adderall prescription. slide_235654_1161467_free
  6. You need to calm down about Ryan Gosling.
  7. And cats.
  8. And Ron Swanson.
  9. You can barely pay rent but you somehow find the money for organic shampoo.
  10. You’ve written a list essay or shared a list essay about having a quarter life crisis or how great the 90’s were.

This list is not meant to belittle anyone in their 20’s, as I am a 24 year-old who has seriously considered self-publishing a book of essays called #MyPostGradLife about my quarter life crisis.

5 Things You’re Too Old for Now

I’m nearly 24 years old now, and though that apparently makes me an adult in the eyes of everyone but the rental car industry, I sometimes forget that I’m not a teenager anymore. It happens every so often, like when my ID gets the once over at the liquor store, and I have to remind myself that it was legally issued to me by the government, not for $60 by a BU sophomore THAT NEVER EVEN WORKED FOR ME ONCE!

Drinking openly at brunch is certainly a perk of adulthood, but there are a few things I took for granted when I was a kid that now I’m just too old for, like:

  1. I’ll never be a child prodigy. If someone discovered me to be outrageously talented at something Oprah wouldn’t even care; as an adult you’re just supposed to be talented by now. No one is making collectible dolls out of Susan Boyle, meanwhile little Jackie Evancho Barbies sit lonely on Toys ‘R Us shelves at Christmas. Maybe Ellen Degeneres will care if I’m a 24 year old speed rapper, but it’s not the same.

    This looks like a fun romp. Hey, Godfrey!

  2. Being unemployed is no longer acceptable. Suddenly everyone is an amateur sleuth asking a million questions about what you do for work. It’s a bad economy- just leave it alone, okay! I miss the days when I could pass off huge gaps in my resume as a time when “school was my full time job.” I did eat tapas on dollar nights at Masa like it was my job, but I don’t think I ever spent 40 hours a week on homework. Those were romantic times.

    This could have been me!!!

  3. The ship has sailed for me and Teen Mom. Not that I wanted to be on Teen Mom, but I like keeping my options open. Now I have to wait another 15 years until I’m age appropriate enough to pursue my “Wife” fallback career, be it House, Army, or Mob. Not a girl, not yet a woman. 
  4. I’ll never be shipped off to my distant aunt’s house to tame my wild ways only to unexpectedly have the best summer of my life when the dreamy 17 year old orphaned ranch hand and an unruly horse named Thunder teach me how to love again after tearing down the walls I built up during my secret struggle with illiteracy (BIG BREATH). Turns out, I didn’t mean to wander on to the old, neighborhood curmudgeon’s private property, I just couldn’t read the “no trespassing sign.” Ahhh, what could have been.
  5. Getting up early on Saturday’s to watch TV is now out of the question. There are times when I think that if the fire alarm went off in my house, I’d need a second to decide if it was really worth getting out of bed. The idea of something like Saved By the Bell having the power to get me up before 8am on a Saturday is so bizarre that I can’t believe at one time in my life I was that excited about anything, let alone Mario Lopez.

I hope this was uplifting.

The 11 Girlfriends You Probably Have

A woman who only has guy friends and claims to “not like” other women, is a woman to be pitied. If you hear a poor lost lamb out in the wild spouting off phrases like “I only hang out with guys because they’re so much nicer than girls!” take her home and wrap her up in a blanket with a hot cup of Oprah Chi. Calmly explain that yes, guys are nicer than girls. People are very, very nice when they are trying to have sex with you. Now put on a USA Network SVU marathon and don’t shut it off until you’re friends.

Once you cross her over to the Land of Lady Empowerment– a place paved with the shards of broken glass ceilings (just pour polyurethane over it. I saw it on Pinterest!)– she will begin to notice that there are all different types of girl friends she can have that will bring something unique and special into her life.

She’s Always Single and Always Attached

Kristen Wiig as… Always Attached

For a friend to qualify for either of these positions, their relationship status must be more than simply checking a box on her Facebook profile. It’s a lifestyle.

The Negative: You are always either consoling or giving out advice about the significant other in question, or constantly having to partake in sympathetic man-bashing. Always Attached hardly goes out with you anymore, while behind Always Single’s bra clasp there is a hidden string you can pull that makes her repeat, “I’M SO MAKING OUT WITH SOMEONE TONIGHT” over and over.

The Positive: Someday, when you finally find a lover of your own, Always Attached won’t give you grief when you start cancelling your bi-monthly brunch date to lie pantless in bed with your SO until 2pm because somewhere she is lying bed pantless hoping you’ll cancel. When your relationship finally ends, Always Single will scoop you up, brush you off and push you into the arms of a nameless stranger who you’ll make out with until you decide that your time is better spent at home cry-singing Katy Perry’s “Thinking of You.”

Small Doses and Unhealthy Attachment/Borderline Lover

Penelope is probably a Small Doses friend

“Like, honestly, she is such a great person. She really would do anything for her friends,” you tell your mother. Suddenly, you lean in and lower your voice so Jesus can’t hear. “But, every time I see her she just talks about her boyfriend and doesn’t ask me a single question about what I’m doing. Then she makes us split the check even though I didn’t even want those appetizers and she knows she has way more money than me!”

Your mother nods knowingly and simply says, “Small Doses.”

You and Borderline Lover met 5 months ago, and suddenly you look around and realize you hardly spend time with anyone but her. Someone started throwing around the phrase “best friend” very early on and your courtship was quick and passionate. The two of you are very annoying when you’re together.

The Negative: Small Doses is irritating, but she was probably once your Borderline Lover. Too much time was spent with one another and that summer traveling through Europe together was very ill-advised.

The Positive: When you only spend a little time with Small Doses, you have such a great time together reminiscing, which reminds you why she was ever Borderline Lover in the first place. Then you start spending too much time together and you remember why she became Small Doses.

Crazy vs. Therapist

Maybe Crazy isn’t really crazy– she just loves attention, even though it’s negative, which I guess isn’t too sane either. Therapist loves giving out advice and fancies herself to be very sane. She definitely owns both a book and DVD copy of The Secret. 

The Negative: Therapist might not be great at advice giving, but you have to sit there and listen to her quote The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. With Crazy, you have to suffer the embarrassment of being a party to any of her attention seeking behavior, like when she waits to take her birth control until she sits down at the restaurant where she’s meeting your boyfriend for the first time.

The Positive: Maybe you’re lucky and Therapist is actually good at giving advice. If not, I  guess she has some other good quality.

Crazy is fun to go out with and has all the good pills!

Partier vs. Responsible

Drunk Cinderella is a Partier

Partier is always out and her mother land is Vegas. Responsible likes to take care of everyone whether you like it or not.

The Negative: Don’t be surprised when Partier leaves you at the club without warning. Responsible will never leave you at the club, but she might not let you leave the club because there will not be a Natalie Holloway situation on her watch (if you are into leaving clubs with strange men. Not me! MOM, DON’T FREAK OUT).

The Positive: So she left you at the club, but did you have to pay to get in? Exactly. Because Partier always knows the bouncer. Just… always have cab money on you when you’re together. Maybe just bring Responsible with you because she always has cab money and is lucid enough to tell the driver where you live.

Hottie, or Too Much Self-Esteem vs. No Self-Esteem

Rebecca LaRue, Flirting Expert. A Hottie.

Hottie isn’t just hot, she measures her self-esteem in free drinks. It’s fine that she knows she’s hot, but she wants you to know that guys find her hot, too. No Self-Esteem is pretty self-explanatory, but sometimes Hottie is really a secret No Self-Esteem.

The Negative: No Self-Esteem is always complaining about something about herself, and you are constantly giving her pep talks like it’s the last 30 seconds of a high school football game in an after school special.

Hottie might try to work her boobie magic on the guy you like in a bar even if you already telepathically called dibs on him.

The Positive: Just ride Hottie’s coattails, and oh, the places you’ll go.  Remember, the wing-woman gets free drinks too, and you get to hang out with some guy’s wing-man. The wing-man, like the former fat guys, are always nicer and are an untapped gold mine.

There’s no positive for No Self-Esteem. Keep those pep talks coming– it’s not all about YOU.

And Number 11….

The Friend you don’t know why you’re friends with. Seriously, why are you friends with her? She’s awful, just phase her out or something. Right now, you are Britney, and she is TOXIC.

5 Ways to Spend Valentine’s Day

First off, let me just say to those of you with significant others: You have enough resources to figure out what to do on Valentine’s Day. Unless you’re just looking for a nice, cheeky afternoon read, I suggest you go elsewhere because I have nothing for you.

Now to everyone else, here are some ways you can spend Valentine’s Day:

 1. Ladies/Gentlemen’s Night Out.

I think at some point everyone has to try the segregated female/male night out bit, but you might find that it’s not as empowering as one might imagine. If you’re going out in the hopes that you’re going to go to some gay club with your girlfriends and dance along to “Single Ladies” ’til the pain goes away, I suggest you pursue a different plan. You have to go out with the right expectations: Don’t go into this thinking it’s going to be a great night of partying and fun. Don’t go into this thinking you are going to find the man/woman you’ll end up marrying. Do realize that any club or bar you go to is just going to be filled with particularly desperate single people preying on each other. Do realize that if you have any sort of positive expectations, the reality won’t measure up.

My best advice is to go to dinner with some friends, drink Cosmos, and decide which Sex and the City character you are. Then, be home at a decent hour and watch Bridget Jones’ Diary until you fall asleep. Enjoy the company of your friends, but don’t make it a big to-do.

2. Pretend it’s Just Another Day.

I think this is a great option, but you have to really commit, and there needs to be a little preparation on your part. First, at least a week before, (there’s still time if you start today) you have to come to terms with the fact that you will be spending the day alone. I can’t stress how important it is that you abandon all hope. If you hold on to any glimmer of possibility, you can’t ignore the holiday to the fullest extent. If you need someone to crush what little faith you’ve been holding on to, let me be that person:

There are 3.5 days until Valentine’s Day. Even if you met the man/woman of your dreams in the next 20 minutes (you won’t), nobody wants to have a first date on V-Day. Starting February 15th, you can begin your hunt for next time. It is not happening for you this year. 

When it comes to the actual day, don’t be that weirdo who wears black and psychotically pretends like the holiday doesn’t actually exist. More importantly, don’t be the person who walks around telling everyone that Valentine’s Day was created by Hallmark, this makes you bitter which defeats the whole purpose. You acknowledge that the holiday exists like a sane person, but it’s business as usual.

3. Give in to Depression.

I’ve been told numerous times that ‘depressed Dara’ is actually pretty amusing and funny. How do you keep your despair and loss of hope entertaining to others? Here are some tips:

  1. You can go a day or two without washing yourself.
  2. Wear a bathrobe. You’d be surprised how much it adds to the overall look.
  3. Walk around singing “nobody knows the trouble I’ve seeeeen.” There’s more to the song than that, but I like to just repeat that line over and over again. Here’s how it goes if you’re not familiar. The chorus of “Someone Like You” also works.
  4. Drink a bottle of wine and a block of cheese by yourself.
  5. Watch The Notebook and yell at the TV.

People will find this kind of sadness endearing. Just make sure you do not talk about your loneliness on Twitter, Facebook, etc. because then you look crazy and/or irritating- you could do all 5 of my depression tips at the same time and it wouldn’t matter. As long as you stay away from the computer, just enjoy reveling in your bottomless despair.

4. Go Out with Your Parents or Another Couple.

Don’t do this! Don’t do this at all! No matter how many times your roommate or relatives say, “Why don’t you just come out with us,” do not listen! All that will happen is the server will ask you if a 4th person will be coming. Then someone has to say ‘no.’ It isn’t pretty. This happened to me last year.

Look, I promised 5 ways to spend your Valentine’s Day. This is a way, but I don’t suggest actually doing it. In fact, consider this a warning. Someone might suggest this to you, and now you know not to do it.

5. Be Your Own Valentine!

It’s a holiday! Just because you’re single doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy it. Someone loves you, right? You love you, right? So TREAT YO’ SELF!

Eat an entire box of chocolates… 
                                             treat yo’ self. 

Watch 6 hours worth of “The Millionaire Matchmaker…”
                                             treat yo’ self.

Enjoy a soothing facial mask…
                                             treat yo’self.

So, remember, everyone: No matter what you do, enjoy the day because you could be dead this time next year! Happy Valentine’s Daaaay!

The 5 Red Flags of Facebook

Are you single and looking to jingle (have a date to future Christmas parties)? Well, then you might spend a lot of time on Facebook stalking potential partners. Obviously, the perks of living in a world where no one of your generation has any sense of privacy or personal safety (I know your last name, place of business, and birth date! This sounds like a great start to steal your identity! Foursquare? Awesome, I was thinking about murdering you tonight, and now I know just where to look!) is you never truly have to go on a blind date- you can always check out the goods beforehand.

Facebook might seem like it’s only useful to check out a potential mate’s appearance and favorite movies–and even then, a lot of people tend to put misleading information and pictures on their page to appear to be a better version of themselves. Though you can never be sure if the strangers/people you meet at a bar/distant acquaintances you stalk on Facebook are cool (ie not murderers or lame-o’s) there are some red flags you can look out for. Take it from me, a Facebook stalking/snap judgement expert.

The 5 Red Flags of Facebook (for Stalkers)

1. Nothing is listed for the “Interested In” category

This could mean: they are gay

Remember, this is just a red flag, not a deal breaker…but if they are gay, that’s probably a dealbreaker (I say ‘probably’ because depending on your age, maybe not. If you’re 50 and single, why not capitalize on the companionship and tax benefits that a last minute gay husband or wife might afford)? I’m just saying, that in my experience, many of the gay people I know left that blank while they were in the closet or while they were one foot out of the closet, but not like, out, out.

It might just mean: They’re straight and didn’t care enough to fill that out or didn’t think it was anyone’s business (HOW DARE THEY, THIS IS THE INTERNET,  EVERYTHING ABOUT YOU IS MY BUSINESS).

Proceed with: caution, but don’t count them out. You might not end up with a romantic date to your holiday office party, but you might end up with a nice fake date (or platonic spouse) so you can at least walk in with someone (like I did at my senior prom).

2. The only book they have listed is The Bible.

This could mean: they are stupid

The Bible is a fine choice for your DEAR time (Drop Everything And Read… anyone?), but only if in addition, you have read other books– of your own volition.. Cather in the Rye doesn’t count, I know they made you read that in high school. To someone without my keen eye, they may read “Bible” as a person’s only book choice and see a God-fearing man or woman, that might just be suitable to bring home to the parents after a lengthy courtship with monitored hand-holding sessions (shout out to TLC’s Virgin Diaries cast members!). I see someone who can’t even think of the last 3 books they read to throw up there like the rest of us do.

It might just mean: Uggggh, sorry, I’ve got nothing. My bets are on stupid.

Proceed with: Nothing. Do not proceed in the first place. I mean, unless you’re just looking for a hot dummy to show off for a while, by all means, go for it. But if you’re looking for any kind of legitimate relationship or DNA for your future child, I would say keep looking for someone who cares enough to at the very least, also list the Motley Crue biography and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Just, come on, anything.

Oh, oh! And P.S. If they list “Passion of the Christ” as a favorite movie, RED FLAG, RED FLAG! For totally different reasons, but still… unless you’re into that stuff, redddd flaggggg.

3. Half-Naked Profile Pictures

This could mean: They are full of themselves

This is a tough one to over look. I know those abs look nice, and you’ve got a hamper full of clothes that need washing (amiright, ladies?), but seriously, watch out: this person knows they look good. I think it is important to go through all of their profile pictures and see how many are shirtless or half-naked. If there’s more than one, this is bad news. People who know they’re really hot or think they’re really hot, are not the kind of people you want to date (for more explanation you can read: Unsolicited Dating Advice from Someone with No Qualifications). A healthy sense of self-esteem is great, but no one likes a narcissist (or more importantly a significant other that thinks they can do better than you).

It might just mean: They have low self-esteem and are over compensating. In which case, snatch them up- a hottie with low self-esteem is the Holy Grail!

Proceed with: no expectations. If you’re gonna go for it, know that a low-stakes relationship where you can show them off to ex’s is your smartest option.

4. They post pictures of themselves doing illegal activities 

This could mean: Oh man, so many things. A special kind of idiot is definitely high on the list, though.

Some red plastic cups (whether you’re underage or not) is one thing. You in neon clothes and daisies in your hair at a Disco Biscuits concert is one thing. You holding a blunt with smoke coming out of your mouth is ANOTHER thing. So, this is a red flag, but also a rant to all you idiots out there who have 100 pictures of you smoking weed on your Facebook. Look, do what you do on your own time, but… do you want a job some day? I saw on the news that there was a teacher who was FIRED because there was a picture of her holding a BEER in GERMANY at OKTOBERFEST. She was of age and experiencing Europe’s effervescent culture! If she got fired for that, then I’m sure your employer would love to see a picture of you with a 10 foot bong in your hand. I see this trend a LOT with young college girls, and I promise, you are going to wish you didn’t post all that stuff when I print it off, wait patiently for about 18-20 years, and then show it to your 15 year-old children. Bottom line: if they don’t have the sense to keep pictures of themselves doing illegal things off Facebook, RED FLAG.

It might just mean: They are misguided.

Proceed with: Restraint. Wait a few years to ask them out until they are GUIDED.

5. Overuse of quotes for their status

This could mean: They are overly emotional… ie… cah-ray-zyyyy. Also: annoying.

The great thing about quotes is that it gives a little insight into your subject’s psyche. If this girls’ wall is covered in The Notebook quotes, RED FLAG. Sure, I practically think in Taylor Swift lyrics, but am I going to put that kind of whiney stuff up on my wall for everyone to see? No. When it comes to girls, if they’re posting a lot of quotes about princess and unicorn love stories that they hope to one day experience, w-w-watch out. Now for guys, and this is just in my own experience, guys who have a lot of philosophical quotes, are usually an artist of some kind and overly emotional (for more information on the crazy artist see: The 5 Men Every Lady is Entitled to Date).

It might just mean: They just really like quotes. No shame in that.

Proceed with: minimal caution. I’m just planting this seed as a potential “I told you so” for later if things don’t pan out with them.

Other Red Flags:

If they have more than 3 pictures of themselves taken in a bathroom mirror.

If they have pictures of themselves on the toilet.

If anything on their Facebook takes place in a bathroom!!!!