by Bridget Callahan
Sure, you’re great at stringing together 140– wait, 280!– characters, and your Facebook followers respect your hourly, in-depth takes on national politics. But let’s face it, you’re no golden retriever.
It can be a hard and confusing process becoming a golden retriever online. But in today’s cutthroat media world, the risks and sacrifices you make earning your fluffy golden ears will be worth it. You’ll immediately see dividends from your social investment in the form of not only likes, but a very targeted demographic of followers– people who enjoy watching impossibly furry creatures with large melting brown eyes– a population known for their discerning media consumption.
Bump up your boring Twitter, your feeble Facebook, and your inadequate Instagram by following these six simple steps to embracing your inner, and outer, golden retriever.
- Rent, don’t buy, your golden retriever
What dog represents the American dream more than a beautiful golden retriever, bounding up to its boat shoe-clad owners across a field of green? And like the American Dream, it’s important that your golden retriever be young and energetic forever because otherwise, it’s completely useless. Renting your golden retriever will provide you not only years of valuable “Puppy Sleeping In a Box” and “Puppy Sleeping on the Coffee Shop Floor” shots, but it also gives you the flexibility to trade up when Sadie, Buddy, or Max starts to show those little gray snout hairs. Old dogs may be good for occasional sentimental flights, but they’re not a profitable long-term strategy, and you’re not a Kennedy.
- Use your golden retriever’s full range of expression
Golden retrievers are known for their expressive faces. Experiment with your golden retriever’s individual moods and angles. Here’s a list of faces you can start to train your golden to make that come naturally for them:
- Confused Four-Year-Old
- Hurt and Confused Four-Year-Old
- Happy and Confused Four-Year-Old
- Confused Old Man Pondering the Violence in Syria
- Eric Trump
The key is getting your sweet pup to switch faces on command, like a sociopath, and then you’re able to move on to more nuanced expressions like “Truman at Potsdam,” and “Trump on the Toilet.” Start simple, go slow, and your golden retriever will give you the goods.
- Take videos of your golden retriever interacting with other animals whenever possible.
Other dogs. Cats. Turtles. Geese. Goats. Iguanas. Gerbils. Osprey. Capybaras. Sea lions. Musk deer. Porcupines. Gophers. Dingos. Giant squid washed up on the shore. It all works.
If, by some magical confluence of universal energy and ancient ley lines, you manage to get a video of two golden retrievers playing together, you will win the Internet. We will all die in a powerful explosion as the Interdimensional Portal opens, but you will win. You will definitely win.
- Discourage other people from getting golden retrievers, to reduce competition.
Even though your particular golden retriever was rented from an upscale puppy farm in northern Pennsylvania, it’s important you spend a significant amount of time on social media decrying the existence of puppy mills, listing the medical dangers of buying purebred and shaming your friends into only adopting from rescue shelters. This will ensure that you have the most attractive golden retriever in your circles, and are therefore the most sexually viable.
- Teach your golden retriever to touch things that aren’t his.
All golden retrievers use their paws like hands, and it’s so cute. Precious. Raccoon-like. Encourage your golden retriever to possessively touch everything it wants. Bottles of whiskey, expensive stereo equipment, and other people’s children are always popular. A good training technique is to show your golden retriever clips of old white men speaking at college graduations, or footage of hot yoga seminars.
- Embrace your new brand across all platforms
Being a golden retriever online isn’t just about channeling an attractive dog. It’s about you refusing to acknowledge that anything is more important than the attractive dog. Sure, you have kids, friends, opinions on healthcare. Nobody cares. What’s really important to your followers is funneling their stress, loneliness, and general feelings of failure into a visual symbol of acceptance and child-like love. So give your new brand 100%. All posts should involve your golden retriever. Every few posts, instead of a photo or video, try stealing funny inspirational quotes you can attribute to your golden retriever, like “You will never win if you never begin” and “You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you.” Wake up every morning motivated to create a deep personal life for your golden retriever. Does he ski? Does he like wearing hats? How does he feel about Game of Thrones? What exactly is out that window, besides three more years of existential despair?
Be motivated, be convinced, and above all, be cute. Every retweet is another moment life is worth living.