The following is part of a series for teens which answers important questions concerning good manners in today’s social media driven world.
We all want friends – especially online where it counts the most! But recent findings from the US State Department warn of terrorist organizations like ISIS and al-Qaida using social media to brainwash and recruit innocent youths. So what’s a mannerly teen to do when a friend request from a terrorist pops up in your inbox?
STEP 01: MAKE SURE THEY’RE A TERRORIST
• First, delicately check to see if you two share any mutual friends. While looking, keep an eye open for names like, “Osama Bin Laden Jr,” “Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi,” or “@Isis_lover69.”
• Under Work Info, do they list their job-title as “Lone Wolf,” “Jihadists,” or “Suicide Bomber?” How about work experience, anything in there about “capturing Mosul,” “executing journalist pigs” or “being a team-player on the 9/11 project?”
• A person’s online photo album can tell you a lot about their personality. Are they adventurous or a bit silly? Have they recently been tagged establishing a caliphate in Iraq? Or do they just enjoy taking selfies with decapitated Kurdish rebels?
STEP 02: YEP, THEY’RE A TERRORIST, NOW WHAT?
So it seems that ski-masked, hipster-type, draped in an ISIS flag with an AK-47 from Syria really is a terrorist. Consider taking one of the actions below before your news feed is inundated with invitations to play Candy Crush The Infidels!
• In a few short sentences, gently clarify why you two aren’t ideally matched for an online friendship. For example, you adore handmade crafts and Taylor Swift ballads. While their passion is enslaving and marrying children.
• Discreetly explain why it wouldn’t be fair to except their friendship, as you just have too many friends to keep up with socially as it is. (And in a good-natured style, bring up that thingie about them wanting to destroy your entire way of life.)
• If you still feel bad, you can always offer to add them to your LinkedIn account for a more professional relationship.
STEP 03: HOW TO GRACEFULLY DISCOURAGE FUTURE TERRORISTS (AND ENEMIES OF THE STATE) FROM WANTING TO BE YOUR FRIEND.
• Instagram that awkward Bar Mitzvah pic of yourself reading from the torah on #tbt
• Follow everyone with an @_____palinUSA in their handle.
• Twitter rant about Homeland not having enough “hot bad-guys” on the show.
Follow these simple steps and you’ll keep the terrorists off of your friend’s list, without hurting anyone’s feelings.
- How do I cordially stop ‘repeated friend requests from a convicted stalker?’
- How do I politely ask a ‘cyberbully to stop tagging my photos with #assfaceness.’
- How do I respectfully ask my gym teacher to ‘stop sending me dick pics?’