By Nury Vittachi IANS | 9 months ago

Want a handy guide to the hottest sites on the internet? A list is provided below. But first let's start with a wordy introduction in traditional Serious Journalist style.

The business world today is dominated by astonishingly valuable web companies, many of which are exciting, cutting-edge industries - although they don't actually do anything.

Consider Instagram, recently introduced to me by my daughter. Take a snap of your iPad and this image-handling programme will makes the picture low-res so that it looks like it was taken in the 1960s. You can then show it to your friends, saying: "Look! Here's a picture of my iPad which looks like it was taken in the 1960s! Woohoo!"

That's all it does. The obvious question is: So what use is it?

Important warning: NEVER ask that question. You will be permanently labelled "antediluvian" by everyone in the room aged 25 or younger.

I have the following conversation with my offspring regularly. ME: "Why did you just take a photo of my 1960s photo of Grandma and Instagram it to look like a 1960s photograph?" THEM: "Dad, it's impossible to explain to someone of your age." I then drag my knuckles back to my cave to gnaw on dinosaur bones and howl at the moon.

But as a service to readers, I recently spent quality time with young people to see how they incorporate the internet into their lives. What I learned I hereby put into easily digestible form as An Instant Guide to the Internet.

Facebook: "I am on a diet. Like my status and if I get 100 likes I'll skip my morning snack."

Twitter: "Am #onadiet but I am #reallyhungry. This #totallysucks."

Wordpress: "Hi, blog-readers. Your humble host is #onadiet so I can't have my usual mid-morning snack. Never mind. Today, I will discuss my top ten favorite snacks."

Facebook: "100 likes already? Thanks A LOT guys. This #totallysucks. Feeling #reallyhungry."

Pinterest: "Ten Best Pictures of Cheesecakes I Found On the Internet."

Twitter: "Am still #onadiet and have decided to go out for a walk to take my mind off being #reallyhungry."

Amazon: "Judging by your previous requests, we think you would love this new book: The World's 100 Greatest Dessert Recipes."

Foursquare: "(Name) has just checked in to the Food Court at the Tak Kee Shopping Mall."

YouTube: "Just uploaded this video which shows all the yummy food options at our local mall. Pretty neat, huh?"

Flickr: "Distracting myself from feeling #reallyhungry by trying my hand at food photography. Bought this piece of cheesecake to photograph but not to eat!!!"

Instagram: "Here's a picture of a slice of cheesecake with a filter that looks like it was taken in the 1960s."

Facebook: "OMG!!! Have you tried the new chocolate blueberry cheesecake at the mall? It is totally to die for!!!!" "One slice of cheesecake has 401 calories."

Twitter: "Just been sacked by email!! Boss says I have no willpower!!! What makes him think that? Life #totallysucks."

Linked-in: "Job wanted. Anything food-related considered."

(Nury Vittachi is an Asia-based frequent traveller. Send comments and ideas via

(Posted on 07-02-2014)

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