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E!'s Official Guide to Throwback Thursday: How to Make Your Old School Pictures Count

Beyonce, January Jones, Jordin Sparks, Throw Back Thursday, Instagram Instagram

Every Thursday, like clockwork, you will find photos all up in your social media, from Instagram to Twitter to MySpace to LinkedIn, that are quote-unquote throwbacks, meaning people are posting pics from a time that is before the current day in honor of "Throwback Thursday." Why did the Internet overlords pick Thursday as the throwback day? We will never know. Because they both start with T's? Whatever.

Since hashtag TBT is now a weekly occurrence that both normal humans and celebs partake in (see? They really are just like us!), it is long overdue that we post some basic rules you need to be following on Thursdays. 

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So before you click "upload" with that damn TBT tag, please consider these official guidelines to Throwback Thursday on the World Wide Web:

1. Make sure the photo is actually a throwback. Two hours ago does not count. Yesterday does not count. Last week does not count. Not even if you are doing it ironically. Can we say the photo has to be at least be six months old? Three months? We'll hash that out later, but If you're posting a photo from three days ago and calling it a "throwback," at least label it truthfully: "I looked so amazing in this photo and the filter is perfect and it makes my skin glow but I'm worried that not everyone saw this photo so I'm posting it again but if I say it's a throwback Thursday pic no one will be the wiser!"

False. We are very the wiser.

PHOTOS: Throwback Thursday roundup with Jessica Alba, Beyoncé and more!

2. The best throwback photos are the ones that were taken before the Internet was a thing. We want red eyes, bad fashion and the fuzzy aura that a photo can only get from being taken with a disposable camera. Plus, isn't the whole point of TBT to show the world what you were like before you were posting pictures every single day? Your followers know what you look like now. They want to see what you looked like a couple years ago.

3. Make it count, yo! For example, Jordin Sparks posted the above throwback picture from when she won American Idol. That was years ago and some people maybe even forgot that she was on that show. If you post bikini selfies every weekend, then posting a throwback picture of a bikini selfie from two months ago is not interesting. Exception: if you worked your ass off and are now at your ideal body weight and you want to show the difference with selfies taken before and after. That is definitely acceptable, because go you!

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4. Childhood photos (like Beyoncé's above) = good.

January Jones, Instagram Instagram

5. Embarrassing childhood photos = great. Lookin' at you, January Jones. Keep 'em coming!

6. Don't throwback to a tweet or text message. Yes, that exchange with your best friend about avocados was very funny, but we don't need to see it again. And yes, it was cool when a former Bachelor contestant tweeted at you in 2012, but we don't need to be reminded that it happened. Keep it to photos, OK?

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 7. If possible, use the throwback photo to reveal something your followers never knew. Did you play soccer in high school? Did you used to dress up like Britney Spears for Halloween every year in middle school? Did you study in London for one semester in college? Did you show up on the local news when you were a toddler because your head got stuck inside a ladder? Show us those pictures, like James Van Der Beek did with this adorable football shot on his Instagram.

8. Finally, don't post Throwback Thursday pictures of other people without their permission. (Hopefully, Nicole Richie was OK with Kim Kardashian posting the one above).You might think it's funny that you are about to show the world what your boyfriend looked like when he was going through puberty, but he might think it's very unfunny. And before you know it, you're single. And then all the Throwback Thursday pics you upload will be the ones you took when you were in relationship. And your tags will be: #missyou #turnbacktime #forgiveme #imsolonely #sob #notsoblessed #tbtruinedeverything

Have fun out there, kids. And remember, throwback responsibly. 

PHOTOS: Best of Throwback Thursday

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