I have no idea what the bai in k?thxbai means (I *will* be 30 this year)...I think it is text message speak for bye. I know, same number of letters, phonetically makes no sense...I don't claim to understand it. This generation wasn't taught phonics and that's why so many of them *are* how they *are*, iykwim (that's internet talk for "if you know what I mean"...that one took me forever to get.)
You've also been confused by *this*...and have expressed a concern of embarrassing yourself by using it inappropriately, like Joey in Friends with the "air quotes"...once again, not sure why people do that or how it began or even if it is secret code for something I don't understand, but I like it and think you can get away with *these* anytime you want to make a point but don't feel like it necessitates italics.
I give you permission to use *these* whenever you want, I trust your judgment (no e people, I know, it doesn't make sense, it just is what it is.)