At the beginning of a potential new romance, both parties usually make an attempt to put their best foot forward. In an effort to impress your dinner date, you usually focus on how witty you can be and your excellent taste in music, movies and sports. In this era of drunken status updates, unwanted photo tags and check-ins, your best foot forward might be covered in social-media sabotage.
Admit it: If you didn’t already Facebook-stalk the person you’ve made Friday-night plans with, you most definitely will after the date when you find your interested. The updates that they posts, the photos they take and the status updates they “likes” have become just as important as the words that come out of their mouth on the date. Social media may seem like just another tool to get to know a person, but in reality, applications like Facebook portray a distorted, disjointed and altogether imaginary version of the people we are.
When they ask you to be their boy/girlfriend your both excited and change both your relationship status on Facebook. This attracts attention of good and bad. It could end up upsetting your ex if your ‘friends’ on Facebook, or maybe a secret crush. All in all, this form of formal social announcement turns you and your other half into a forbidden fruit, attracting unneeded attention and unnecessary headaches that soon follow.
There are many social-media offenses that can lead your senses astray when evaluating a potential mate. The problem with falling in love with someone’s two-dimensional Facebook profile is that you never know what lies beyond that sparkling smile in their profile picture.
We have all been guilty of going through our photos only to see old pictures your former flame, or theirs. Suddenly you have burbling feelings of jealousy all because of some stale images from long ago. You are their present, you should feel special and important, but social media have us living in the past. When a new relationship begins should you go back and scroll through 100’s to 1000’s of photos on your profile and delete your past lover’s images to prevent any unspoken jealousy? Should you ‘unfriend’ you ex partners out of respect for any future potential relationships?
The truth is that the content and character of a possible love interest should be revealed in layers through a normal progress of building a relationship. It is impossible to reach a level of depth with a person by meticulously parsing their Facebook self.
These Cliffs notes of a person’s life will never give you an accurate representation of the reality of someone. We create the image that we want to convey through our activity on social media. It’s much easier to convey the “reality” we want to portray on the Internet than to live it in real life. My own Facebook profile portrays a character; the real me is much, much, much more complex a person. Facebook makes it look so easy to choose a boy/girlfriend or future wife/husband based on information from their social-media presence, but the longevity of a relationship resulting from such matchmaking techniques would probably be about equal to your iPhone’s battery life.
These are just a couple of the numerous ways social media can thwart would-be relationships. And needless to say, online profiles, new “friends” and unwanted notifications can also cause unnecessary problems once a relationship has begun.
With the arrival of the Internet, accompanied by Smart phones and the many social media Apps so easily accessible at all times, it has changed the rules of dating altogether. Instant Messaging is the new conversation, SMS’s are the new arguments and feelings have turned into statuses and tweets instead of bedroom expressions and passion.
The new generation of social media whether we like it or not, the digital age has written a new unpublished guide book for the modern romance. When it comes to dating and mating, my advice is to unplug yourself from social networking in order to really connect.
Mars on Life.