I’ve learned so many things in my first semester of college. Things about myself, people, and society in general. One of the things I’ve just begun to unravel is dating.
Full disclaimer: I never really dated in high school, for my own reasons. I’m looking in from the outside, but not really. I thought instead it would be easier and smoother in college, I was definitely wrong. This really isn’t for me. Let me explain.
Social media is now essential to dating in 2018. As someone who has never been a fan of social media, I find this very concerning. It might just be me, but I see value in trying to meet people in person. Starting with actual human interaction saves a lot of time since it gets right to the point. I think the biggest culprit is Instagram. Social media accounts on Instagram are no longer posts about family, friends, or life experience (I’m not sure if they ever were). They now resemble a collection of “thirst traps” and clout, all in the hopes that someone will ultimately “slid in the DMs”. I just don’t understand the need to take on a whole new persona, the need to emulate celebrities like the Kardashians and Instagram models. There are so many other ways to attract people and stay true to yourself. This is probably the craziest thing I’ve witnessed in my life.
I was always raised on the idea that modesty is of high value in society, it seems the opposite is true. Don’t get me wrong, do whatever you want. It’s your social media account, your body, and your life. I just wonder why we can’t use our social media accounts to celebrate and highlight our successes and talents. I’d much rather see Kim Kardashian do a handstand off a diving board than to see another bathroom mirror selfie. I’m over it.
Not having a social media account in high school was acceptable. No one ever bothered me.
But I can’t even count the many times I’ve heard the questions, “What’s your Instagram?” and “You got a Snap?” Sure, I’ll give you my handles but you won’t see me post anything or learn anything about me through them. If you want to get to know me, you’ll have to talk to me. I understand that these questions are just intermediates to asking for your number, but why not just ask me for my phone number? Instead, you have to see who I follow, see what posts I like in order to “get to know me” when you really could have just learned everything you needed to know about me by asking me.
And that’s my real issue. Social media allows us to hide behind these carbon-copy, caricature personas. No one like to be direct about their intentions. We’d rather play cat and mouse and go nowhere.
I’ve learned that I can’t be anyone but myself nor do I desire to be another else for the sake of attracting attention on social media. And I’m honestly okay with that.
I guess the whole point of this is that your values are valid. If you wholeheartedly believe in them, stand by them, defend them. Navigating the world of dating and relationships is no easy journey. It never has been and I don’t think it’ll be much easier in the future. Technology and social media definitely don’t make it easier, but you’ll get through it.
If you are true to yourself, you’ll attract the types of people you need and want. Do you.
Gifs courtesy of Giphy