Two ticks beside it but they’ve still not responded to your Whatsapp message. Isn’t it strange how technology can dictate your outlook on a relationship?
Using social media as an inadvertent popularity contest; from hashtagging #SmashedAvo on Instagram, or trying our best to fit a masked insult into 140 characters on Twitter, there’s not much you can’t discover about a person (or at least their alter-ego) on the internet.
Admittedly, I also live my life vicariously through the internet. I’m one of ‘those’ who shares selfies, photos of my expensive indulgences in life, images of my middle-class cats (Sylvester and Toulouse if you’re wondering) and group photos in which only I look good. Undoubtedly it wouldn’t take long for even the simplest person to sum me up in a few scrolls of my Instagram feed.
Our reliance on the World Wide Web isn’t necessarily our downfall though. The undoing lies in our inability to exercise social media self-control.
Too many times I’ve heard people hold their significant other at ransom because they liked another woman’s holiday photos or retweeted their favourite porn-star’s latest post. But I’m in no way exempt. Working in social media and a seasoned dating-app pro, resisting vetting my Tinder and Happn’ matches is about as easy as Kanye finds emotion. I tell myself that my shady research of John, 29, Film Editor is simply to verify his existence as a real human-man but in actuality I’m scrolling back to his 2005 Facebook profile pictures, scrutinising his interests and stalking his ex-girlfriend from August 2010.
Call me shallow (because I am a bit), but I know you do it too.
The problem with probing lies with it’s ability to destroy preconceptions. I know John, 29, Film Editor‘s life story before we’ve even arranged our first date. Even worse, I’m constantly reminding myself not to ask if he still loves Emily The Ex From August 2010, or mention the striking resemblance he bears to his mother in his graduation photos.
But as damaging as stalking may be, the real silent killer of relationships is text-etiquette.
What’s text-etiquette you say? It’s easy really. It’s the rule that you can’t text him before he texts you, you can only send a one message response, you can’t text him back too quickly in fear of appearing too eager but you also can’t leave it too long and risk seeming disinterested… Oh, and also you can’t end your message with an ‘X’ unless he does, and you can’t follow up if he hasn’t replied. Forget calling him, are you mental? And never, ever acknowledge the fact you know he was online on Whatsapp at 13.04pm but still hasn’t responded to your message from 10.56am.
Just this weekend I played Agony Aunt to my friend, the recovering drunk texter. She couldn’t understand why her latest male venture hadn’t replied to her in over a day as I tried to talk her down from her kamikaze mission of sending a follow up message.
Want to know what ‘Crazy Girl’ looks like? Just look into the soulless demonic eyes of a woman who hasn’t received a reply from you in over five hours.
To the Golden Oldies, it’s incomprehensible that millennials place so much weight behind an act as thoughtless as texting. But we’re impatient. Our lives are led in real-time on the internet. So why should we wait hours for a text back from someone we know has checked their phone on average eighty-five times that day?
Why? Because we’re slowly suffocating romance and adventure.
Surely there must be some correlation between our long-married grandparents’ ignorance to the digital world and our fleeting relationships heavily reliant on the internet?
So before you expose your Basic Bitch nature and complain that a certain person hasn’t liked your new Facebook profile picture or acknowledged your “OMG coffee is my life” Whatsapp message, just consider how pitiful your life is becoming.
I’m sure it won’t be long until Hipsters bring back messenger pigeons, but in the mean time let’s recognise our addiction and put the phone down before we sabotage another case of young-lust.
Images via Giphy.