Over the last three years I have been on several dates with all age groups. I have dated as young as college girls and as old as early 30s business professionals. Something I hear often is that “age is a only a number”. Yeah, yeah, whatever. Honestly, it is just a number as some of the older females I dated were very mature and some of the younger girls I dated were old souls. That said, the one common denominator that makes dating in 2015 nearly impossible is social media.
Recently, an old friend of mine contacted me by way of email. She had not seen me in seven years and found my website after doing a few Google searches for Internet marketing. We discussed ways in which I could help her father grow his business through SEO and Google search. After a few days of business discussion I suggested we grab a bite to eat. I would be lying if I said I did not consider her an attractive person in the past. That said, the bite to eat was nothing more than to catch up.
Prior to going on this “date” I did what any single person would do, I Googled her. Having been an Internet marketer for over seven years I have developed quite the skill for finding out about people in ways they were unaware. I have access to a lot of back end social networks and have connections in other areas that allow me to “snoop” around with ease. After searching and “snooping” for well over an hour I was shocked to find the female that recently connected with me simply did exist according to the Internet. No Facebook page. No Twitter. No YouTube Channel or random “Classmates” website. I was shocked.
I truly could not believe that a 26 year old female did not have anything online. Was this possible? I gave it a rest for a few days, regained my composure and started again. After another hour of due diligence I was done. I found absolutely nothing. Not even a trace of an Internet presence for said female. I didn’t know what to think.
Here is a guy that lives next to the UNC campus in which students honestly cannot survive 15 minutes without looking at Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook or their text messages. Trust me when I tell you, 80% of single females under the age of 30 cannot go more than an hour without responding to something on their smartphone. I have done the research.
One of the most difficult aspects of dating is the time away from the person in which you are interested. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and all other forms of social media make it even worse. Let’s say I am very interested in Jessica. I know, Jesse and Jessica, it would never work, but come along for the ride. If Jessica is under the age of 30 there is a very good chance she has a Facebook profile. If she has attempted to stay “hip” she also has an Instagram and possibly a Snapchat.
So, here I am sitting at home on a Friday night watching a movie on Netflix or reading the latest book by Malcolm Gladwell. I read for several hours and decide to pick up my phone to see if Jessica has called (highly unlikely) or texted. She has done neither. Earlier in the day I sent her a text to let her know I was thinking about her and I would like to do something very soon. Crickets.
I then go to my Instagram account and do a little research on Jessica. I see that she has shared a picture on Instagram three hours ago. That’s weird. I sent the text six hours ago so she has definitely used her phone since I sent the text. Does she not like me? Is she avoiding me? So, like any normal human being, I scroll through the comments on her Instagram pictures. Under the picture she uploaded three hours ago are comments from seven different guys. Not six, seven! Most of the comments are flirtatious but nothing really out of the normal for her age group.
I let it go and go back to ready the Malcolm Gladwell book. I hear my phone “jingle” with a text and deep down I hope it is Jessica. It is not. It is my older sister asking me how things are going. I reply that things are fine and decide to open my computer to watch Breaking Bad on Netflix. After an episode I pick my phone up again to check my email. There are a few work emails and nothing more. Instead of putting my phone down I open Snapchat.
I know Jessica is an avid Snapchatter as she has told me as much. I think her Snapchat score was 14,567 last time I checked and now it is 15,391. Has she really sent that many snaps in the last few days? Who is she sending snaps to? What are the photos of? My mind races to the worst possible scenario and I quickly catch myself and recognize I am being silly.
It is now 11:30 pm and I have not heard from Jessica. I really wanted to go to dinner with her tomorrow night but I guess that isn’t going to happen. I decide I am being overbearing as I my brain is wagering war in my head. Is my intuition correct that some of the guys commenting on her Instagram are the same ones she is Snapchatting? Is she trying to hide something from me because it might hurt my feelings? Is Jessica even the type of girl I like?
The next morning I wake up to a text message from Jessica that was sent at 3:17 am. The message reads “I’m sorry I missed you. I went out and had some fun. We will talk soon.” What in the hell does this mean? I quickly open my phone and check her Instagram. No new pictures. I do notice that she liked several pictures around 1:00 am. Once again, this means she was using her phone yet decided not to contact me.
I carry on with my morning and early afternoon without contacting her. I am waiting for my friend John to call as he wants to catch a movie around 3:00 or 4:00. He gives me a call at 2:15 and asks if I still want to go see American Sniper. I tell him I have been wanting to see it for awhile The conversation moves to Jessica as he asks how things are going. I tell him that I honestly don’t know. I open Snapchat and see that her score is now 16,100. Did she really send almost 1000 snap photos last night? What on earth was she doing?
I wonder if I should even confront her about this behavior but realize it will simply push her away. Instead, I tell John that things with her are fine and there is nothing to worry about. I am lying to him and lying to myself. There is a terrible feeling in my stomach as I am coming to the realization that I am not the only one in Jessica’s life. I recognize that I shouldn’t be upset at this point of our “relationship” but it still hurts a little bit. I text her at 3:15 with “Would you like to hang out tonight?”
Around 3:45 I meet John and we go to the movies. John and I have been best friends for over two decades and being with him makes me realize what an adult should act like. He doesn’t have Snapchat, has no idea what Instagram is and prefers to talk on the phone rather than texting. We have a very intellectual conversation after the movie and he asks about my plans for the night. I tell him that I am waiting to hear back from Jessica. Of course, she has not texted back and it is already 8:00 pm. I am holding out knowing that my interest lies solely in her.
By 11:15 pm I have checked Jessica’s Instagram three times, have looked at her Snapchat score twice and checked her Facebook profile. Each time all it does is lead me down another road of misery. I actually take the time to look back through her “timeline” on Facebook and quickly realize that Jessica has a lot of guys in her life. In fact, too many. She is also very touchy feely with all these guys in her photos. Funny how that works because she told me she only gives hugs to guys that she really cares about when she hugged me goodnight. I guess the number of guys she “really” cares about hit the triple digits sometime back in 2013.
At this point I have driven myself crazy. Why do I do this? Why am I cyber stalking someone that I have only been out with a handful of times? Do I really care about her that much? Does it matter what she did in the past? Are all these guys more than friends? Should I just ignore her so she will like me more?
As these thoughts are going through my head I get a text from her. It reads, “Hey!!!! I am so glad you want to chill 2nite. Let’s have some fun!” Dear Lord. Once again, what does this mean? What exactly is “fun” to Jessica? Whatever it is, she did it last night with her other friends. I don’t even know how to react. I use my phone as an actual phone and call her. No answer.
I wait patiently for a call back. Crickets. Did she lose her phone? Did she drop it in the toilet? What just happened? I open my Instagram and see that three minutes ago she liked seven different pictures of guys that she knows. I call her, she doesn’t answer and she then goes on Instagram and likes pictures? What?
These are the joys of dating with social media. Remember said female that I mentioned at the beginning of this article? The one that doesn’t exist online? Well, we went out the other night and this is how it worked. She sent me a text saying “I will meet you at 6:15.” I responded with, “I can’t wait to catch up again.” At 6:00 pm she called me and said, “Hey, I got here a little early.” This was right as I was pulling in. We embraced with a hug. While at dinner we ate, had a wonderful conversation and simply enjoyed each other’s presence for well over an hour. Guess how many times we each checked our phones? Go ahead. Yep, zero! She was very respectful of my time and I of hers.
We had such a good time that we ended up going to a Barnes and Noble and looking around for some good books. I pointed out the Malcolm Gladwell books that I thought were his best. She read the back of Outliers and said, “This looks amazing! Maybe I will read this on Friday night.” My mind races and I think where has this girl been all my life?
All in all, we spent about five hours together and neither of us look at our phones other than to get directions on Google Maps. No texts, no Instagram, no Snapchat, no Facebook, nothing. It felt amazing. As soon as I left her I had the urge to text but I refrained as I wanted to let the night sink in. The next day I woke up to a text that read “I had a great time last night and I would enjoy seeing you again.” We have since scheduled another dinner “date” and I am 100% confident that she will be there early and will respect my time. I cannot say this for anyone I’ve dated that was active on social media.
I do not have a Facebook. I knew it was going to be drama years ago so I deleted it in 2011. To most I am not a human being since I don’t have a Facebook. I am fine with that. I have Instagram and Snapchat but never use it. I have not sent a Snap photo in well over a year and the only Instagram photos I shared were my professional HDR photos in December of 2013. You will never find me “liking” photos on Instagram or leaving comments. You do not have to worry about my Snapchat best friends – because I have none.
My life is so much better without all the clutter of social media. The Jessica story that I mentioned previously was something that was a part of my life in the past. I was miserable. Actually, miserable doesn’t even begin to describe it. My relationships with the opposite sex were superficial and I found out that almost all of them had things going on with other guys. You mean girls on Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook are connecting with past guys in their lives? No way! I know that is shocking.
If you want to improve your dating life it might be time to eliminate social media. By not responding to her snaps and/or removing Instagram you will find that you have less to worry about. The time you spend together will be meaningful and the fights will likely diminish. I would be interested to hear about your experiences with social media and dating. Do you find yourself “checking up” on the person you care about? Has it caused fights? Feel free to comment with your story below.