If Social Media Sites Were Boyfriends
Let’s be honest: even if you do have a boyfriend, your social networking and constant internetting probably take up more time and/or space in your heart than he does. And if you don’t, well, it’s still probably the only love and affirmation you’ll ever need. And come on, which would you rather have, a mediocre dinner date, or 20,000 Twitter followers? The answer is clear. And here, the kind of boyfriends that our beloved social media would prove to be, if they gained sentience (which is only a matter of weeks, really).
He’s the guy you’ve been seeing forever. This relationship likely started in high school, when simply being placed next to someone in 10th grade chemistry is enough to make them the be-all end-all of human existence, the only person you’ll ever need ever again. And as with many relationships that start when you’re still stuffing your bra, you realize as you mature, you might have outgrown him. Sure, it’s nice, and there are so many memories there and pictures of you back when you were innocent and didn’t comprehend the repercussion of endless photographic evidence of you beer-bonging for your future employers, but things just aren’t the way they used to be. Yet, every time you try to up and leave him, you realize just how much of your old self is tied up in him and all of the people you know together. You are so profoundly apathetic about things with him now that you’re somewhat amused to hear about all the money he recently lost on the stock market — maybe he’ll just end things for you and get you out of doing the dirty work. Fingers crossed.
Twitter is the casually well-dressed guy you meet while out at a hot party in a lounge, who seems to know everyone and yet remain somewhat under the general radar. He passes out business cards, makes charming conversation, and infiltrates various social circles with relative ease. He wears a baby blue button down with a red bow tie and khakis, which would normally make him too much of an ass hat to function, but somehow it kind of just works on him. You tell yourself that you’re really not into that kind of guy, that he’s too “wired in” for you, but you eventually end up caving and going out with him a few times. At first, it’s all so intoxicating, he’s just so interesting and seems to know everything about everyone. Eventually, though, you realize that all of his talk of being a “community builder at a web-based start up” means absolutely zero in terms of actual gainful employment, and become pretty convinced that he must be stealing TVs or something to pay rent. You realize how much he’s made you care about appearances, what people think of you, and how many friends you have — you’ll leave him for your own good one day, but you just have to make a few more connections… just a few more…
He’s the guy you briefly dated in high school that you recently saw on an episode of Intervention scratching himself in a dumpster while he looked for aluminum cans to sell for heroin. You sent him a get-well card and promptly got tested.
Tumblr just wants you to love him. He refers to himself as a feminist, supports your decision not to shave your underarms, and is more than down to look at pictures of cats and cheese-based foods for however long your little heart desires. Suddenly, you found this guy who seems to just get you, and who accepts you both for who you are and the terrible poet you’re aspiring to be. He totally agrees that every British television show featuring more than one white guy is secretly a love story between the main characters, and he just wants to listen to you talk about it. But slowly, day by day, you realize just how much he’s feeding in the most delusional, anti-social, infantile part of your psyche, and — while it feels nice in the moment — it can’t possibly be a good thing. Your vocabulary has been reduced to “ALL THE FEELS” and “ALADFLKJASLDFJ,” and you are familiar with entire plotlines of movies and TV series just from seeing endless GIFs about them. This is unhealthy behavior, and you know it. Re-integration to regular society is going to be necessary if you ever hope to hold a job or bathe regularly again — just right after you guys finish that Dr. Who marathon together.
Pinterest is not your boyfriend, it’s your 43-year-old aunt who tries to write in cyberspeak sometimes but think “LOL” stands for “Loving You Lots!” and sends you recipes for all these various cupcakes shaped like things that are not cupcakes. You occasionally see her pop up with things that are at once exasperating in their cuteness and occasionally kind of tempting, but you never go visit her, because you’d rather not get sucked into a four-hour birdhouse painting session. If you want some arts-and-craftsy bullsh-t, you’ll take your money over to Etsy like an adult. She’s sweet, though, and she’s trying her best. In fact, Pinterest could probably use a date herself. Let’s set her up with MySpace, she could probably feed him and knit him a nice blanket to get rid of the shakes.
He’s that hyper-intellectual, pompous, hard-to-understand guy you once went out with briefly who thought that no one liked him because he was too smart and his references too esoteric for them, and you were just like, “Yeah, bro, that’s probably it,” and left him to cry alone into his cardigan.
If you’ve been looking for a chance to say something then this very well could be it.
I wish to God I’d had a list like this when I was 23.
Answer phones better than anyone else has answered phones before. Relay messages so brilliant, they bring people to tears. Turn the coffee run into the choreography of Swan Lake. Become best friends with every intern and every underling and every taxi driver you encounter.
By Ella Ceron
I remember taking the pen and notebook from that woman outside the courtroom, flipping to a clean page in the book, and writing, JESSICA IS SAD in big, bold, uncoordinated letters. “My sister is going to be a good writer someday! Look at how nice her lines are!”