With a constant flow of media running our lives, it’s important that we be able to pick up on the digital hints our friends will leave us every now and then. Obviously, by friends, I mean friends of friends, or coworkers, or hot people you meet at barbecues, not actual friends of course. The point is that you should actively draw a line that divides the unavailable from the unwilling. With these things in mind, I’ve put together a short list of deal breakers to weed out those unsocial socialites and, hopefully, save us all a little bit of time and dignity. ??Disclaimer: the pronoun she is used strictly for convenience’s sake and does not target any woman in particular. Men do some of these, too, but they are usually far less subtle.
1. She answers time-sensitive text messages no less than 48 hours later.
It’s Wednesday afternoon, you’re bored and tired of work so you begin to text. Your exchange is playful but prompt and hovers mostly around what you’ve got planned for the weekend: “Oh, not too much, probably just take it easy,” you both say. You add, well, if you’re free, we should go out Friday night, and she enthusiastically accepts! Great, you think. Friday comes around and you check back to confirm the details about the where and when but receive no reply. Maybe she’s in a meeting or has no reception? Give it an hour or so before you nudge. You send off another text after an acceptably unclingy amount of time but — still — nothing. Take the hint; let it go.
??2. She “didn’t receive” your email.
It’s true that there was a time when emails went undelivered. It happened the same year you bought your pager, the same year you lost the floppy disk that had all your homework on it, and the same year you purchased that first Ja Rule album and thought that yellow Hummers were cool. If you send someone an email that requires an RSVP and they claim to have never received it, I think you’ve received your message loud and clear.
3. She does nothing more than hit ‘like’ when you post on her Facebook, even if it’s a question.
“Hey it was really nice meeting you, what are you doing later this week?” Like. “Hey, have you seen the new Paul Rudd romantic comedy where he’s shy and awkward but turns out to be shy and awkward and a douche? I’ve wanted to see it for a while now!” Like. “Hey! Long time no see. I’m scheduled to die in a month and the only thing that will slow the cancer is if you say something back to me.” Like.
??4. She Instagrams pictures you took.
5. After An Extensive, witty, obviously sincere text message — she responds with a smiley face.
You write your text out in full. You spell-check it. Replace a few words here and there to make sure it can’t be misinterpreted. You’re careful about the details and affirm that nothing was left out. You take a deep breath and you send it. You wait ten minutes and reopen your phone to see if it has finally disappeared from your outbox. You wonder if the message was too long and if it was broken up for having exceeded the number of allowed characters. You wonder what she’ll say; you secretly hope that she’ll be just as assiduous in her reply. You wonder what she’s thinking. Your anxiety is cut short by a sudden vibrating beep.
Incoming message, :) ??
6. She reposts every YouTube video you do without acknowledging you put it up first.
It’s one thing to attach the KONY 2012 video after you’ve said something about it (shudder). It’s another to re-post an obscure music video, the exact obscure music video you spotted through a friend an hour ago, and act like she doesn’t know where it came from. I can see you, you know.
??7. She is the first to decline your Facebook event — no “maybe.”
When I was putting this list together, I considered outing the folks who never responded to any of my events. But some people just don’t use Facebook as exhaustively as others. These people aren’t trying to push you away; they’re just not paying attention. It’s divided, and there’s really no blame to assign. Do note, however, that when someone consistently turns you down without even so much as a sorry, it’s not her fault — it’s yours. ??
8. She doesn’t wish you a happy birthday.
Possibly the grand daddy of them all. If she chooses not to wish you a happy birthday in spite of the weeklong Facebook notice, the eighty seven hundred people posting about it on your wall, and the fact that she doesn’t even need to go to your page to do it anymore, it’s because you need to figure it out. Although you’ve been content with these 23 hours of special treatment, you still weed through the red notifications hoping to find that one person who has clearly blocked it from their mind. It’s over, dude. Accept it. Unless, of course, you forgot to wish her happy birthday first.