Story by Ethel Navales.
In our new column about dating in the Millennial age, we give you a primer on Internet PDA.
An older friend once said that dating must be horrible for us in this day and age. By that, she meant that we in our early 20s not only have to deal with confusing emotions and the general drama that comes with relationships but also have to deal with something much more complicated: social media.
As much as we try to deny it, social media is a huge part of dating. I can name a handful of friends who would argue the importance of being “Facebook official” and even more who are experts at Facebook stalking their potentials. To us, this is simply a way of life. So after all these years online, I’d like to think we have a grasp on what’s appropriate social media behavior. But then I remember: there’s always that annoying social media couple that proves me otherwise.
Now don’t go thinking I’m a bitter cat-lady who hates all relationships. I’m actually the opposite. I love romance. I love quirky matching sweaters, cheesy poses, sarcastic banters and even heartfelt declarations of love. But even I, who will avidly cupid my friends into relationships any chance I get, find myself aggravated with couples who can’t seem to walk that fine line between cute and annoying.
So how do you know if you’re one of those annoying social media couples? See if you do any of the below.
1. Relationship Spam
In one week, you’ve managed to post up a picture of you and your boyfriend every single day, and you threw in a few food pictures … with your boyfriend tagged in all of them. By the weekend, you’ve lost a handful of followers and you have no idea why. Congratulations — you two have become an annoying social media couple.
There’s a fine line between enthusiasm for your relationship and intentionally making it seem like you have no other life. If your last 10 profile pictures have been you and your significant other, you may want to mix it up or consider hanging out with those friends you seem to have forgotten about.
2. Internet PDA
PDA is not just that clingy couple in the restaurant that makes everyone else uncomfortable. What we post on social media is also very public and requires discretion. A picture of you and your girlfriend out at the beach? Cute. A picture of you and your boyfriend at the (500) Days of Summer bench? A bit cliché, but still cute. A picture of your boyfriend consuming your face? Horrifying. (And yes, this actually happens.)
And it’s not just photos. If you think your girlfriend looks pretty in her new profile picture, you’re more than welcome to tell her that, but you definitely should not, under any circumstances, publically announce what the picture makes you want to do to her. I can guarantee that your friends don’t want to read about you doing “that thing she likes” on Facebook. In fact, you giving us the mental image of “that thing she likes” makes us want to throw up a little.
You know a fast way to lose all your friends? Insulting them. If you’re proud of your relationship and you want the whole wide world to know, be my guest. But you will instantly go from cute to annoying the second you make your relationship about other people:
4. Fighting Over Social Media
You know that awkward moment when a couple fights in front of you and you have to pretend you’re not there? Well, when you fight on social media, your friends are all still really uncomfortable. This includes passive aggressive status updates.
“I give up. I’m tired of being the only one putting in effort.”
“I should’ve listened to them when they warned me about you.”
“Apparently it’s OK to check out other girls in front of your girlfriend now. You know who you are.”
I know it may be difficult to make good decisions when you’re angry, but you’ll thank yourself later for your self-control. Instead, go talk to your significant other. Vent on a blog. Call up a friend and punch a few pillows. Besides, when you two make up, we’ll all probably know about it through a status, tweet, picture, mass email, text, snail-mail, carrier pigeon, billboard, cheesy radio dedication, and YouTube video flashmob.
I’m just kidding. Kinda.
This story was originally published in our Spring 2014 issue. Get your copy here.