To Friend or Not to Friend
I am not a football fan. Multiply that feeling times four and you’ll get an idea of how I feel about the faux-patriotic corporate money-gasm that is a Super Bowl.
But everything is better when you watch it with Twitter, so I’ve started watching all kinds of major television “events” while trolling Twitter for some fun and general snarkiness.
During last year’s game, Chevy rolled this ad.
Put aside the irony of people watching a football game on Twitter railing against how ridiculous it would be to check your Facebook news feed through your car’s flux capacitor or whatever. Put aside the arguments about how constantly connected we all are. Put aside the not-insignificant safety issues. Put aside the guy’s creeptacular James Franco-esque porn ‘stache, and let’s get down to brass tacks: They’ve just gone on their first date but are already Facebook friends.
I have concerns here. I haven’t done a lot of dating recently but the thing that continues to baffle me—and makes me feel so goddamned old—is trying to figure out the social media tango that goes along with dating in this day and age.
I think the Twitter follow is probably the least committal, right? Facebook is probably something you avoid until you’re fairly sure you’re actually dating dating. But what about Flickr? Or Google+? (Also, what the hell is Google+) Or Instagram? Foursquare? Blip.fm? GoodReads? Quora? (Also, what the hell is Quora?)
As someone who has done my fair share of online dating in the past, I have puzzled over when you switch from email through the dating website to personal email. And, if you’re using Gmail, there comes a point where you’ve emailed enough that this person will turn up automatically in your Google Talk pane. Do you leave them there?
And then, there’s the question on the opposite end of the spectrum. There’s no questions about blocking the guy who tells you on the first date*, “If we’re gonna have sex, it’s gotta be at your place, because I don’t own a bed.” But when it comes to your average just-not-quite right man or woman to whom you’ve given access to your social media reality, what do you do when you break up? Even worse, what do you do if you were just “seeing each other” and now you aren’t even doing that? How do you disentangle yourself? And what if you’ve decided to go the friend route?
As I contemplate walking into the fire that is online dating YET AGAIN, I’m pledging to take it slow on the social media front, if on no other. It’s a crazy world we’ve created for ourselves out there, and the Facebook-stalking car is the least of our worries, kids.
*True story. Sad, painful, and true.