As a college student, the easy accessibility of two things scares the hell out of me: social media and hook-ups. Put them together and I turn into a puddle of anxiety, self-doubt and shock.
Various social media platforms are everywhere these days, and there’s no escaping their inevitable attraction. Despite our FOMO (fear of missing out), we’re attached to Twitter, Instagram and Facebook more than is medically advised.
And when I entered the college hook-up scene, this addiction really did affect me mentally. I found that, unfortunately, social media and hook ups don’t really mix well.
A few months ago, I met a certain guy at work. Naturally, we connected via our cyber-selves (Instagram and Twitter). He would like my shameless selfies and I would favorite his tweets until it became obvious it was more than just co-worker admiration. Multiple friends called me out on it — if he stalks your Instagram, he totally digs you.
Virtual flirting turned into texting. Texting turned into us hanging out. And the rest is history.
But what happened after that tip of the iceberg was indeed a downhill battle against the very things I can’t live without: my phone and laptop.
I went through the typical clichéd aftermath: He stopped contacting me and I was left asking what I did wrong (Remember, ladies: You never do anything wrong). Now, if social media hadn’t existed, I probably would have shrugged my shoulders at this completely dick move and gotten over it. I wouldn’t be reminded of the mistake if I never had to see him again.
I promised myself I’d be mature about this. Hook-ups come and go, and maybe after some time, we’d become friends.
Well, social media ruined that plan.
Instead, I watched angrily as he liked other girls’ photos, commented on their statuses and connected with them the same way he had connected with me — over the Internet. My over-analytical mind instantly took control. Shit, he’s probably texting her now, too. That photo isn’t even that cute. Does he know his virtual advances come up on my News Feed?
Kind of hard to get over a hook-up when he’s literally everywhere.
I didn’t want him to think I was clingy — that and the fact that I was angry he had stopped talking to me — so I refused to contact him. But every 30 minutes, when I updated my Instagram, I had to hold back a scream when I saw him like another girl’s photo and continue to ignore mine.
This may seem vain, but to me, it meant so much more than getting a boost of self-confidence. It meant that after one hook-up, he thought I wasn’t enough and continued to go after someone else — all in front of my own eyes. My confidence was rocked each time I stumbled upon it every day. I never knew what he was thinking, and it gave me headaches trying to read his mind.
I wish I knew how to avoid this mental torture — unfortunately I still suffer bouts of frustration when I see his name online. The best advice I can give myself and any other girl going through this is to remember that if he wants to talk to you, he’ll find the time to do it, no silly excuses. You should be strong and confident enough to see his name and laugh, because he probably doesn’t have as many followers as you, anyway.
Unfortunately, we can’t delete Twitter, nor can we get rid of our attachment to it. Yeah, we’ll have to watch our exes and hook-ups talk to other girls, and that’s what comes with the digital territory.
Don’t change your social media personality — or your real personality — for a guy. I love my digital brand and won’t start posting certain things to see if he’ll retweet me. I still post my shameless selfies and tweet silly things about red pandas.
Eventually, he’ll become another blip on your rad — hold on, someone just liked my last Instagram photo…
Guest Blogger for Single Girl Status