March 21, 2011

Social Media and the Kiss of Death

Regardless if you've met, or simply exchanged messages with someone, you have at some level, a relationship.  Certainly, it isn't one that can be claimed on a legal form of any kind, but something tenuous none the less.  IMs, emails, phone call, all these are wonderful tools in getting to know someone.  I used to believe that social media was one as well.  I don't so much anymore.

I use my facebook page and my blog as a place where I can let my hair down.  It's sort of an Ephemily Crib Sheet.  If you want to know what I'm like in life, that's a good place to start.  However, my opinions of being facebook friends with someone I've just met and haven't established with them that they are, in fact, an object of my potential affections has changed recently.  Here's why.  And, stay with me on this.  The ego might get a bit thick, but there's a point to it all.

I'm popular.  I could be considered a Unicorn, a mythical creature, in some circles.  I'm smart, geeky, adorable in a plus-sized pinup kind of way, and have a very deformed sense of shame.  I'm told my updates are a hoot, and get a random "hey, just saw you in traffic" texts at LEAST once a week.  At the time of this writing, I have 382 friends, all of but maybe 10% I have met in person and have known for some time.  Of that 10%, several of them are goth bands who have actually sought ME out because they thought I was funny.  Comment on one of my updates and you'd better go plug in your phone.  The responses will drain that battery faster than a woo girl downs an umbrella drink on spring break.

That's a good thing, right?  I mean, knowing the girl you're talking to is well liked should be a positive.

Apparently not.

I have a security list set up that I add all the people I've met through various dating websites to when we finally cross the threshold of social media. Of that group, I have met a total of four of them.  All of the others have withered on the vine before we could set something up.  Of those four, two of them are just casual users of the site.

I smell a statistically relevant pattern...

So, here’s my new rule.  No more friend requests till after I’m the girlfriend.  It isn’t that I don’t want you as a facebook friend.  That isn’t it at all.  What I DO want is you in my life first, then you in my friends list.  I need you to know that you’re more than just a fan.  That I’m interested in you as a person, and a presence offline first, and then maybe online.  Call it taking it slow in the digital age.

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