It lives with you—in your phone, your computer, your head—and it’s ruining your life. It affects your interactions, your stress levels, and your productivity. It tweets at you. It pokes you. It filters your reality. It’s Social Media. And it’s time to step away from it though it draws us in, like Kanye to a shapely derriere. And here’s why:
- To Be Or Not To Be (Facebook Official)
Your friends are badgering you with the claim that nothing is official unless it’s “Facebook official.” But “Pics or it didn’t happen” does not apply to relationships. Whether you and your S.O. choose to make your relationship social media-public is your business. Advertising it to your 500+ friends—half of which you haven’t seen since you graduated three years ago—doesn’t make it any more or less valid.
A dropdown menu should not affect your happiness, and anyways, keeping it between you two makes things just a little bit sexier.
- Your Significant Other is Slower Than the Internet
The internet has trained us to expect immediate gratification, but not everything—or everyone—works at the speed of light. (Ever heard of dial-up?)
Give her the benefit of the doubt! Don’t stress over a delay that could mean she didn’t hear her phone buzz or it died while she was on the phone with her mom again. The totally accurate Buzzfeed article about “Ten Things You’ll Only Understand if You Date a Girl with Long Hair” will still be funny when she sees it tomorrow.
Internet silence doesn’t mean the same thing as in-person silence. So don’t analyze them the same way.
- He Said it Was Guys’ Night
And yet he’s already posted three snaps of the cute bartender.
Snapstories are fun for everyone, until they’re used as security footage. As much as we’d like for them to, other women don’t drop off the face of the Earth when guys’ night rolls around once a month. But—he probably doesn’t see her the way you do (as the sexy, intimidating woman with a great range of wrist motion).
You can’t help who he sees on his evening out, but you can help what you see of them. So respect his privacy—and any proclivity you have toward other women-induced anxiety—and instead spend your free time with a glass of moscato and that all-natural raspberry bath bomb you bought last week.
Bath bombs smell better than beer sweats anyways. And social media shouldn’t change the relaxation value of a night in.
- You’re Out to Dinner and He Still Won’t Power Down
And you wouldn’t believe what made it on the front page of reddit today—no, it’s not the adorable panda in the snow. And he nurses his RSS feed like his bottle of beer while you wonder if he noticed you’re wearing the necklace he gave you for Christmas.
So ask him to shut it down for the evening, or tempt him with other things to put his hands on later. He’ll get the picture. (And if he doesn’t, then you’ll know the internet has affected his understanding of social cues.)
While it’s really cute when he says he just enjoys your company, what’s not cute is competing with Candy Crush for attention. No night—especially date night—should be spent together but alone on your own devices.
- Watch Out For Filters
We all have those friends whose every Instagram post is a cute picture of them and their significant other. You know, the ones where they’re strolling off down a lane that looks like something out of Bambi and into an over-saturated sunrise.
The minute we log onto Facebook or Instagram, we’re bombarded with everyone’s happiness. It looks like they’re living in the moment with post-worthy candids out the wazoo while we’re seated on our butts in front of our laptops looking at other people’s worlds through the additional filter of a computer screen.
But no sunset needs a filter, or even a commemorative photo at all. If we stepped back from our desks and silenced our phones, we’d realize that no perfect post is worth trading any amount of peaceful moments spent together.
So do it. Power down and ask him to do the same. And just be with each other without worrying how many other people see it, like it, retweet it. Because we won’t value the comments with the kissy-face emojis when we’re eighty. We’ll value the memories we spent unplugged, connected only to each other.