Insta-Illusions (Read & Digest)

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How the Internet is ruining your love life

In my generation, we face an immensity of problems that others have not had the pleasure to endure: broken iPhone screens, too many channels on our TVs, what type of tablet to buy, and when to use the word “swag”. As of late, I have found myself in most of these said problems quite often, but one in particular. The internet is by far the best thing we’ve had to our advantage as young people- we have every answer to every question just a click away through our phones or computer.

What we lose in immense internet access is face-to-face interaction. We lose the mystery of people; social networking encourages us to pour our lives onto the “How are you feeling?” or “What are you doing?” status bars scattered onto the interweb. The more open we are, the more people get VIP passes into our lives- no matter how unimportant they may actually be to us. The thing that gets affected the most is our personal relationships, especially the ones involving romance.

Flirting on the internet is easy and accessible, not to mention, you feel MUCH more relaxed and collected when you’re messaging a girl online rather in a spur-the-moment meeting. You’re able to think about your response, then respond- no awkward silences, no fake laughter required. It’s a simulation of the potential the two parties can really have. Problem is, life’s a lot easier digitally than it is in actuality. And with your information just a search away from Facebook or Twitter- it’s easy to say the right things when you already know the devils inside the details.

And then, of course, there’s “catfishing” which, if you’re under the age of 30, you probably have experienced once or twice. To refresh your memory, it’s when you meet a total hottie on the internet and they turn out to be a total nottie in real life. As of the last year, I think it’s become deadlier with the popular app Instagram- every impurity wiped away by an instant filter. Any person can be instantly turned into a Kate Upton or David Beckham in seconds.

Take me, for example. In all honesty, I have had a couple instadates or facebooker casualties, and the pressure was always ON, especially since I’m a girl. I have to find a way to live up to the ridiculously high expectation this guy has of me. Those pictures with the perfect lighting, pose, and filter combination would have to be re-enacted our entire date (yeah, right). Whenever I find myself on these dates, I do what I call the iScan. When I open the door for the beginning of our first date, I look directly in his eyes; I read his reaction, body language, and eyebrow movement. (Raised brows + smirk=pleasantly surprised; Wide eyed, raised bows, closed mouth= unpleasantly surprised; and finally, awkward smile + stressed brows= please don’t be mad I’m so ugly.) There has been a time the guy was surprised at the differences in digital me and real me, sadly, and the first reaction I get from him ruins the whole date. Even if there was a good result from the iScan, the rest of the date always had a misstep.

I would go out with these guys who hit on me via Twitter/Facebook and as the date went on, I’d wonder why these dates were so utterly boring. The answer was simple- everything that’s happened to me in recent events was plastered all over his newsfeed. He knew my details, my favorite color, movie, and the quirky jokes I wanted to tell him were already spoiled by status updates!

Social media has found a habitat in many different aspects of our life with work life, school life, home life, and it’s no different with your romantic life. Chilvary gets down to sending a wink at the end of the message or an extra “y” in the greeting. Half the time it ends up as all-talk-no-action. What’s the point of this guy wanting to see you if most of your body has already been exposed over his instagram feed? What’s the point of this girl wanting to see you when she already sees a bunch of girls commenting and liking your pictures online?

My point is, the magic is in the mystery- and with our young adult lives being projected on the internet- that magic is reduced to a simple illusion. I think I’ll stick to the real thing for now.

Article By: Bekah Costley

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