Social media crushes

Image credit: Yoursocialmove.com Image credit: Yoursocialmove.com

So many friends, clients, and Twitter pals of late have been vocal about their “crushes” on social media. This phenomenon fascinates me, because social media as we know it now didn’t exist yet when I was still single. It’s a whole new level of emotional navigation, with its own rules and conventions and subcultures. Lots to learn and keep track of!

Within the Favstar* community, I hear “Twitter crush” or comments about crushing on someone’s “avi” (aka “avatar,” or profile picture**) all the damn time. It cracks me up, and I totally get it—you’re seeing a super flattering or funny (or both) picture of someone, followed by a bunch of highly edited hilarious snarky tweets and perhaps some ego-boosting retweets of your own highly edited content. That’s a total recipe for a crush, right?

I don’t personally use Instagram (because I’m kind of terrible at taking photos; have you noticed?) but I’ve seen this reference to an “Instagram Crush,” too. I could totally see that same type of attachment form for a more arty, less humor-driven personality type—pretty girl or cute boy has attractive or artsy Instagram profile picture, and their stream is filled with highly edited artsy/filtered shots that lend a sort of other-worldly character to their content. I could see running away with fantasies about that person and what they’re like in real life.

But please, singletons, keep these things in mind with social media crushes!

  1. THESE ARE EDITED GLIMPSES into a personality. No one is exactly like who they seem to be on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Myspace, you name it. Jenna Marbles does not always look or talk like that, haha. You’ve got to at least try to remember that so you aren’t disappointed if you meet someone in person and they don’t live up to the Highly Edited Fantasy, or so you don’t idealize this social media personality so much that you forget to pursue Real-Life Dating Opportunities that are more realistic and, well, real.
  2. YOU CAN ASK THEM OUT. Sure, if they’re in Ontario and you’re in Arkansas, maybe that isn’t as realistic. But if you’ve got a little social media crush and you just keep pining for that cute Twitter pic with the funny timeline, well, you can Direct Message them and see if they want to let you buy them dinner, etc. The crush part is super fun, sure, and for brief “healing” periods between relationships, that can be a  flattering and safe way to flirt, no commitment. But try not to let an online crush become a crutch that keeps you from pursuing love in real life, ya know? (See what I did there? Crush-crutch? Never mind.)
  3. THERE ARE FACEBOOK CRUSH SERVICES! Check out LikeBright if you haven’t yet; it’s a start-up (still in beta) that helps hook you up with singles in your extended FB friend network. So if you’ve spied someone cute sharing funny links or commentary on your friend’s timeline, it might be time to reach out digitally and see if they wanna meet up in real life!

Happy dating and digital flirtations, kiddos! 

*There’s a subculture of Twitter users (SO MANY of whom are in Canada or the Deep South) who are hilarious and list their favstar.fm URL in the bio link area, and are sort of amateur comedians who all help promote each other by retweeting funny tweets and using special (paid) Favstar features like trophies for Tweet of the Day awards and such. LOTS of Favstar Crushing going on!

**I really, really, really hate using “avi” as an abbreviation for “avatar.” .avi means a type of file format to me, and it clearly has many other meanings. But if you hear it used in a Twitter context, people usually mean the little picture associated with a given Twitter profile.

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