Swipe right on their picture on the dating app, or chance a conversation with a random someone at a party and the next thing you know, you’re looking up Instagram checking for them. So what if they aren’t on the app? Is that a turn on? Does seem so. In an age where practically everyone has a social media presence and likes and followers and an algorithm to match, does not being part of the bandwagon have a sense of attractiveness and are we falling for it?
Has social media taken over our lives?
Like for like and follow for follow have transcended from being hashtags on pictures to becoming most people’s way of life. An Instagram break between work and a Facebook scroll has gone from being leisure activities to being a way majority of people spend their day and social exclusion is a real thing. A new season coming out on an OTT or a celebrity making controversial claims or a marketing moment gone viral gets people talking and it can be easy to feel lost if you aren’t exposed to this. So how tough is it really to be away from the hashtags, the filters, the uploads and the algorithms? Not too easy.
Stefani Goerlich, a Detroit-based psychotherapist provides a case in point saying “People who make this decision may be seen as iconoclastic and exceptionally self-confident since they are choosing to forego the instant gratification of upvotes, likes, and gif reactions. People are recognizing that the internet is a false reality — even when we fill it up with snapshots of our actual, day to day realities.”
In addition, social media has become a huge part of the dating scene.
How great is it to have a partner not obsessed with the internet?
Imagine for a minute what it would be like to go on a date and not have the other stop you from eating before they get the picture-perfect shot of the dish or re-take pictures with a number of filters before they landed on THE ONE. Or even ask you to oblige and be a part of the latest reel trend because well, everyone’s doing it. Imagine.
Yes, that would be a whole different relationship experience. “Some people might feel closer to their partner as well since they are better able to dedicate their time and attention without the distraction of ‘pocket friends,’.” Goerlich also emphasises that this is just like putting down a video game controller or closing a book. “It creates an opportunity for eye contact and connectivity; it can feel very attractive to know that our partners are prioritizing their relationship with us over the latest viral TikTok trend.”
Why are millennials getting attracted to potential dates who aren’t on social media?
Confidence is sexy, say the experts and this is why people who can go through life without relying on likes and social validation are attractive. In fact, this is backed by several reasons.
Making an effort to maintain friends and relationships
How easy is it to post a picture with a close one but how much more of an effort is it to actually go meet them and tell them they matter or have dinner with them or do something special? When the option of having an ‘online relationship’ is no more there, people tend to make more of an effort to go the extra mile in real life.
Living in the present time
It has been said time and again that social media while a boost to the ego can also be a damper on self-esteem for some. Thus, living in the present time is a real confidence booster as it does not rely on your feed showing otherwise. You are living in the NOW.
Meet people without a screen
In the time of the pandemic when everything has moved to the virtual model, most people now use the screen as a shelter behind which to hide and interact. These when put into real-time social situations feel uncomfortable and might not be able to be the best conversation-makers. So also in an age when everyone is on social media, real conversations have taken a back seat and this can hamper relationships. According to Goerlich, “People who are willing to stand up for what they believe in, even when it means sacrificing some convenient benefits, is sexy AF.”
It does seem as if social media that was invented as a boon to connecting with people, is starting to be a threat. What do you look for in a partner and does social media dictate much of it? Let us know.