I don’t know about you, but my first boyfriend in high school (eons ago, and as we were naive teenagers, I might add) managed to text his way to my heart. And I’m sure I wasn't the only one.
It’s no secret that we hide behind technology. Why look your roommates in the eye and watch them disappointingly gaze over your rank abode as you chide them for their lack of hygiene, when you could passive-aggressively group-text “we have fruit flies, you guys!”
Why risk embarrassing yourself trying to talk to an attractive person in public and face open rejection, when you could text them the ever-alluring “sup?” in a matter of seconds?
It's 2014, and this is how we flirt.
Gone are the days of eye-contact - we are in the midst of a new age of interpretation. Every like, re-tweet and favorite holds meaning in the dating world.
“He liked the picture of me at formal! I bet he wishes he was my date.”
“He liked the photo of me with my little.. What a d-bag! He wants my little!”
“He liked the post I made on my guy-friend’s wall... Is he mad? Should I tell him we’re just friends... Like seriously... Just friends?”
It’s very easy to take our online interactions and run with them. Text messaging still dominates as a passive vessel for semi-accurately conveying our intentions, but I want to take a minute to expose an app that is taking over flirtatious communication entirely - Snapchat.
Snapchat is winning right now because we have no established ground for what a “Snap” really means. One person might send out a picture because they’re purely a social-media junkie and that PSL is, like, really, really important right now. Someone else may send a Snap and wait by their phone all. day. long. to see if it’s been read or not by that special someone.
The problem with Snapchat is that there’s so much ground left uncovered in terms of what a Snap really means. Some play it off as just an "update" to their social circle, while others use a Snap to send a direct message. Everyone handles it in a different connotation, so when someone's frequently sending you photos with snarky captions, what is it that they really want?
For example: you send a selfie of you on a night out to your top seven Snapchat friends. Five are close friends, one is an ex, and one is that person you're semi-"talking" to right now (because yes, there are now different levels of "talking").
For your friends, you want them to see how much fun you're having. They might already be in the background. To your ex, your picture signifies how much fun you're having without them. And to that third party? A plethora of meanings are possible: "look how pretty I am," "come join us," "I'm a fun, social person!" You may not have consciously realized it but yes, your Snap could convey all of those things.
The key word in that last sentence, however, is could. It may not. They might take it as something entirely different. There's no possible way to know because you're sending them an image that disappears after ten seconds.
So let's take a step back and think about what kind of power we're giving our handheld devices. I love mine because it helps me stay organized, and sync all of my events, appointments, and assignments as well as stay in touch with people. But do I really want that to dictate how I communicate and express desires for others?
Not in the least.
So the next time you want to get the message across that you like someone... Try flat out messaging it. Save the Snaps for ugly selfies to your besties.