The other day I came across an article with a title reading "what to do if he's not snapchatting you back," a title we have all seen a thousand times on Cosmo, Buzzfeed, or any other dating advice website or magazine. Two thoughts came to mind, when I see one of these articles. First, how bizarre is it that young people rely so heavily on social media in nearly every relationship for communication and validation? Instead of talking in person we wrote letters, then we talked on the phone, then we texted, now we snapchat, what's next? Will we go on dates using holograms? My second thought, I'm embarrassed to say I thought it might apply to me.
In the silly unofficial rules of snapchat, why does being left on 'read' have to be the most offensive action? It's like watching someone roll their eyes while you're talking - they don't care, and they want you to know it. And why does sending a picture of a chair, or the floor, or the ceiling fan, or just a black screen the go-to tactic for being passive aggressive, or even worse - for being uninterested. Hardly anything can make me feel more pathetic than when my feelings are hurt because someone sends me a blank screen, or even worse, when they don't reply at all.
One of the solutions I've recently come across in an article for when you are left with no response, consists of three words, it suggests we do "nothing, absolutely nothing." The article proceeds to say that you don't want to make yourself look desperate, or annoy the person you're trying to talk to. It insists that snapping a boy a second time after he doesn't respond, could run the risk of annoying him. Okay, and what of it? Why is it that girls have to be afraid they're being clingy, pushy, or annoying, and boys have to worry about what? Nothing? There are two people in a relationship, and we shouldn't have wait around for the boy to make all the decisions. Why does he get to decide if he's ever going to snap you back or if he's going to disappear with no explanation? He's not your boss, you don't have to sit around to see if your interview went well and wait for him to tell you that you got the job. It's a partnership, and your thoughts and feelings are just as important as his.
The article continues to say that if he waits two hours to respond, you should wait at least two hours to respond - to make sure he knows you're busy and not only focused on him. I can't deny that I have played many similar games in the past and will probably play them in the future, (even though the success rate is dangerously low) but you shouldn't have to play them. When it comes to a relationship, you should do whatever you want. If you don't want to hold back then don't. Maybe it was an accident that he didn't respond, or maybe he's playing games because he can, maybe you'll feel better if you play games, maybe you won't.
No one really knows the best way to handle it, it's like when you're kids playing pretend with your friends, or playing true American from "New Girl," the rules are made up and open for interpretation. All we can do is navigate the rocky waters as best we can (in this case the rocky waters being snapchat, where no conversation actually takes place, but something is somehow still said). It's hard to say if we'll ever outgrow our social media labyrinth and express feelings face-to-face, or if things will somehow get more complicated from here. I really hope it won't, social media was supposed to make communication easier, it's already confusing enough. I feel sorry for the twenty-year-olds of the future.