While most modern adult humans have some gross dependence on their smartphones, I think I may have a mild case of social media addiction. No, I'm not posting duck-faced selfies on Instagram, and I'm not posting things about my political views on Facebook hourly because I am a self-respecting adult.
I'm not engaging in social media so much as I am checking up on it. I'm just a curious person. I mean, you might even call what I'm doing "investigating."
The Internet is a rabbit hole that's very easy to spiral down. To be fair, news feeds, promoted photos and Snapchat stories all encourage us to "creep." It's not that far-fetched that you might end up on photo 52 of your new boyfriend's ex-girlfriend's law school friend's photo album from President's Day in Aspen. Only then will you realize your eye sockets are dry, you have no chill and you want to be able to afford trips to Colorado like these strangers whose page you ended up on.
Bad detective work feels particularly naughty when it comes to dating. In the age of f*ckboys and meeting total strangers off of dating apps, it's hard to not assume everyone's a sociopath. Obviously, Ted Bundys have always existed, but socio-vibes are easier to read in person.
It's scary out there on Tinder and Bumble. After mutual friends have been vetted, what choice do you have but to Google your date? Here are four reasons you should try to not creep on your date online:
1. You are not a detective.
I know you think all of that "Law and Order: SVU" you've binge-watched over the years makes you a pro who can solve murder mysteries, but that's not really how becoming a detective works. Assuming you don't work for the FBI, you probably have no idea what you are doing and are probably going to make a lot of inferences. A Facebook profile picture of your date with human female does not equal profile picture with girlfriend.
2. It's really easy to accidentally like an Instagram picture.
If you are dead set on investigating, know that you are probably going to sabotage yourself by leaving some tracks behind. Clicking that little heart is way too easy. The sinking feeling of accidentally liking your super sweet date's Instagram from September 2014 might be more soul-crushing than those puppies on the pet adoption infomercial that features Sarah McLachlan.
3. It's a catch-22.
Let's say you do find some dirt on your new boo thang. You can't really bring it up without seeming like a creepy, weird person who has a lot in common with a stalker. But, keeping it to yourself means you're going to torture yourself and your boo.
Somewhere in your irrational, Internet mind you'll then assume that a new Instagram follower equals a new hookup. It's not good.
4. It will probably give you a wrong impression.
Whatever you find on the Internet, you are probably wrong. Social media paints a very particular picture of things, and it's often totally off-base. We all know that couple who posts about their engagement daily is probably the most likely to end up divorced within a year.
Just because there is a Venmo transaction between two humans of the opposite sex for drinks, that does not mean they are dating. It's so easy to misread and translate things we see on the Internet incorrectly. It's OK to do a little investigation, just don't go too far.