Once, I shamelessly sent a text to a guy that said, “Show me your soul instead of your selfies.”
As expected, he quickly replied with a confused “Lol...what?!”
Although my text might have been worded strangely, or maybe was just plain weird, my underlying message still stands. I wanted to see more of him, but what I wanted to see had nothing to do with his looks.
I wanted to know his biggest secrets, his greatest fears, his hopes, his dreams and everything in between. Instead, I received short and shallow texts every time I tried to dig a bit deeper. I received selfies on the regular with an annoying text urging me to “send one back :).” As someone who values conversation and connection, it wasn't long before I became bored and frustrated with him entirely.
Now, some could say that maybe he wasn't that into me. Maybe he didn't put any effort in getting to know me inside and out simply because he didn't want to. Both of these explanations could quite possibly be true. However, this wasn't an isolated situation. This continued to be a pattern for me with men.
I would talk to someone new, and the focus of our text messages and conversations would revolve consistently around appearances: “Oh, you're laying in bed? Send me a selfie!”
Time and time again, men would inquire about my nighttime attire instead of the thoughts that kept me up at night. Each time, I was ready and willing to bare my soul in exchange for a small glimpse of theirs, but eventually, they dipped out. My "deeper than what meets the eye" approach may have intimidated or bored them in some way.
This annoying and destructive phenomenon continues to puzzle me, a perpetually single woman in the modern dating world. I understand that men are visual creatures, but is it truly silly of me to desire a man who longs for more than a pretty face and a constant flow of selfies?
Am I ludicrous to want to develop a meaningful connection? Is it weird that I'd rather be asked for my number instead of my Snapchat username? Are we meant to start accepting everything we see for face value?
I can't help but be concerned and annoyed when a man's chosen method of flirting is to send me a stream of selfies. Pictures may say a thousand words, but a little personality every now and then wouldn't kill you.
No, I'm not saying I don't enjoy a selfie of a love interest's smile once in a while. I'm just saying what I'd really love to know are the reasons behind that smile. I'd rather see your unfiltered self instead of your #nofilter selfies.
Naturally, it's liberating to share a selfie when you're loving your #OOTD or if you're feeling extra cute. What's even more liberating, however, is sharing heart-to-heart conversations and forming intellectual connections: the profound, heartfelt and stimulating “I'd choose talking to you over sleep” connections.
If we settle for less and don't do more, we won't get more, and eventually, we'll stop expecting more. We might sit around in a wasteland of snapchats settling for someone who isn't willing to give more. And believe me when I say some of us will start to want more.
Part of me blames Snapchat, Instagram and other selfie powerhouses for the death of the art of conversation.
Instead of coming up with a clever way to express our interest in someone or charming someone with our wit, we show desire through the click of a button. Instead of tapping into our hearts and emotions, we tap the heart emoticons on our devices.
As much as I'd like to blame Snapchat and Instagram for essentially replacing conversation and romance, no one is forcing us to use them. We aren't required to abandon romantic effort, but rather, we choose to. We willingly use social media as a crutch.
With reliance on social media comes the loss of our ability to truly be social, which deprives us of more than we realize. Why use genuine words and thoughtful actions to get someone's attention when a flirty selfie supposedly does the job more efficiently? This laziness bids farewell to soulful conversations that never even had the opportunity to form.
Snapchat is fun and all, but we shouldn't rely on it as our main method to flirt and communicate.
Instead of all the Snapchatting, can we start soul-chatting? It's time to start sending selfies of our souls. Those soul selfies will last longer than any Snapchat picture ever could.