The Dark Side Of The Information Age: If You Like A Man, Stay Off His Facebook

by Lauren Martin

Loose lips sink ships, nothing is free in this world, ignorance is bliss and Facebook ruins relationships. The last piece of advice is definitely a new one, not used by your mother in her many years of guidance through a slew of clichéd phrases and wise words.

However, it will most likely become a common saying, a hybrid of the old advice from our mothers and the newfound wisdom of our technological future, to something like, “First impressions are always wrong, but Facebook impressions can never be forgotten.”

We can all agree that no matter how much you think you like a person, the second you check out his digital profile, it can be make it or break it, all bets off and the common "What was I thinking?" claim.

A girl can be falling madly in love with a guy until that fateful hour comes when she takes to the portal of online identity and begrudgingly clicks on the photo of him taking a shirtless mirror pic. F*ck. No. No. No. No.

One shirtless mirror pic and our guard is up. In one click, our attraction has dipped to the excitement level of a little kid who just dropped his ice cream cone on the sidewalk. We instantly write the guy off because now we know what he's really like.

Many would argue that seeing a picture like this helps a woman; it helps her skip the five dates, two nights of bad sex and one too many thumbs up emojis to find out he’s a douchebag.

She knows right then and there that she can’t possibly go out with this guy because what sensible, self respecting woman would date a man who takes mirror pics?

You may continue arguing that social media sites have helped the modern woman, alleviating her from the games and the harsh reality of finding out who he really is too late.

But to this I must ask, doesn’t that take the fun out of it all? Isn’t life supposed to be about experiences and aren’t experiences all about all those bad dates, wrong guys and brutal life lessons?

Aren't we supposed to find out the hard way that he’s a douchebag? Aren’t we supposed to find out for ourselves what kind of guy he is? What if, just maybe, you were supposed to fall in love with a guy who takes mirror pics?

Because we all know that we’re not the easiest of critics. Rather than looking past his awkward profile picture, we save it, send it and lament over it with all our friends. We tell each other that we couldn’t possibly date a guy with this kind of online presence before we even get to know him at all.

We go out with him a second or third time, subconsciously judging him, already knocking him down. As we keep checking out his pictures, all we are really doing is checking off the chance of a possible relationship.

A major problem with our generation of dating is that there are too many things that can ruin a good image, which, in turn, ruins a good man. One bad photo, one weird tweet, one sexually ambiguous Instagram post and it’s all you can associate him with.

He’s no longer Joe, Brad, Will or Teddy, but “selfie guy,” “mirror pic guy” and “too many Instagram pics guy.” Their most defining qualities are no longer their great sense of humor or their kindness, but how well they take a picture.

We no longer see their charming side, but their bad side, their awkward side and the side that posts on way too many girls' walls.

It's the side that shouldn't come out until the fifth or sixth date, when you finally notice him checking out other women at dinner, or when he doesn't shut up about himself.

However, by checking right away, you refuse to give him any time to prove himself with other redeeming qualities -- qualities that aren't captured on the illuminated walls of Facebook.

To be fair, to all those men out there who don’t know how to properly post, tag and take a photo, an online presence isn’t an easy one to pull off, especially when you haven’t figured out your own presence yet. Men just don’t think about these things the way women do.

A man looks only to see if she’s hot, not how many guys she’s friends with, how many selfies she has and how many times she updates her status a day. For men, it’s just another photo, for women, it’s another layer.

It’s a layer we aren’t supposed to dissect, analyze or even see yet. It’s a superficial, awkward and, many times, disturbing lie (or truth) that has the power to ruin a relationship before it begins.

It’s an unnecessary seed of doubt, a dangerous game and a very harsh light that many men don’t deserve to be cast beneath, or at least, not just yet.

So for all of you about to go on a first date, fifth date or just starting a relationship, let your relationship fall apart the old fashion way... by sheer dislike after personal interaction.

Photo via Favim