I don't know if I can speak for all women, but I am quite certain that I can speak for many.
There is something incredibly unattractive about a man who relies on social media to bolster his romantic network.
Surely, there's a group of online-dating loyalists somewhere out there who would be willing to play devil's advocate with me on this one, but the digital world has been far more detrimental to dating than it has been successful.
I don't think I can pinpoint a single distinguished reason why this institution is ineffective, but rather, several reasons that make online flirting unappealing:
1. The comfort of instant messaging has subdued the courting experience.
Consider your best friend invited you out to a bar with her boyfriend and a group of his friends. One of his friends keeps glancing in your direction, but turns away every time you accidentally catch his gaze.
Let's call him Bob. Bob hasn't spoken a single word to you all night. He didn't open the door for you when you were making your way into the venue.
He didn't buy you a drink. He avoided the small talk you tried to make with him when your best friend left the table to go to the bathroom and he very slightly lifted his arm to gesture an unenthusiastic wave at you when it was time to part ways.
However, once you get home, you receive a Facebook notification indicating that Bob has sent you a friend request.
You approve the request and he quickly follows up with a “hey.” You suspected from the very beginning that Bob was interested in you because of the piercing glare you felt throughout the course of the night, but Bob decided to stay within the parameters of his comfort zone and left the pursuit for later.
Bob didn't feel the need to go out of his way for you at the bar because he presumed he'd lure you in with textual flattery and some cyber charm.
We all know a Bob. Some of us even know several Bobs. Very few of us, unfortunately, know a Tom.
Tom is the guy who would make eye contact with you while you're skimming over the assigned reading for English before class in the park.
Unlike Bob, Tom would understand that if he doesn't build up the courage to pursue you in your presence, he may not have another opportunity to impress you, so he would swiftly alter his momentum toward you and take the seat at your left.
Tom would introduce himself. Tom would ask how your day has been. You would be instantly attracted to Tom's charmingly rusty voice, the kind of voice Bob has as well, but you never noticed because you couldn't hear it behind the screen of your Facebook app.
After getting a few giggles out of you, Tom would graciously request your phone number and follow up with an eager plea to take you out for dinner the next day.
Tom wouldn't like your Facebook picture, but he would buy you a bouquet of flowers for your dinner date.
Tom wouldn't send you a good morning text, but he would call to wish you a good day at work.
But, just because Tom is a great guy doesn't mean that Bob is not.
The difference between Tom and Bob is their social realm of choice. Like Tom, Bob could have romanced you as well, but Bob sacrificed courtship for a comfortably asynchronous pursuit, just as many of the gentleman left unanswered in your Facebook Messenger app had done.
This new dating frontier has granted many men the very false impression that commendable wordplay is sufficient enough to win a woman over (as seen by the recent success of the "good morning text").
It's not enough. If you're interested in a woman, you must adequately pursue her, which will take much more than a steady succession of witty texts. Don't be Bob. Be Tom.
2. It's impersonal and unnatural.
Technological communication has given us the false impression that a few digitized exchanges are sufficient enough to establish an emotional connection.
Our intuitions are constituted by how many of our Facebook photos someone has “liked,” or by whether he or she used an emoji with a greeting or not.
Our generation's reliance on social networking has placed such a high value on technological interaction that either the presence or absence of it has become a linchpin of our relationships with one another.
Realistically, however, whether someone actively interacts with you on social media or not, the exchanges can only be entirely artificial.
Unless you've gotten to personally know someone, any sweet talk you barter between your smartphones is sustained solely by false impressions and distorted perceptions.
Speaking to someone online without having met him or her is speaking to a figment of your imagination.
I would rather engage in a conversation with a friend or someone I've met organically than interact with a character I've contrived based on an assortment of Facebook photos.
3. Adding to this, if you are messaging us, you're messaging other girls.
No woman deserves the burden of having to monitor her significant other's social media activity.
If you've messaged us, we'll immediately assume you've messaged at least a dozen other girls, and that's not something we should have to deal with — ever.
4. We don't know you, and you don't know us.
If we ignore your Facebook message, it does not imply that you are unattractive. It doesn't mean that stuck up or arrogant.
We simply don't know you, and therefore, we are not obligated to respond to you.
If the notorious “seen” banner shows up under your “hello,” it does not give you the right to harass us into a response.
5. It's embarrassing.
Women are all innately part of a secret society in which they exchange screenshots of the Facebook messages you've sent them and contemplate whose is more ridiculous.
Also, it's never okay to direct message a selfie on Instagram. Stop.
6. We like the technologically reclusive guy.
We don't care about your Facebook activity.
I would rather have to explain to my friends the ugly profile picture of you from 2012 than show them a selfie you posted last night.
I can't imagine why this would come as a surprise, but most women would prefer — and are even turned on by — a guy who is Facebook inactive.
This shows that you are busy and that you have better things to do than expand your social network following.
Your Facebook activity, or lack thereof, has a direct correlation to the time you invest in your endeavors.
Facebook should not be your communication method of choice. Whether it's true or not, it's certainly safe to assume that if your romantic pursuits were successful in real life, you would not resort to social media to hone them.
So, the next time you see an attractive passerby, forget about that girl on Facebook you've been crushing on and approach the real girl instead.
She's probably been longing to meet someone named Tom.