Relationships and Social Media

My boyfriend and I had a fight the other day. I said to him, why did you remove your last seen? It wasn’t just that I needed to know his every move or that I wondered if he had been chatting with me before he went offline or just the mere pleasure of that glowing “online” status which gave me firm gratification of his presence and availability…it wasn’t just that, it was all of it! We do not live in a boy meets girl world anymore, we live in a boy slides into a girl’s DM world! Twenty-first century relationships are characterized by online communication, sharing and basically our entire existence! By it’s very nature, social media coupled with modern day relationships has become a cursed blessing!

I was talking to this nineteen year old boy the other day and he says to me, “The way to ask a girl out on social media is to send her a dirty joke, if she responds with an emoji, then you have broken the ice, she has let you in!” I stared at him blankly for a while unable to comprehend what had happened to conversations on a park bench. The eighties is probably peering into our world, seeing the intricacies of modern day relationships and thinking this all sounds insane!

Back in the day, in a ploy to get to know one another, conversations were over coffee or in a rat infested semi dark movie theatre (You get the point). It was about getting to know each other’s interests, views on world peace and dislikes; I just got exhausted typing all that. Why go through so much trouble when you can just stalk their every social media, a millennial would probably ask.

I used to spend hours going through JayZ and Beyonce’s instagram holiday pictures and sighing at how perfect their relationship was. Who was with me in wishing #RelationshipGoals? We all know how that turned out…when you are served lemons; we will just leave it there!   And while we would awe at pictures of matching outfits and yacht vacations, the complexities of relationships behind the lens are as adorable as hugging a cactus.

However, social media has indeed provided a cheaper and easier way to communicate with your loved ones. We no longer have to wait to get to a landline. Those we love are just a click of the button away from chatting until the wee hours of the morning, to face timing each other from the streets of New York to the vast plains of Hwange. Relationships, just like everything else, have gone digital!

But like a beast that constantly needs to be fed, so has become a modern day relationship in this multifaceted world of social media. The trouble is the constant need to be in each other’s lives each and every second. We have complicated relationships from getting upset when our loved ones do not respond immediately to our texts, to the constant surveillance of what the other person is doing and with whom. We no longer place proper value on courtship in its purest form. When I was growing up boys used to ask you out for a walk which would involve hand holding and star gazing, nowadays we just like each other’s social media posts!

By Yvonne Mateko

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1 Comment

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