Friday, February 14, 2014

Engagements, Valentine's, and Social Media... Ugh...

We've all seen this before… and if you’re in your 20’s, now, more than ever…

Call me selfish, call me cynical, call me whatever you want. There’s almost nothing worse than having this pop up in your social media feed. This is seemingly becoming more and more common as each day passes and it doesn't get any easier as a single person who has a lot of friends; not to mention a few exes, who still reside in their social media circles.

I’m not saying then when a good friend of mine gets engaged that it in any way angers me. Usually, I’m pretty excited for them; albeit, a little annoyed because I haven’t found mine yet. I’m just stating that there are genuinely a lot of people in my social media world whom I could care less about in these instances; especially around this time of year. It’s bad enough that February 14th has become known to many as Single’s Awareness Day, but the continuous evolution of social media has just made this day worse and worse as each year passes. A vision of Linda Blair and an interesting green substance comes to mind as I scroll through the morning’s Instagram photos. Various images from an old Jackass episode cloud my mind as I look through my Facebook news-feed. It just gets annoying. Also, it seemingly never ends. God forbid it falls on a weekend (Screw you, 2014).

What is one to do? Do you just unsubscribe of un-follow that person because you know there is more to come? No, because you've managed to stay connected to them for all this time. There’s clearly some reason for it. What if you’re vaguely friendly with this person? What if it is an ex? What then? The fear of missing out (or “FOMO” for those unknowing types) and social anxiety sets in. Did Zuckerberg implement a way to just filter out engagement and wedding announcements yet?

I, for one, have trouble with this. Not just because I am single, but because I feel like I’m the real life incarnation of Dane Cook in the movie “Good Luck Chuck.” The worst part of this is now realizing that very few of the break-ups I've gone through were on bad terms, and I’m still “friends” with them. Recently, these notifications have started popping up everywhere and part of me can’t help but selfishly think, “Shit.. That could have been me.” Then again, there’s the positive side to it. It’s not me. More often than not, it’s the guy she dated before me. I’m still undecided on how I feel about that. On one hand, it’s technically not somebody new. Then again, did she ever really move on in the first place? How much time did I just waste being “the other guy?” I think today; as a sweeping declaration, if I ever dated you and this image comes up on my news-feed… See ya! It’s nothing personal. I just really don’t want to see the updates; furthermore, I doubt he wants me seeing them.

Do I think I’m mature and ready for this kind of commitment? Sure. But, I believe that the phrase is; it takes two to tango. I doubt most guys out there are willing to state their opinions on the matter. Even I've tried to brush it off until now. Furthermore, I have no idea what it’s like for the opposite sex in all of this. Women have been planning their ideal engagements and weddings since they were in grade school. I couldn't even begin to wax philosophical on their viewpoint here. I’d assume it’s been the plot of some romantic comedy at some point.

I think I speak for some men; however, in saying that a plethora of us think about this nonsense too. Seeing our friends go through it cuts just as deep sometimes. The older we people of the male persuasion get, the more we start to plan ahead and get our hopes up too.

 It is for this reason, that social media and society have put everyone into a corner. Gone are the days of enjoying these moments with your family or closest friends. Who reads wedding announcements in newspapers or receives one in the mail anymore? Now all of you newly engaged and newlywed folks have to make every person you’re remotely connected with go through it all too? I speak for a lot of people out there when I say, “No, Thanks.”

So... to all the singles out there, Happy February 14th. Get out there, and instead of being weary of the fact that all of your friends are engaged, married, or coupled up; go buy yourself a present. Get out there and pop a bottle of champagne. Celebrate anything but the opposite sex, no matter how good looking and fun to be around they can be. Try to stay away from social media all day, because all it’s going to do is piss you off.  Cheers.

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