As many of us know, social media plays an increasingly important role in relationships. I’ve found this to hold especially true for the notoriously image conscious demographic of gay men. From the very beginning, social media takes the lead in many of our interactions. If you met your man on Tinder or Grindr, for instance, it’s very possible that he had his Instagram or other social media profile linked directly to his dating profile. Thus, your initial impressions of him were well informed by social media. That’s only the beginning. You may begin to date and like one another. Logically, you begin to wonder when you are ready to share your newfound boo with your social media audience. Maybe you’ll drop subtle clues at first, mysterious captions hinting to a man in your life. A picture with his back turned to the camera. Keep your followers guessing. I personally am guilty of this, knowing that as soon as I post the “mystery” picture I will be bombarded by texts (from my 4 friends) asking who this guy is or what is going on.
There are countless examples of how social media can make dating exciting. You begin to post couples pictures and share your outings with the world. You want people to know you are happy, have a great man, and some of you shady queens may even want to inspire jealousy in your friends with lesser (or no) men…you know who you are. But for every “good” aspect of social media, there is eventually the bad. Unfortunately, many relationships do not last and social media plays an important role in their unraveling. For me, my ex had a problem with the fact that I deleted pictures. Not even pictures of him, but I am very conscious of my “Instagram aesthetic” so if after a few days or week I think I don’t like a picture being on there anymore, I would delete it. He started noticing that some of those pictures were the ones he had left comments on. We were together for a bit of time but I had not publicly announced him to all of my friends. He accused me of trying to hide him from my friends and family, which was not the case at all. I assured him that I was literally just shallow enough to care about the overall appearance of my Instagram. He wasn’t buying it and it caused a huge fight.
Later, I posted our first “couples picture” on Instagram announcing our relationship to all of my friends even though I wasn’t ready to do so yet. A day later we ended up breaking up. There are countless examples of social media bringing drama to relationships. People digging up past pictures of exes and holding you to the facts (or lies) you told them about your ex in the past. “You said he was Dominican! You said he was short!” You can get in trouble for posting a picture with guys that look too friendly for comfort. You can get in trouble for liking or commenting on pictures that make your man jealous. It all boils down to maturity and security. If you have two mature and secure individuals in a relationship, they should realize that social media is a fake reality. You should always put real life conversations and actions first and not judge social media so harshly. Most of the time, when given a chance to explain things in real life, all of those “social media assumptions” can be put to rest. So that’s my advice here…social media is a necessary evil that can be very convenient and beneficial to relationships, with the potential to break them down. Always give the man you’re with the benefit of real life conversations and interactions before you key his Mini Cooper in rage for going out in Weho while you’re out of town. I bet there was an explanation…maybe.
Questions, comments, concerns, think you may need an attorney?