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Digital Dating and the Content Commitment

posted by Tim Carmody   Feb 02, 2018

Call it a 21st century problem. If you’re dating someone, or interested in dating someone, and you follow that person on social media, how far and how deep into their content well do you have to go to signal your affection?

“Many millennial and Gen Z men aren’t outwardly affectionate, so we’re forced to discern the interest level and emotion behind a like or a view,” said Kristin in Los Angeles. “If I’m dating or interested in a guy, I pay close attention to their views of my Instagram Story to gauge their interest.”

“A guy I’m casually seeing right now doesn’t use social media and rarely texts, and it’s entirely thrown off my game,” she added. “It’s like, how do I know if you like me? It’s some Black Mirror millennial courting bullshit.”

It’s complicated, because the gaps in different people’s typical behavior is so different. If both partners are equally invested in social media, they can establish a certain baseline of behavior. Then you can account for deviations. But I’m not sure whether flirting/courtship levels of faving are sustainable or even desirable.

I guess with this as in all things, it’s probably best to talk it out. If you’re taking a holiday from Instagram so you can focus on work for a week, tell your partner. Else he or she might take it as an insult. If you’ve done something that looks like flirting with another person, get ahead of that. Because your partner is watching. I’m more interested in the nuances and conversations that result than the hard-and-fast rules, but it’s definitely A Thing worth some attention.