Don’t Be So Emo on Social Media

Look, I get it. Sometimes life flings a seemingly endless stream of lemons at our face.

Sometimes we need to vent.

Sometimes we get on social media to do it.

And sometimes, we might even feel better after venting. (The benefit of openly talking about one’s personal issues is debatable, but I’ll leave that discussion for another post.)

So often, I see people taking to social media to profess their dating woes. The problem is, publicly announcing your dating woes can only exacerbate said woes, because complaining publicly about your love life (or lack thereof) is categorically one of the most unattractive things you can do.

A quick clarification:

If you choose social media to initiate a discussion about your less-than-stellar love life, you’re fine. That shows an inclination towards self-improvement, which is in fact attractive. If you’re levelheaded and rational, and you’re asking, “Friends, what can I do to better my chances of meeting someone?,” that is admirable of you.

If, on the other hand, you choose social media to whine, you will inevitably make things worse for yourself. If your comments are less, “What can I do to better my chances,” and more, “What’s wrong with me???” — or worse, “What’s wrong with all the [insert gender of your choosing here] out there?!?” — then yes, you’re only hurting yourself.

Here’s another aspect:

On more than one occasion, single friends have asked me if I know anyone I could set them up with. (I dunno, I guess some of my friends think I’m this dating guru or something?)

In response, I’ll usually get on Facebook and start browsing. Invariably, I’ll look for someone who’s positive, fun, and upbeat — someone my friend might have a good time hanging out with.

For fear of losing my tenuous self-appointed guru status, I certainly won’t introduce my friend to someone who’s constantly negative and always complaining. I mean, why would I subject them to misery like that?

Now, consider all the other friends, acquaintances, or maybe even strangers who might find you on social media and think of you as a potential dating prospect for one of their friends, or even themselves. And consider how many of these friends, acquaintances, or strangers might be put off by your negativity.

I can imagine your rebuttal right now, though:

“Fuck you, Dennis. I don’t care. I’m not looking for dates on Facebook. Facebook is where I go for commiseration.”

To that, I say:

“Fair enough. It’s your life to live.”

I get that social media may be your outlet to interact candidly with other people. You use it to keep in touch with — and seek support from — your online friends.

I get that.

Just keep in mind that the internet is ultimately a public venue. And presenting the best side of yourself publicly — even on the internet — can only help you achieve your goal of meeting someone. As such, it boils down to a choice and a sacrifice if you are truly struggling with your dating life:

  1. You can use social media to vent your frustrations and seek support from friends. In doing so, you sacrifice your odds of impressing a potential date or someone who can connect you with a potential date. Effectively, you show people probably why you’re single.
  2. You can sacrifice that instantaneous, but fleeting sense of satisfaction you feel in your psyche when someone offers a supportive comment to your woes. You can confine your support-seeking to close friends via a private medium only. And in doing so, you present the best side of yourself publicly, both online and in real life. You show people why you shouldn’t be single after all.

To me, the answer is obvious.

But again, it’s your life.

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