by Jenn Hoffman
Social media has changed the way we date. It helps us eliminate possible partners before we even meet them in person, because we learn so much about their general attitudes towards life through their status updates.Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn't. But there are many common social-media red flags that might seem subtle, but should make you run, not walk, away from a potential IRL date.
1. The Humble BraggerThese are people who really want you to think they're awesome. They want you to know their life is better than yours because they think this makes them more desirable. Humblebrag people are self-aware enough to know that boasting is rude, so they temper each boast with a bit of false humility. Passive/aggressive humblebrag-ishness goes something like this:
“I hate that my new 2012 Range Rover Deluxe Edition isn’t big enough to fit just one more care package to take over to the orphanage.”
“Somebody just stopped me in Whole Foods just to tell me I’m beautiful. I felt like such a dork.”
Or simply, “I'm so blessed to have the best life, best job, best friends, best house, best everything ever. God is good.”
We get it. Your life is amazing. Now grow up.
2. The Forever InfirmedSome people in your timeline constantly posts about never-ending lists of ailments. They’re always in some stage of illness. We're not talking about friends with cancer or status updates from your 198-year-old Aunt Helen. Aunt Helen can bitch about her gout if she needs to. We're talking about perfectly healthy 25-year-olds who always write stuff like:
“Oh no, not another fever. Just got over mono, strep and syphilis.”
“I feel like shit again. Why do I always get sick before the holidays/birthdays/everyfuckingday?”
“First cramps, now explosive diarrhea? WTF? FML!”
3. The FML PersonIf you are living in America, own a computer and have time to update your status, your life can’t be that bad. The occasional drama is understandable, but FML people are always miserable. They have a perpetually negative attitude and actually think their life sucks more than everyone else’s life sucks. Can you imagine how awful they must be in person if they are that unhappy online? If you date a FML person it will become a FOL situation. Here’s how:
“Stuck in traffic. FML.”
“I hate my job. FML.”
“I want Pinkberry. FML.”
“@insertyournamehere is late for dinner. FML.”
“@insertyournamehere never makes me happy. What a bad boy/girlfriend. FML.”
4. The Party AnimalWe're not ones to judge, but maybe grown adults shouldn’t be posting pictures of themselves blowing rails off a dead hooker's tits while holding a beer bong in one hand and a big pink dildo in the other. We're not telling you not to do these things; we're just suggesting that maybe you shouldn’t live tweet that action if you’re serious about trying to get a date.
Someone should just invent an anti-drunk-dialing breathalyzer app that automatically disables your ability to call, text, tweet or Facebook if you blow over a .08. It’s not your fault. If you didn’t have access to your phone while drinking and mainlining Adderall in an opium den, you would never have posted those pictures.
5. Post Break-Up “Trying Too Hard” Status UpdatersAfter a break-up, you know your ex is stalking your social-media feeds. It doesn’t matter if you de-friend and block each other; you'll both find ways to sneak peeks at those status updates. So you use your feed as a weapon. You create status updates just to make your new single life look way, way better than it actually is in order to make your ex-lover jealous. Then you get sad that you tried to hurt them and write weird, cryptic, lovey-dovey shit that you hope makes up for all your public sluttery and abandonment.
“Me and my wolf pack are poppin’ bottles at (insert club name) and all the ladies here are looking hot tonight! #gettinlaid"
“OMG the guys at (insert bar name) are so cute. They bought all me and all my girls shots! Should we all make out? #girlsnightout”
“I can’t even tell you all what I’m about to do tonight. #gangbang”“Sometimes you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone. I miss my cookieface bunny rabbit. Come back to me, my love. #suicide”
6. The Casual Death, Doom and Destruction UpdaterSome people post status updates about really painful, awful, private, next-level shit as if they are casually updating about what they ate for lunch. Do not date or be friends with these people.
“Looks like I’m getting a divorce.” (Posted Monday, 1:29 p.m.)
“Sometimes I wish a tsunami would wash all the pain away. #life” (Posted Tuesday, 4:45 a.m.)
“I miss you grandpa. R.I.P.” (Posted Wednesday, 3:09 p.m.)
“My whore wife just left me, so I’m going to burn down our house and then kill myself by cutting my own throat with a serrated knife.” (Posted Friday, 6:00 p.m.)
“Everybody is fucking dead. Are you happy now?” (Posted Friday, 6:45 p.m.)
“'Sup, dogs? What’s everyone doing tonight? Wanna hang out?” (Posted Friday 9:45 p.m.)
8. Old-Fashioned Stalkers and Psychos@exgirlfriend: “I love you.” (posted at 10:04 a.m.)
@exgirlfriend: “I love you.” (posted at 11:56 a.m.)
@exgirlfriend: “I love you.” (posted at 1 p.m.)
@exgirlfriend: “I love you.” (posted at 4:00 p.m.)
@exgirlfriend: “I love you.” (posted at 4:01 p.m.)
@exgirlfriend: “I love you.” (posted at 5:00 p.m.)
@exgirlfriend: “I love you.” (posted at 7:45 p.m.)
@exgirlfriend: “I love you.” (posted at 10:00 p.m.)
@exgirlfriend: “I love you.” (posted at 12:07 a.m.)
@exgirlfriend: “I love you.” (posted at 3:45 a.m.)
@exgirlfriend: “You’re a c---.” (posted at 4:36 a.m.)
“My @exgirlfriend is f---ing CRAZY.” (posted at 4:37 a.m.)
@exgirlfriend: “I still love you.” (posted at 4:38 a.m.)
9. The CatfishYou have no idea who this person is, but their profile picture is hot so you accept their friend request. They direct message you about common interests and make witty remarks about things you post. Over time you build a rapport and start a flirtation. Things heat up and they start sending you sexy pictures. This person is totally the greatest! You can’t believe you met them on the Internet.
Then things get weird. The messages become erratic. This stranger demands all your time and plan your future together even though you never this person in person. The texts become desperate and facts don’t add up. You realize the pictures you got are not even real pictures of your online crush, but stock photography stolen from RandomArtsyModelSite.com. They become aggressive when you call them out on pretending to be a 25-year-old underwear model when they’re really a 500-pound, 84-year-old recluse. You try to block or ignore this person. Then they write you 10 times a day. They friend request your family members and message your co-workers and friends. They write weird poems about you and post the poems on their blog. Eventually they give up. Or they show up at your house, murder your whole family and boil your bunny.
10. MeJust don’t do it. I’m not ready and neither are you. But we can be great friends.
Sometimes it’s hard to tell if a potential lover is batshit, so thank God we have the Internet. Just remember: sometimes you're the one who's one crazy status update away from getting laid. Next time you want to post a nasty tweet to your ex or post a poem about how much you hate your life, beware. You're flying your own social-media red flag for everyone to see.