I’m not alone when I attest that I have a love-hate relationship with Facebook. I spend way too much time scrolling through lame stories on my newsfeed when I should be studying, but at the same time I love having the freedom to stalk almost all the people my age I’ve ever met … and hooked up with.
Facebook and other social media have transformed our generation’s culture in so many ways, and our sex lives are not an exception.
It all started with AOL Instant Messenger. Remember the days? Our middle school years were different than those of others before us, because instead of picking up the phone and calling the classmates we had a crush on, we IMed them. When “caligirlxox02” messaged you “wuts up” you knew you were in. If I had a quarter for every time I was told someone “like-liked” me over AIM, I’d actually be able to do laundry this week. Back then, when our sexuality was just a twinkle in our — well, you know — these conversations laid the foundation for our later interactions over a much more complicated medium.
Between AIM and Facebook there were a myriad of rather un-sexy sites. Xanga, Myspace, LiveJournal, etc. When Facebook came along, it asserted itself as the sexiest thing to happen to social media since Youporn. In those early days of Facebook, poking was the ultimate flirtation. I mean, it’s literally called “poking.” We all know what that means, Mark. Now poking has evolved into some sort of Internet battling weapon that is not fully understood.
So now we’re living in two worlds, which means we need to keep up our sex lives in both real life and on Facebook. Our interactions online translate to the real world in a meaningful way. Think about when you have a crush on someone you’ve actually met. You Facebook friend them, then inevitably you work your way through at least the profile pictures. Maybe scroll down their wall a little bit. Might as well check out their music taste. How about their TV shows? Wow they like Arrested Development too? Soul mates!
In real life, you casually act like you haven’t stalked the shit out of them when you run into each other at Pixel. Now you have a leg up in the conversation because of your careful studies of their profile. Cunningly you slip in how excited you are for the Arrested Development movie. From this point, you’re set! Pants haven’t come off that quickly since the invention of the naked lap.
What do you do after you have a one night stand? To friend or not to friend, that is the question. Freshman year, I friended everyone I even made out with, even if it was a ten minute dance-floor-make-out. So now I’m left with a handful of fellas who I’m FB friends with because of one random sexual encounter freshman year, despite the fact that I’ll never talk to them again.
Why don’t I just unfriend them, you ask? Well, it’s not that easy. One does not simply unfriend a past hookup. Call me creepy, but sometimes I stumble upon a fine gentleman I hooked up with a while back and take a minute to stalk. What are they up to? Did they ever get that job they wanted? Do they have a girlfriend? Is she hotter than me? It’s always good to check in.
So past hookups usually stay on the list. But there are definitely some caveats to this rule. For instance, if I take a gander at your profile pictures and decide that I’m actually ashamed I hooked up with you, you’re out. If you lied about your identity and I find out, it’s also not looking good. If you request me to change my relationship status, there is no recovering from that.
That brings me to my next point: relationship statuses. I personally haven’t had a relationship status since high school. Back then, I would consistently check the status of this one couple from my high school who had graduated. When they took their relationship status off after a while, I was at first disappointed, but then I realized how smart it was. They didn’t want me, the random girl from their high school, following the ebbs and flows of their relationship. So now I’ve decided that I’m not putting up a relationship status until I’m engaged, if Facebook is for some reason still in existence.
I guess my main point is that social media is weird. Sure, the knowledge that you may gain from Facebook might get you laid. But reciprocally, do we want our profiles stalked? Do we want our relationships advertised and categorized next to our profile pictures? What’s next, a favorite sexual position category next to “Favorite Quotes” and “People who inspire you?” These are the questions of our generation.
Morgan T. is a junior in the College of Human Ecology. She may be reached at email@example.com. After Midnight appears alternate Thursdays this semester.