Jared Freid (@jtrain56) is a comedian and one of the “Bros” at HeTexted.com. HeTexted is a site where girls can get advice on the texts they receive from guys. Every Thursday on PostGradProblems Jared will answer one of the questions from his HeTexted mailbag. These are real questions from real girls visiting the site each day. If you have any of your own dating questions go to www.HeTexted.com and ask Jared or any of the other Bros that fit your particular situation.
Q: I’ve been dating this guy for almost a month and the subject of social media hasn’t come up yet. We met at a mutual friend’s party. I’ve stalked as much as I can but and it feels dumb that I’m even thinking about this but facebook and instagram are things I look at and I feel weird that we haven’t crossed into that world. When is the right time to follow, friend, etc? And do I look weird if I bring it up. We are past the point of a rando creepy friend request. Please help.
A: When to friend or follow seems like such a trivial question until you think about your day. You woke up and checked Facebook before showering. You spent five minutes investigating a tagged picture like it was a herpe-ish looking ingrown hair after a drunken hookup. You decide to de-tag because the tagger thinks nobody notices her Spanx, so what could she know about a good picture? You spent another five minutes going through your newsfeed and for some reason, you couldn’t help clicking “15 Ways Your Twenties Are Just Like The Jessie Spano Caffeine Pills Episode Of ‘Saved By The Bell’ Porno Spoof.” Then you shower, get ready for work, and do the Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, email run around the bases three or four times. You spend your workday monitoring an Instagram you posted of your stained shirt with the caption “FML” (30 likes, killing it) and see the connection your “Ughhh rain” tweet made with your followers (one favorite from @IFavoriteRainTweets,who’s not even a follower, FML). Saying that social media is a part of your life feels ridiculous.
We all think it’s so small, vain, and inconsequential that it shouldn’t take up a slice of the “life pie chart,” but it’s the reality. The average American spends 37 minutes on social networking sites and judging by the fact that you just thought, “That’s it?” means it’s not so ridiculous to account for it with our relationships. To me, this is one of those subjects that girls have convinced themselves makes them sound “crazy,” but it couldn’t be more sane. I never understood this phenomena. Girlfriends of mine will say things like, “We’ve been hooking up for three months and sometimes he has blood all over his shirt, so I really want to ask what we are and if he’s a serial killer, but I just don’t want to be that crazy girl.” Girls do this because they’re afraid of losing the relationship. That’s a bad way to go through life. “Hey kids, Daddy and I are, like, a thing–but don’t say anything, I don’t want him to get scared,” the woman said as she sipped her “mom juice” (vodka and a splash of cranberry in a coffee mug). I think everyone single and dating should live by the motto of if you feel something, then you should say something. It’s easier for me to say than for anyone to do, but say nothing now and regret it when you’re old (like, 30).
It’s weird you’re not Facebook friends. It’s strange you only go for dates on weekdays. It’s a little scary that he just started screaming and clawing at his face when you were swiping through his pictures. Every friend request or follow with someone you’re dating is really dependent on how you met. If you meet online, then the Internet is already the topic of the relationship and I would see that happening sooner rather than later. The way the girl in the question met her guy gives credence to the Internet stuff happening later, but at some point, it has to happen or I would start to wonder what he’s hiding. It could be as small as an ex-girlfriend who isn’t far enough in his rearview mirror, so he knows he’s being monitored like a recently freed prisoner on probation. Or it could be something as big as you’re hispanic. I’M KIDDING! But seriously, the key to any social media honesty is tongue in cheek. We are all very similar–we are all monitoring these sites, but it’s a little embarrassing to admit it. Reference a picture you posted and say something like, “but YOU wouldn’t know about that,” then smile. He will get it. The topic will come up. You’ll both pull out your phones and connect (basically marriage). And if that doesn’t happen, then that wasn’t a bad picture you untagged. You’re just fat.
Jared Freid is a comedian and HeTexted “Bro” based in NYC. You can ask him dating questions at HeTexted.com or find him on Twitter (@JTrain56) for weekly columns, podcasts, and videos.