We all have a group of “friends” and “followers” we are obsessed with who we don’t actually know, but interact with constantly in an attempt to feel more connected than we really are. Most often, you’ve never met these people or seen them in real life and you probably don’t live anywhere near them. But, there is that small chance they may poke you back, ‘like’ your Walden-filtered Instagram picture or favorite one of your tweets. They are the ripped, toned, hot, GQ guys who in real life wouldn’t give you the time of day – they are the same guys who you yourself would never approach in person let alone pay a compliment like “omggg so hot dude” *insert kissy lips*. What is it about social media that makes us totally comfortable with having an unending thread of commentary with a complete stranger, but if you were to come across them at a club or restaurant – you’d do everything you could to pretend they just weren’t there?
I’m the biggest offender of the social media stalking out there. I follow guys on Instagram just because they are hot and live in Miami, go to clubs and have gorgeous friends – but I don’t have any real friends like that. I retweet celebrities and favorite their pic.twitter.com/gH7fhSn’s like it’s my job but I honestly can’t name one movie they’re in or the last song they released. And when a random dude pokes me on Facebook, I feel loved for a whole three seconds and poke back only to realize they are indeed living in El Salvador and won’t ever be visiting me in Pittsburgh.
There are even people on my college campus who exist solely in my online group of “friends” who, if I notice walking toward me in a long hallway, I literally try to avoid eye contact with! We just spoke on Twitter last night, why is this awkward for me? Why is it oky for me to talk with them so easily online but as soon as they’re in front of me ordering celery sticks (skinny bitch) I jet to another part of the café so he doesn’t spot me? I tell myself all the time – just pretend you’re more important and act rude, maybe they will feel more threatened. But then, it comes to me…if I were to do that, I’m still the scared, apprehensive one and I would have bought in to the very attitude and personality I so dislike.
It’s a funny concept, this growing comfort we all have with online interaction that just does not translate into real life. Would you ever walk up to a random guy and compliment his eyes, pecs and smile while buying muscle milk at GNC? Maybe some people would, but I never have – I don’t have the balls. But something about Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Grindr just make it so much less awkward and easier. It’s not that I doubt myself or my confidence, necessarily – I know I’m not God’s worst gift to man. It just takes on a whole new level of awkwardness when you do come across that guy who you talk to every other day on various sites…what the hell do you say?
“Hey thanks for that sexy comment bud…how are you?” – ehhhh, probs not.
“Thanks for that like dude, appreciate it.” – you’re dumb, shutup.
“Damn boy loved those yummy undies in that pic last night hehe…” – kill yourself.
See what I mean…it’s fucking awkward. I guess my whole point in writing this is to say I wish I wasn’t the way I am with online ‘relationships.’ It is so much easier to say what you’re thinking with a keyboard than it is to actually verbalize and shove out of your mouth. And it’s also easier and better received, it seems, if you compliment a hot guy online than if you tried in person.
There is what I call an Instagram celebrity in Pittsburgh who tweets sassy, snarky remarks, has three billion followers on every imaginable site and is beyond gorgeous and knows he is (that son of a bitch uses it too). He has retweeted my hilarious tweets (you can follow my ass at @alexbeepeterson), liked my Facebook comments glorifying his delicious hair, and even went as far as putting a smiley face on one of my Insta pix. For those of you who are addicted to hot men complimenting you – this is like Christmas three times over. It temporarily relieves any self-degrading thoughts you may be thinking and makes you think “holy shit someone hot is thinking about me and was just on my page and probably likes me and will text me later and then we’ll date and move in together and get a dog and…” – yeah then you wake up and realize he’s a social media slut and you’re an asshole for being so dumb.
My social media dream gay who’s connected to every homo in the Burgh with club pictures posted every night and thousands of guys drooling over him, literally ran into me when I was out one night. He looked at me, I looked back, frozen like a mannequin. I suddenly realized who he was and almost shit myself. I knew he knew who I was and just as fast as we had bumped into one another, he turned on his Aldo dress shoes and strutted back to his group of pretentious homos in pastel tank tops gathered in the corner with their smooth, tan skin and Hollywood designer hair.
Soooo…what the fuck was that?
I, of course, was speechless – standing there sweating like a whore in church with fear. That fear turned to “hey, why didn’t he…?” – which then turned into “oh my God I can’t believe he just did that” to finally, “guys I’m like really upset that this guy who…”.
But truly, what else should I have expected? I suddenly realized, he doesn’t like my pictures or think I’m his type or agree with my tweets or want to “poke” me – he’s being the social butterfly his kind needs to be in order to stay at the level of local gay micro-celebrity he enjoys. And if that works for his ego, makes him sleep well at night and gains him new groupies– so be it. That is not who I am.
Let this be a casual warning that yes, you may be friends with chiseled hunks on every social media site from London to Ibiza…and yes, you may feel oh-so-confident commenting them with your fingertips late at night but, be warned that when you come face to face with the man of your Instadream…you’re probably going to be disappointed. That is, unless, you’re one of those sexy pieces of eye candy reading this now and make an ugly homo like me happy and fucking say hi once in a while.
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