Addicted To Love?: Dating In The Digital Age, Part 1

I think it’s pretty obvious that technology makes dating far more difficult. I hear about it, I’ve written about it, and I sure as hell live it every day. With every new device and social media platform comes an entirely new set of rules and regulations that must be adhered to, for fear of looking “crazy” – and it’s fucking exhausting. I’m not here to offer solutions so much as to point out why social media sucks.

I think it’s safe to say that texting does more harm than good in the world of dating. Something that was meant to be so innocuous (and even, you know, functional) gets turned into some weird mind-fuck that never means whatever we think it means. Who should text first? Are emojis appropriate? Does the excessive use of proper punctuation mean they’re pissed? Do they really want me to “have fun,” or was that textbook passive aggression? Every text is open to interpretation, and unfortunately when you fear the worst, your tendency to over-think runs rampant and the agony between responses increases exponentially.

Bottom line: if you think they’re ignoring you, they probably are.

To like, or not to like? That is always the question when the object of your affection is on vacation and posts seven consecutive beach photos as soon as they have access to WiFi. Or when the selfie they just posted 17 seconds ago happens to be the first thing you see when you open Instagram. Finding the delicate balance between curbing your excitement, while still validating their use of Valencia is the key to it all, and requires stealth skills at a level reserved for a ninja.

And then there’s the constant flood of mixed signals, intentional or otherwise. Why did he like six half-naked selfies of random girls, but neglected to like mine? Why is she still liking my pictures even after she said we should just be friends? Should I call the police if he just liked a 63 week old picture? One slip of the fingers and you could catapult yourself into “obsessive stalker” territory pretty damn quickly.

Bottom line: can we all just admit that nine out of ten times, liking a picture does, indeed, mean “I would like to have sex with you now, please.”

Good old reliable Facebook. You’re less likely to give yourself away while creepily navigating FB compared to those other deathtraps. It’s a lot harder to accidentally like a post, so you can therefore get yourself into a wine-induced lurk spiral relatively stress-free. But can we all agree how bogus it is to deal with a break up when all Facebook seems to want to do is not let you forget? One minute you’re minding your own business, taking in a healthy dose of Buzzfeed articles and radical religious opinions from your old high school classmates, when BAM! You’re face to face with a photo of your ex with a beer in one hand and some babe in the other, for no reason other than someone you vaguely know tagged them and then someone else you vaguely know commented on it. The evidence of how okay they’re doing without you is peppered amongst a sea of engagement announcements and new baby photos.

Bottom line: you’re alone, and Facebook wants you to know it. Discover the “unfollow” button.


Essentially, technology isn’t doing us any favors when it comes to dating: there are far too many ways to piss someone off without even realizing it. If you happen to meet someone who isn’t on social media, grab on and don’t let go. Want to know what the experts think? Check back next week for part two of this series!


BRB, gotta go lurk my ex’s new GF…

Alex Payne

Alex Payne

Contributor at Addicted
Alex Payne is a writer/editor/blogger living in Toronto, and a complete pop culture junkie, writing about music, dating, and whatever else she wants to rant about. She's obsessed with cupcakes, Kate Spade and The Simpsons. Oh, and vodka.
Alex Payne