Before Facebook, I could probably count on one hand how many guys asked me out. And this was before Facebook was born, or rather before I was born into the world of Facebook. I was a Junior in College and had just brought my first relationship, and longest (which isn’t saying much,) to an end. At the time I wasn’t able to break up with someone, or better yet, ignore a current boyfriend long enough on a social network for a guy to get the hint. Nope, that’s back in the day when we had to pick up a phone and clearly and awkwardly address the issue. Just the same, a guy didn’t have Facebook to “ask me out.”
Once Facebook quickly evolved as the standard form of communication for our day, I’m sure I wasn’t the only girl a little taken back at how bold (if you want to call it that) guys can be through comments and messages. I’d like to know the logic behind thinking one can “generate a relationship out of thin air” or out of a Facebook contact. Though, judging by my own experience, this has become more the norm, while calling a girl up is considered old-fashioned, which makes the idea of knocking on a girl’s door sound like the Dark Ages. Though, for an age where we’ve learned to love the quick, easy and uninvasive means of building a relationship through social media, do guys know any better? It seems to be that the majority don’t know how to do it any other way.
In the pre-Facebook era, I would like to think that the thicker, more awkard and timid version of myself, that existed in High School (and College…), would’ve been just as much worth asking out as the thinner, slightly more assured version of myself now. But, alas, I guess we all have a bit of a Shallow Hal who is just more motivated by pretty pictures than a real life in motion. And for some reason as Facebook has evolved so has the pursuit of relationships online as our interaction off-line disintegrate.
There may be guys who pursue and genuinely discover the love of their life through Facebook, but in those cases they’re often long distance, friends setting up blind-dates, etc…. let’s just say they’re rare. If one wants to “generate something out of thin air” it might be easier if one was functioning in the same air, at the same time. I could be wrong, but most of us still use cell phones right? If a girl is worth asking out online, I would hope she’s worth maybe calling up or, as far-fetched an idea as it may be, even worth attempting to cross her path.
Without a doubt, Facebook has made meeting new girls, socializing and dating “easier” than ever for guys, or so we think. It all sounds easy when it’s just your macbook and you, sitting across from one another at the table and not another face that can talk back. While things may seem easy now, the messaging, the commenting, even the poking (but really, who even pokes and what is that nonsense for anyway), inevitably a real dating relationship will have more interactions, moments and surprises that Facebook won’t be able to navigate for any man. What happens between a man and a woman when there isn’t Facebook between them is what I would call a relationship, or at least the means to begin one.
This brings me back to that final scene in The Social Network, when Mark Zuckerberg is sitting in the conference room all by himself. He opens up Facebook, searches for Erica Albright, and requests to be her friend. A small screen pops up reading “Erica will have to confirm that you are friends.” Then he just waits. He hits refresh over, and over and over again… and sits there.