Monday 16 September 2019

Ask Brian: My social media stalking puts me off every guy I fancy

Our no-nonsense agony uncle gets straight to the point of your most pressing issues

(Stock photo)
(Stock photo)
Brian O'Reilly

Brian O'Reilly

Whenever I get interested in a guy I always like to check out their social media as a sort of private investigation.

I think you can find out a lot about a person from the stuff they post on their social. The only thing is, I always find something that puts me off him.

There was a guy at college last year who I think had too many female friends. There was one little clinger-on under all his Insta posts putting comments like 'so handsome x'. Clearly he was a lad about town.

Then there was another guy I was interested in but his entire social media presence seemed to consist of him out with his friends. He'd clearly never have made any time for me if all he focuses on is nights out with his guy friends. There was even a video of him playing beer pong. I was worried he could have been a big heavy drinker or even an alco. I can't associate with someone like that.

Most recently I met a guy on a night out and we exchanged numbers and had been messaging back and forth on Whatsapp. I couldn't scope him out because I didn't know what his second name was.

Of course once I found out his second name, I immediately did my usual check and discovered the worst. He works in a supermarket.

I don't want to sound like a snob, but I went to a very good private school in Dublin and am now studying in Trinity. I just don't think my friends and family would accept me dating someone who stacks shelves for a living. Imagine me introducing him to the girls and he showed up in his uniform? I would be ostracised.

He also is from a different part of town and has some very "interesting" friends. I just don't think those "salt of the earth" types would mix well with my life.

How do I stop myself ruining every relationship before it begins?


Brian replies:

Oh heya, Judge Judy.

I don't think social media is the problem here, I think it just enables your judgmental nature and allows you to blame social media rather than ask yourself difficult questions.

Why are you looking for reasons not to go out with someone before a relationship even begins?

Beer pong does not make someone an alcoholic. I mean, it means they make questionable life decisions - but that's about it.

Someone's social media presence is not the entirety of their life. In fact it reveals very little about a person, beyond selective activities or thoughts we choose to post.

My social media accounts would suggest all I do is go to see Wicked, watch Eurovision and complain about taxi drivers. But I have many more interests, including complaining about buses and getting way too involved with Dr Phil. So I'm a lot deeper than on first social media impression.

To be frank, I think your reasons for not dating the latest guy are appalling. You found out he works in a supermarket, not that he's in a white supremacist group. I think it says a lot about you that you'd consider his occupation a reason not to date him. Some of the dullest people I've met in my life work in high-powered careers.

I don't think social media stalking is your problem. Let's be honest, in this day and age everyone loves a good social  media stalk. Who doesn't scroll through a potential partner's photos all the way back to 2011 when considering a date? Then accidentally hit 'like' on one of those 2011 photos and immediately close down all their social accounts and move country. We've all been there.

Your problem is you're incredibly judgmental. You're looking for reasons not to go out with people, or maybe you enjoy judging them and feel superior. You're not better than anyone, you need to stop taking this approach to life.

Even if you do take such umbrage in things you're seeing on social media, why not just go on a date anyway? What do you have to lose?

Worst case guy number one is too handsome. Worst case guy number two suggests beer pong. Worst case guy number three refuses to give you double clubcard points on the sly.

Your problem isn't social media stalking, your problem is that you're picky and judgmental. Frankly, you need to get your head out of your a**.

You need to get yourself out of your bubble, and open yourself up to people from different walks of life.


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