Just Give Up

Watson, Erin Campbell

I am worried about how my new boyfriend and I will keep in touch during the summer. He is an awful communicator, and sometimes takes HOURS to return my text messages and voicemails. I have thought of turning to the ever-popular Facebook message for our summertime communicating, but I am worried that turning to cyberspace will only provide him with yet another outlet to avoid communication. How can I deal with this impending lack of communication?
-Temporarily ForgottenFor generations, women have been faced with the dilemma of males who just won’t talk to them. Sometimes, this is fine, if you’re really not interested in anything he has to say, and he doesn’t really need to be talking anyway.
But, if you’re in the middle of a burgeoning relationship, and if you are anything like the rest of your generation and pretty much terrified of human contact, Facebook serves as another excellent way to feel bad about yourself all the time.
In this digital age, Facebook adds insult to injury. Now, he can refuse to acknowledge you online – in a fake world with no visible reactions. Lack of online communication allows for obsession in a way that no previous forms of communication really can.
Compulsive Facebook checking can certainly demonstrate that, even though he has not returned your message, he has had numerous opportunities to do so. Clearly, a man was behind all the privacy invasion Facebook provides.
When Facebook decided to allow us to track the online activity of our peers, determining when our friends had recently been online by tracking their online “moves” – whom they’d communicated with, updates they’d made, or comments they’d left – it was clear that even the most gossip-hungry, privacy-disrespecting female would never have wished this torture test upon herself and the rest of her kind.
It was clearly a man, probing about to see what more he could make the Internet do. He has no idea what kind of pain and suffering his procrastination techniques have inflicted on girl-kind.
Now, not only do we know that our exes, our boyfriends and our crushes aren’t communicating with us, we know what they’re doing instead. Oblivious boys and girls without extended romantic involvement have kept this profile setting intact, without plugging in any privacy restrictions, so we can see what they’re doing, and with whom.
Therefore, you can now go online and see the last six moves he has made on Facebook – none of which involve you. These last six moves have all been made since your most recent attempt at communication, and none of them coincide with any returned effort on his part. There is not even a brief abatement in the form of a cute, short public comment, WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN ACCEPTABLE, BY THE WAY. Nothing.
Facebook also baits you, begging you to come back drunk and notice all of his online missteps, by giving you the option to “add a comment” about the online choices of others.
Of course, you will certainly have a comment. You will no doubt have several. “I see you accepted this friend request.” Start slow – reminding him that you can see him, and you can in fact see his every move. “If you had time to accept two friend requests, why didn’t you have time to send one message (to me)?” Last part optional.
Then you must cut right to the heart of the offensive behavior by pointing out the most heinous of his online actions – WHY DID YOU WRITE ON HIS WALL, NOT MINE?” This is when you back him into a virtual corner. But the obnoxious part about the overexposure of the Internet is that, at this point, you might not even care anymore. You might very well be sick of tracking his every move, but you have to persist out of sheer nosiness.
It is possible to convince yourself that he is either trying to make himself more desirable by making you wait for his response with bated breath or waiting until he has some impressive, manly news to report.
But Facebook encourages you to continue to prod by publishing up-to-the-minute “news feed” stories about subjects that really aren’t helping at this point, which allows you to pick the scab.
The information available on Facebook allows, and even makes it almost impossible not to, obsess over something that is barely a legitimate concern. In most cases, it doesn’t matter if it takes two weeks or a month to send back some cyberspace validation, but the fact that you can watch it NOT happen makes it worse.
You must continue to obsess over your imagined mistreatment simply because you can. If Facebook insinuates that you are being neglected, you better believe it, because Facebook knows everything.
Eventually, after yet another “current status,” update, you will feel strong urges to comment on this status, on his own up-to-the-minute description of his behavior that does not involve you in any way.
Perhaps at this point only some status specifying the intense degree to which he misses you would serve as an accurate description of how he was spending his time. You might wish to comment, clearly they have computers in (you can insert the proper location), BECAUSE YOU ARE USING ONE TO TORTURE ME.
Thanks, Facebook, for making American girls more miserable than even Mattel could have thought possible. Thinking better of these not-so-passive-aggressive comments, I realized that, to the unenlightened observer, this could possibly just appear to be crazy. This craziness is as opposed to clearly taking advantage of the stalking opportunities the online community encourages, nay, forces, and in fact makes it impossible to avoid.
The only thing I can suggest in this extreme situation, in which you are being completely bombarded with your neglect, is to have a drink. And then another. And then make some comments that you will no doubt soon regret.