The Evolution Of Flirting And Social Media

Gizmodo

What was your first screen name?

I don't know about you, but I have met almost all of my boyfriends on social media. I don't mean dating apps, because surprisingly, I actually haven't really done that. I mean by "sliding into DM's," as they say.

I have tested this because I am a journalist and a scientist and I can say with utmost certainty that this tactic works. It is the #1 way to flirt with people. Real life- that's a thing of the past. Get with the (computer) program.

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized flirting via cyberspace isn't anything new.

Here's a little history lesson in the evolution of flirting and social media.

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AOL INSTANT MESSANGER

Do you remember that dial up tone? Oh my god, I do. Where you'd have to beg your mom, dad, or older brother to get off the phone just so you could go online for a precious hour, and wait for your crush to IM you?

I also FOR SURE had a boyfriend who was a COMPLETE stranger who I met in a chat room for people who both loved the show The Simpsons. Looking back, he totally could have been some 50 year old dude in his basement.

Yikes.

I mean, do you remember away messages?

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Where you'd pretty much post the most emo song lyrics possible in honor of your crush? Away messages were basically the original sub tweet. Plus, how fun was it to choose any font and color you wanted?

RIP away messages.

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MYSPACE

And then there was Myspace, where you could not only message people, but you could rank your friends and crushes by putting them in your top 8. Myspace was also the first place where it became appropriate to start friend requesting people you didn't know: strangers you thought were cute, friends of friend, guys and girls you'd never met from your home town.

Celebrities also had their own Myspaces, and you could write on their walls, and sometimes they'd ACTUALLY write back.

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FACEBOOK

And thennnnn there was Facebook. Where the main means of flirting was poking.

But do you remember how AMAZING the feeling was (and is?) when you'd meet someone at a party, and then the next day wake up to a friend request from them?

butterflies

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TWITTER DIRECT MESSAGE

And then there was Twitter. Where you can follow people just because you think they're cute, and DM them in the rare hope that you have a chance. You can also respond to their tweets to start conversation and develop a rapport.

The best way to get noticed though? FAVORITE EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOUR CRUSHES TWEETS UNTIL THEY HAVE TO TALK TO YOU! (Or get a restraining order.)

Full disclosure: I've met 3 boyfriends this way.

urbandictionary

Urban Dictionary gets it.

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INSTAGRAM DM

And don't forget, you can do the same via Instagram. Although it's not the best place to have actual conversations on pictures, you can signal interest by liking someone's pictures from 64 weeks ago, and then casually sliding into their direct messages with a "what's up."

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Snapchat

The app that was originally for sending NUDEZ, which is now used for I'm not really sure what (I'm 30, too old, and don't use it.)

WHAT'S NEXT?

Do you think we'll ever go back to meeting people I-R-L, or is digital dating where it's at?

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