The “DL” on the “DM”


Safyre Yearling, Editor-in-Chief

You are hanging out at home, scrolling through your Instagram feed for the fifth time that hour. You absentmindedly “like” various pictures when all of a sudden, you see “liked by”, followed by your significant other’s username “and 169 others” on another person’s pictures.

You freak out. How dare they like someone else’s gym selfie! Do they even love you anymore? I mean, they haven’t posted ANY pictures of you in the past week, they haven’t sent you ANY romantic tweets today, and they haven’t replied to your last text message in over five minutes!

Social media has become a crucial part of our everyday lives, especially for teenagers in the millennial generation. It makes everything easier: shopping, cooking, communication, and yes, even dating. There are numerous websites and apps out there specifically for meeting someone to acquaintance themselves with.

The most popular dating app in the young adult world is an app called Tinder. The app is a location-based app used to connect two people. The app takes you across a range of profiles, in which you swipe left or right on, depending on which profiles appeal most to them. If two people swipe right on each other, they are allowed to chat. From there, they decide whether or not they will meet. Depending on one’s personal preferences, the app can be used as a dating or a hookup app. Tinder is most commonly used by college students, trying to meet new people, but is quite popular among users both older and younger.

“It’s fun when you have a lot of people around you or like in big cities, but other than that, it’s just like another social app that lets you meet people,” said an anonymous freshman at Chadron State College.

People also use everyday applications, such as Twitter or Instagram, to pick up their next date. Commonly used as Internet memes, the phrases “sliding in the DMs” or “shooting your shot” refer to the act of one sending a direct message to someone they are interested in. While most of these relationships end in shambles, some actually succeed.

Social media also gives people the opportunity to “link” accounts together. Instagram and Twitter, for example, allow users to log into more than one account. Some couples use this as a way to monitor what the other is doing on their personal accounts. With this, even the smallest gestures, such as a simple “like” on a picture, can have the most catastrophic results in a relationship.

“Social media, in my opinion, does nothing, but ruin a relationship. Now days, one like on another’s picture can really hurt your relationship. People shape their relationships around social media, and it’s honestly sad,” said Alliance senior, Serenity Sterkel.

Social media even adds extra “steps” to the dating process. First, the relationship begins in Twitter or Instagram direct messages. From there, Snapchat usernames are exchanged. This means things are getting a little more serious. After this, if phone numbers are exchanged, then you have officially been “cuffed”. According to our most trusty resource, Urban Dictionary, this word is social media language for “dating”, “being in a relationship”, or “linked up with one you have been getting to know”.

I, myself, am extremely active in the social media world and it seems like I am always posting about my daily experiences and my relationship. My significant other is the exact opposite. Sure, he has social media accounts; however, he has low levels of engagement. I knew his relationship with social media meant that he was unlikely to post about me, but that didn’t stop me from getting upset, when he doesn’t. With that, I did what most teenage girls would do. I equated my lack of presence on his page with a lack of love for me. Surely, if he really had feelings for me, he would shout it from the rooftops of the interwebs. I expressed my feelings on the situation to him and we talked about it. It was after that talk that I truly realized the stupidity of the entire thing. Why do we feel the need to post about our significant others? What does it prove? Numerous people post pictures of their boyfriend/girlfriend simply because they want to show the world what is theirs. News flash: Nobody cares! Honestly, I have never once actually read someone’s ballad to their lover in their Instagram caption and thought anything except, “why isn’t this heartfelt caption sent in private?” If what you are saying is genuinely from the bottom of your heart, why not just tell your significant other in a text. Or even better, in person.

Alliance High Senior, Lane Applegarth, disclosed that his most serious relationship began over social media, with a friend from leadership camp. After he ended things, she expressed her displeasure toward the situation on her private Instagram account.

“That’s the odd thing. Privately, in relationships, people say things, but on social media they put on a front and portray their relationship as something else… I don’t think that social media should be used to bring relationship problems to people because that needs to be dealt with privately. It’s allowed everyone to play the victim role and make the other look bad. People will listen on social media, but the one person who truly needs to listen may not see it… Without a solid foundation, it can crumble relationships,” expressed Applegarth.

We have become so dependent on social media that we have lost touch with our basic communication skills. When we allow social media to form and shape our relationships, they fail, more times than not, so next time, you want to “slide in the DMs”, consider taking the road less traveled, and approach them in person.