Most of us by now have experienced a romantic relationship (or two, or three) – the butterflies, new experiences, the “firsts” and the inevitable heartbreak. Which oddly enough, the more I think about it, the more I’m reminded of social media. Let me explain:
- The “introduction” stage: When you first set your eyes on “that” guy/girl, you can’t wait to get acquainted, and learn more about them. Now let’s say a hot new platform is about to be released in beta. You know you’re signing up to be on the mailing list, hoping for one of the first invites or begging your friends who have access to “introduce” you to this new hottie. Oh, hey there, Pinterest!
- The “honeymoon” stage: Everything is going better than a Disney fairytale with your newfound arm candy. You count the hours until you can see them, can’t take your thoughts and eyes off of them, and are over the moon with happiness. Doesn’t this sound like your first few months with Facebook? Point made.
- The “this takes a lot of work” stage: Relationships require a ton of energy and time to continue growing successfully, as do your social media platforms. Just because you have built your mini follower base and become a “social celeb” of sorts does not guarantee you will stay there if you don’t continue putting in work. Your Twitter followers will drop you like a fly and your Facebook friends will start wondering why they even have you on their list. In other words, stop making an effort and your “relationship” will come crumbling down. Hello there, Xanga.
- The “it’s not you, it’s me” stage:As the decline of a relationship rears its ugly head, the “it’s not you, it’s me” line might be used. Whether you’re the one using the line or on the receiving end, it takes a lot to admit the relationship is no longer working. Social media works very much in the same manner. We outgrow people very quickly, what makes us think we’re not going to get sick of Facebook or Twitter or Pinterest or #insertnameofanothersocialmediachannel? (Hey – remember MySpace? Me neither!)
- The “I have no idea why he/she broke up with me” stage: In contrast to the above stage, you might get your heart broken without a “good enough” reason or explanation. It’s best just to acknowledge the loss, pick up the pieces and know that you will someday find someone who makes you happy. Another company acquires your favorite social network and changes all the features you loved without asking? Admit it will no longer make you happy and move on. You will find your happiness eventually, I promise.