Dinner was a second date with someone who’d become a Facebook friend since the first. We’d gone to a French restaurant in prelude to Paris which felt quite fitting for a location check-in on Facebook. But it was then that I froze. Did I check my date in with me? It almost felt rude not to. Although we’d only been out once; was I ready to reveal this dining partner to my digital world? Then I thought about him. He might not want his very whereabouts known by his online counterparts either. So I asked my date if it would be ok for me to check him in – and of course, it was.
We went out again. This time he checked me in. What would my friends think of this late Sunday breakfast check-in with the same man? When one of his friends and stranger to me endorsed our activity with his “like”, I wondered the same about his mates. Who was this guy and why did it matter to him? More importantly, why did it matter to me? It was then, after happily and publicly kissing Mr Brunch adieu for the day, that it hit me. I had developed a fear of Social Media PDA.
Since this realisation I’ve noticed it a lot; friends who adorn their partner’s wall with messages of love - even though they live together. People I don’t know making suggestive comments to those that I do - visible for everyone to see. Online arguments taking place between two people - witnessed by hundreds. There’s no denying it; social media PDA is out there imposing on our digital space.
Ok, so it might be less committal and less confronting to write a lovey dovey sentence to another, using a very non-human device, in a very public online domain. Although in our physical world people are usually very private when it comes to their personal life involving another. When it comes down it, if ever there were an aversion towards openly smooching someone in public, surely it must be nothing as compared to the tailored mass communication approach of social media.
With this perspective firmly locked in place I don't think I'll be embracing social media PDA any time soon. On the other hand, I don't see any problem with openly making out in the gourmet aisle of the supermarket. So I’ve developed a new mantra around PDA in general: kiss like no one is watching, post like everyone is. Now, if my online friends would just do the same...
Little Miss Melbourne xoxo