I was going to make this something of an advice column, but, upon realising that this stuff keeps happening to me, I figured I’m probably not best placed to give advice. So, instead, I’ll regale you with my tales of awkward times when real life smacks into social media, leaving everyone feeling winded.
5. I complimented your shirt, that doesn’t mean you should add me.
I was at a party, a weekly fixture in Newtown’s gay scene, and a woman was wearing a fabulous shirt, so I told her so, because I’m nice and because compliments are really great. Later that night, she found out who I was from pictures tagged at the previous week’s party on Facebook, and requested my friendship and drunkenly messaged me. I understand we all do creepy things when tipsy, but the following day she messaged again with a message even creepier than the first.
I can never return to that party, lest she be there, waiting to enquire about the status of our friendship.
4. The reason I didn’t know you were engaged is because I deleted you.
I recently went on a large Facebook cull, deleting all the people I haven’t seen since high school (I’m old, it’s been a while). A few months later, I was back in my hometown for Christmas. Christmas Eve is the big reunion night on the town, and so I went out with a bunch of old friends, who ran into a bunch of their old friends, and suddenly, at my table, I was surrounded by people who I hadn’t seen since high school. I was genuinely pleased to hear a girl in my class had gotten engaged to her high school sweetheart. “Congratulations!” I gushed. “Thanks,” she replied. “But you would’ve known about it already, it’s been all over Facebook, except, I think you deleted me didn’t you?”
3. Some “Friend”.
I was out, at a party (sheesh, I party hard, right), participating in a spot of karaoke. My stellar vocals attracted an acquaintance, and we bonded for the rest of the evening, even doing a duet. At the end of the night, we bid adieu, and he proclaimed while smacking a kiss on my lips, “Darling! Add me on Facebook!” to which I responded, because I clearly love thrusting myself into awkward situations, “We’re already Friends!” His response? “Oh! Wait, what’s your name?!” That was great for my self-esteem.
2. “Have you two met?”
I recently joined Tinder, by and large as a way to seek out my friends’ dating profiles, match them, and then write them dirty messages. The first person to show up when I opened the app was a person I knew vaguely from uni, but wasn’t particularly close to. Based on Tinder’s optimisation algorithms (or whatever), I guessed she’d already matched me. To the left, or the right? The dilemma plagued me all of 30 seconds, until I swiped right (that’s yes, you luddites).
A few weeks later, she walked past with a good friend of mine, and the three of us stopped to chat like good, normal, human beings. Our mutual friend asked if we knew each other, to which I replied “sort of” while she simultaneously replied “no”. Apparently, you’re supposed to pretend like Tinder matches don’t exist in real life.
1. Not all awkward real life/social media collisions are bad.
A few years ago, when my girlfriend and I first met, she mentioned in passing, and probably accidentally, that she had a Tumblr. So, that night, as anyone with a crush would do, I went home to find it. To my humbled surprise, her latest few posts were clearly about me, documenting our last few dates and how cute I’d been on them. I also stalked back a bit, discovered she was into Miranda July, and bought her the best Christmas present ever. When I gave it to her about two months later, I pretended I just guessed she might like her. I only told her about my stalking capabilities after a year or so. She was a bit weirded out, but seeing as we’re still together two years later, it mustn’t have been too creepy.