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Could you date a social media addict?

Tagged as: Big Questions, Dating<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (1 April 2020) 7 Answers - (Newest, 1 April 2020)
A female United States age 36-40, anonymous writes:

Could you date someone who spends a lot of time on social media or is a socialite? I met a guy who is nice but he seems to have a social media addiction. He comments and likes lots of posts on his friends profiles and public pages. He seems to like socialising and is always making friends in the pub or at work and adds them online. Even when I have not been online for hours I will log on and he is online. He messages me a lot but now it makes me think is he just doing this to everyone.

Which makes me wonder, if you were to get into a relationship with this person would they always be glued to their phone? Should boundaries be set or respect their wishes and find someone else? Is it classified as an addiction? I'm not prepared to date a man with an addiction. I don't know if the social media usage is due to loneliness but I feel I could end up being lonely and ignored if their phone was more important.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (1 April 2020):

Personally, if I were single and met someone who used social media as much as you described, I wouldn’t continue seeing them. I barely use social media at all these days, and find that people who do tend to be addicted to attention. And yes, they tend to be glued to their phones and ignore the people around them, which is rude in my opinion.

I wouldn’t recommend trying to change him. I’d move on if it truly bothers you. Don’t feel like it’s a silly reason to not want to date someone, if that’s how you’re feeling. There will be plenty of other guys who are nice who don’t use social media as much.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (1 April 2020):

Could I date a social media addict? No!

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A reader, anonymous, writes (1 April 2020):

Maybe it's just me, but I don't tolerate people constantly on their phone when we're supposed to be socializing. If I'm not the person on the other end; don't chit-chat, or use your phone on my face-time. No problem if you need to excuse yourself for something important. We all have to do that. I can and will enforce it, if I mean it. If you get-up too many times from the table for your phone, I may pay my bill and leave. If you're at my house; you can rest your phone on the counter, or the coffee table. Don't visit unless you have free-time. I'm serving top-shelf, expensive wine, and good food...don't be rude!

I don't date people with any known addictions; because I have no time to deal with anything that will adversely-affect our friendship, or romance. I use discernment and prudence when choosing my friends. In fairness, I try to put my best foot forward to show how valued my friendship can be; because I only connect with people I respect and truly like. If I don't like you, you get very little of my time. I tolerate all our clients phone-interruptions, and their bad phone-habits; because their business is money, and I'm too well-paid to be stupid. Friends and lovers should be on their best manners. Flexibility and tolerance is shown for the quirky, but lovable-friends. Dates are under a different set of rules. Rest our devices, and give each other our undivided-attention. The more I get to know you, the more relaxed I'll be about phone-rules. You'll know me well-enough to do the right thing.

I don't have a problem with extroverted and popular-people. If they easily make friends and are well-liked, for me that's a very attractive attribute. If they have terrible manners with their phones; then we have to work that out. How many friends or contacts you have is none of my business. I just won't compete when it's on my time. If you have class, you don't have to be schooled on how to behave.

I will not dictate (nor be dictated to) about their social-lives; or regulate when or how they prefer to communicate with others. I only require due respect on my time and my dime. Let's not go-out together if you have better things to do; and your other friends seem to need you more than I do. If we're trying to establish a romance, how can that be done when you're constantly on the phone???

I treat others as I want to be treated. My partner and I turn-off our phones when we're together. We might check our phones for emergency-messages; but not every five minutes...like every ping requires immediate-attention. He's a business-man, and has two phones. One for private-calls, and one for his business. Both are turned-off when dining, we're out socializing, or having conversation. Mine is off too. I leave my business-phone in my briefcase. Don't call me on my personal-time, I'll call you; when I'm available for business-calls. Friends know me, they'll wait; because they know I'm prompt with returning calls. Otherwise, like my voicemail says " Please leave a message, I'll get back to you!"

Yes, I have some very popular friends and colleagues, that might have to pick-up the phone when we're socializing. Hell no, but not while on a romantic-date with my partner! I draw the line there. If you're too distracted; you're wasting my time. You may go attend to your phone, and I will remove you from my list of contacts. Go make love to your phone, I don't have time for you. I don't compete with intrusive devices; or your friends who never stop messaging, or calling. I establish that with everyone I know. I show them the respect they deserve, and expect no less in-return. My family may call at anytime, but they also show reasonable respect for my private-time; and I show respect for theirs. I will let them know in a message if it's urgent, or just a social-call. We all have that understanding.

It's up to you to set your ground-rules and boundaries. He doesn't have to comply; so it's up to you to decide whether he's worth your time and attention. If you have to squeeze yourself in-between his phone-time and messaging; maybe he's too busy for you, or he's just not that into you.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (1 April 2020):

Honeypie agony auntAbsolutely with Auntie Cindy here.

Wouldn't dream of having anything to do with someone who is OVER-INVOLVED with social media.

I think some people do it to feel less lonely, not because they are "addicted". It might SEEM like a nice way to keep up with people without REALLY having to make much of an effort. And to make a bunch of "friends" without having to really work for those friendships.

I'd say it like this, can you have a dinner with him where he DOESN'T check his phone? Or just a face to face conversation? If not, then it would DEFINITELY be a total no-go for me.

If you are just one (of many) people he met while out and about and then added you to his social media circle, you are just there to provide him with attention. Hard pass on that too.

You know it seems off to you, so maybe listen to that gut feeling ?

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A female reader, CindyCares Italy +, writes (1 April 2020):

CindyCares agony auntHighly engaged Internet users are not necessarily addicted users, however for some people the use of social media crosses a line. While social media addiction has not been included yet in the DMV-5 as an official mental disorder, obviously any habit/substance/behaviour to which a person devotes so much time and effort to make him / her dysfunctional and ineffective in othr area of his life, is a serious problem.

FWIW, there is a test called Bergen Social Media Addiction Scale- BSMAS ( check it on line ) which was studied as an instrument to assess if / how much people are at risk of social media addiction.

In any case, in response to your question, no , personally I would not knowingly date an addict, even if this kind of addiction has much milder health, social and financial ripercussions than others.

In fact, to be honest, I would not touch any grown up man who is even just only a very engaged, enthusiastic social media user. With all the dozens of intelligent , creative, life-enhancing things one can do with his free time , ..choosing the silliest one as his hobby, does not come as a recommendation in my eyes...

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A female reader, mystiquek United States + , writes (1 April 2020):

mystiquek agony auntSocial media causes far more problems than it is worth and most of it is people who are attention seekers..desperately wanting someone to pay attention to them. Its insecure people wanting validation for the most part. If a person just uses it as fun thats one thing but to be glued to it constantly..its a problem.

I would never be with someone who felt that facebook or instagram or twitter was their life and they couldn't survive without it. My husband and I think its mainly a joke and neither of us use it or follow anyone on it.

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A female reader, Aunty BimBim Australia +, writes (1 April 2020):

Aunty BimBim agony auntHas this man asked you to go on a date? Have you met online or in person?

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