All My Exes Live In Texts.

Original article published on New York Magazine.

Why the social-media generation never breaks up.

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I have 700 friends on Facebook, 36 of whom I consider exes. Not all are ex-boyfriends—in the eleven years that “boyfriend” has been a name for men in my life, I have referred to nine as “boyfriends.” The rest are men I dated casually, guys I dated disastrously, make-out buddies, one-night stands, vacation flings, and a few boys I never touched but flirted with so heavily they can no longer be categorized as “just friends.” These people aren’t ex-boyfriends but they’re ex-something, weighted with enough personal history to make my stomach drop when they message me or pop up in social-media feeds. Which is pretty often.

There was a time, I am told, when exes lived in Texas and you could avoid them by moving to Tennessee. Cutting ties is no longer so easy—nor, I guess, do we really want it to be. We gorge ourselves on information about the lives of our exes. We can’t help ourselves. There’s the ex who “likes” everything you post. The ex who appears in automated birthday reminders. The ex who appears in your OkCupid matches. The ex whose musical taste you heed on Spotify. The ex whose new girlfriend sent a friend request. The ex you follow so you know how to win him back. The ex you follow so you know how to avoid her in person. The ex you watched deteriorate after the breakup. (Are you guilty or proud?) The ex who finally took your advice, after the breakup. (Are you frustrated or proud?) The ex whose new partner is exactly like you. (Are you flattered or creeped out?) The ex whose name appears as an autocorrection in your phone. (Are you sure you don’t talk about him incessantly? Word recognition suggests otherwise.) The ex whose new partner blogs about their sex life. The ex who still has your naked pictures. The ex who untagged every picture from your relationship. The ex you suspect is reading your e-mail. The ex you watch lead the life you’d dreamed of having together, but seeing it now, you’re so glad you didn’t.

My peers and I have all these exes, in part because we have more time to rack them up before later marriages, because we’re freer about sleeping around, because we’re more comfortable with cross-gender friendships and blurring sexual boundaries, because not committing means keeping more love interests around as possibilities, and because the digital age enables us to never truly break up. We don’t have to shut the door on anything. Which is good, because shutting the door on something is not something we ever want to do.

Alarmists fret that casual sex discourages intimacy. But in my experience, the opposite is true. When you share your bed, your toothbrush, your sexual hang-ups, and the topography of the ­cellulite on your butt with a stranger, the intimacy is real. It just happened before familiarity did. You are privy to information his family and friends are not; you know what he sounds like when he orgasms and when he snores. You may never see this person again, but he will always be your ex.  

But more often than not, you will see him again. Like “dialing” a cell phone or “filming” a digital video, “one-night stand” is an anachronism. Even if you only have sex once, you will spend time with your hookup when he finds you on Facebook, appears in a mutual friend’s Instagram, or texts about a weird bump he found on his penis. Older generations didn’t have a word for this kind of thing—they couldn’t have. But these are, in fact, relationships. Even casual dates have expansive biographies to plow through and life narratives you can follow for years. You hear about their hangovers when you check Twitter for the morning news. You see their new apartments when you browse Facebook at work. They can jump into your pants whenever they want by sending text messages that land in your pocket. Online, you watch your exes’ lives unfold parallel to yours—living, shifting digital portraits of roads not taken with partners you did not keep.

There was also a time, I am told, when staying in touch was difficult. Exes were characters from a foreclosed past, symbols from former and forgone lives. Now they are part of the permanent present. I was a college freshman when Facebook launched. All my exes live online, and so do their exes, and so do their exes, too. I carry the population of a metaphorical Texas in a cell phone on my person at all times. Etiquette can’t keep up with us—not that we would honor it anyway—so ex relationships run on lust and impulse and nosiness and envy alternating with fantasy. It’s a dozen soap operas playing at the same time on a dozen different screens, and you are the star of them all. It’s both as thrilling and as sickening as it sounds.

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Pictures Lie A Thousand Words

Original article retrieved from Elitedaily.com

Social Media is the modern-day equivalent of a dick measuring contest

As the good old saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” The phrase has saturated modern culture in all its trite glory. It was probably even Kodak’s slogan when it released the revolutionary waterproof film camera more than a decade ago.

But back then pictures actually had meaning, because the act of capture was selective and limited. Each camera, at most, had 40 photos — and there was the necessary trip to the drug store for development.

With the small sum of pictures available, every point and snap needed to be worth a thousand words, because they were authentic and representative. There were no “undo” or “delete” buttons, so thousands of exposures couldn’t be wasted on duck faces or selfies. Photos had meaning then.

mansion

They captured special memories, but today, the proliferation of cameras, and their social media counterparts, have flooded these special moments, and have catapulted every moment to the status of deserved documentation. This deluge has retracted from the inherent specialness of the moment and has proved detrimental to our society.

But those Kodak moments are beyond us and being in a photo during any occasion is easier than finding a slutoritiy girl to fuck on college campuses. The problem is not just in the multitude of these ridiculous photos, but that they might be the biggest liars our society faces beyond any political candidate.

Pictures lie a thousand words, it’s that simple. Firstly, in the deception of the aesthetic. It’s amazing how different someone can look when you put them through three different Instagram filters, sharpen the correct areas and add a drop shadow.

Boats n hoes

It can take a solid 5 and make everyone think that she is a 9. The rule of thumb: never trust how good a girl looks in pictures. Yet we fall for it, continuously, because we actually want to believe she is as hot as all her photos pretend she is.

I can’t even begin to tell you how many times we have been disappointed in encountering a girl in real life, having been duped by how good a girl looks in photos. Sometimes I swear it must be a different person in her pictures, or her photographer must have been Terry Richardson’s brother. Photos deceive. Not just for women, but men as well, and I’m sure women go through the same struggle as we do. The deception is real.

Photos also lie about activity and social prowess. Between the nice cars we post on Instagram and pictures of us posing with a celebrity, we have skillfully discovered how to project a fantastic life unto our own.

Private-Yacht-Charter

The Ferrari might be from a car show, and you throwing a few empty bottles on your carpet might make it seem like you’re at the craziest party ever. But if you were really having that great of time, why are you so preoccupied with your Instagram?

The photos that we expose to the world tend to demonstrate an impressive lifestyle we more than likely don’t live. We deceive to impress others, to prove that life is good — or better than theirs. The only thing that matters is getting that double tap to send you beyond 11 likes into the digits range.

People have structured their lives around these photos, living through the gaps between the next possible upload, proving that they are doing something with their lives: be it a nightclub, skiing or simply cooking. Life becomes artificial: a day strung together by seven or so uploads.

rich kids of instagram

 

But the biggest way these photos lie are in the emotions that they project. They wedge themselves in the disparity of how happy we are and how happy we appear. You see it all the time when two people break up and they go into a picture war of who can fake being the happiest best.

We parade a life of happiness and ease to all our friends, and this is when insecurity develops. People look at their lives and ask themselves why it doesn’t look as great as the some of the other people documenting the intricacies of their own. But it’s inherently false, all of it.

Photos have gone from capturing moments to remember and cherish to an all out competition of artifice and deception. And it’s a competition that no one can win. Our lives have followed suit, bathed in pretense. A photo used to be worth something, but its value is plummeting.

Preston Waters | Elite.

For further information, reference this blog: Richkids

Social Media Explained

A post dedicated to all of those who are as computer savvy as I am (this is clearly sarcasm)

Social Media according to Adriana Herdan:

TWITTER

I am eating a #Burger

FACEBOOK

 My friends should know I like Burgers

FOURSQUARE

This is where I eat Burgers

INSTAGRAM

Here’s a vintage picture of my Burger

YOUTUBE

Here I am, eating a Burger

LINKEDIN

My professional skills include: eating Burgers

PINTEREST

Here’s a Burger recipe

GOOGLE PLUS

I am a Google employee, who eats Burgers.

….and once upon a time, we ate Burgers and didn’t announce it to the world. Crazy huh?

A very special thanks to Sophia Salinas and her overactive mind.