Spoiler: It totally is.
At first glance one’s first impression of the Internet is that it’s a vast space occupied by confident personalities putting their best selfies forward and displaying only the most photogenic aspects of their lives. However, as an enthusiastic consumer of the Internet, I can assure you that this is far from the truth. In fact, the absolute multitude of ways to feel and make yourself look awkward online always surprises me. The sheer amount of finesse, technique and precision required to translate real life gawkiness into your virtual personality is an acquired skill envied by none. Here are some signs that you’re all thumbs when it comes to texting that perfect reply:
1. You procrastinate from responding to messages, comments or DMs immediately
This is a frustrating thing that everyone does but no one talks about. Have you ever “blue-ticked” someone? Or worse, “grey-ticked” them? Have you ever had someone direct message you only for you to ignore it because you didn’t feel mentally equipped enough to handle a real-time conversation? Is your ideal online conversation one that takes place over the span of three days with several hours in between each exchange and ends when someone eventually “forgets” to get back to the other?
If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, then it’s safe to say that you’re a Socially Awkward Samantha.
2. It takes you longer than it should to figure out the proper emojis to use
Is a wink too forward to send to a casual acquaintance? Will I seem corny if I respond with the “tears of joy” emoji to the group chat? Is it too soon to use the kissy heart emoji considering we’ve only been on three dates? Will my lecturer think I’m mad at him if I end my email with just a full stop? The bullet points of doubts and fears as we ponder the appropriate use of web code of conduct stretches out for miles in the expanse of our stressed out imaginations.
3. It takes you even longer to decipher someone’s text
It’s the age-old dilemma that takes over every blundering living cell in our body when texting with our crushes. At one point in our lives, we have all been familiar with the obsession that pervades us when poring over the cryptic responses of the apple of our eyes. A simple “HBU” can occupy us for hours as we contemplate their use of abbreviation, their lack of emojis (or proper punctuation), their tone, their use of caps; the list goes on and on.
In 2017, things are still pretty much the same—except ten times worse because you do it for everything and everyone on every social media platform.
4. Instagram captions are the worst.
I once had a friend who legitimately took four hours to write the perfect caption for a picture of a sunset that she wanted to upload on Instagram. After much hemming and hawing, it was decided that the prized caption would be “Perfect way to end a perfect day at the beach! #beach #sunset *insert smiling sun emoji*”. I would expound further on this poor girl’s shortcomings, and talk about how close I came to pulling my hair out every time she changed her mind; but let’s face it, we’ve all been that friend at some point of our online journeys.
5. The very thought of posting a status on Facebook sends shudders up your spine.
Who would have thought that thirteen years after its creation, Facebook statuses, which was once the epitome of juvenile freedom of speech and self-expression, would eventually be a thing of yesteryear, now only frequented by the brave of heart and the bold? The idea of posting anything other than a riveting video, a smart article or a particularly funny meme is practically unthinkable, despite Facebook’s friendly advances and prompts for you to share “what’s on your mind?” But if you think posting statuses quake your knees, don’t even get me started on Instagram’s live feature.
I’d tell you to comment down below if you’ve developed any socially awkward online habits, but I’ll save you the trouble of putting yourself on the hot seat. No, but seriously, how does one cope with the anxiety of being on the world wide web and virtually mingling with three billion other users? Asking for a friend.
And we thought the high school cafeteria was hard.