When I think of the evolution of social media, I can’t help but get nostalgic. I remember the rush I’d get from loading in my AOL CD-ROM and waiting for that CHIME of an instant message, hoping it was my crush from Math class. I couldn’t wait until I had a college e-mail address, so I could finally have the rite of passage that is a Facebook account.
Thanks to movies and TV shows, we can romanticize these social media moments as much as we want. As we look back, we even gain insight on how the ever-changing technology affects our love lives today. Here’s proof, courtesy of Hollywood.
1. The Dial-Up Sound From You’ve Got Mail
“I turn on my computer, I go online, and my breath catches my chest until I hear three little words, ‘you’ve got mail.’”
Ah, remember those days? Sadly that phrase now seems archaic, as only our parents are still holding onto their AOL accounts. You’ve Got Mail was one of the first films to show the Internet as the backdrop of a love story. This movie asks the telltale question, “is it infidelity if you’re involved with someone on e-mail?” Not sure, let’s ask my ex. It also has some great advice like, “the best way to meet someone is to never meet at all.” Enter Tinder.
2. Myspace in He’s Just Not That Into You
So a little background, Drew Barrymore gushes to her friends that the guy she likes just asked her out. Her friends asks how he did it, and when she admits he, “Myspaced her.” They unanimously respond with, “Ohs” and “ouches.” and one friend tells her, “my trampy little sister says Myspace is the new booty call.” While this Myspace reference feels a little dated, it still holds true. Simply replace Myspace with Facebook and it’s pretty much the same thing. As Drew puts it, “Times have changed. If I want to make myself more attractive to the opposite sex, I don’t go and get a haircut. I update my profile. That’s just the way it is.”
It also doesn’t hurt to post a selfie on Instagram after you get a new haircut….
3. Email 101 on Sex & The City
I love this episode. Carrie gets an e-mail account so she can contact Aidan, which her friends agree is the best way to get him back (aside from the fake nipples Samantha insists on). After Carrie (a.k.a. “shoegal”) sends an e-mail to Aidan that says, “I miss you,” and he doesn’t respond, Carrie asks a question I find myself asking a lot: “Are all these improvements in communication really helping us communicate?” Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, there is no mystery in dating anymore. He’s not returning your phone calls but you can see that he’s online. That moment where Carrie asks Miranda, “Oh my god, he’s online. Can he see me?” is why g-chat gives me anxiety.
4. Dirty Texting on Girls
Talk about a great catalyst to ask the question, “So, um.. are we exclusive?”
This episode made me so sad. In the Adam and Hannah saga, just as she’s showing her friends the “junk” mail Adam sent her, he then tells her that the photo was meant for someone else. It’s bad enough getting an unsolicited picture of a dude’s nether regions, but then to find out that the lowest expression of romance wasn’t even intended for you? Ouch.
4. The Digital Relationship In Noah
This one is less mainstream, but totally worth checking out. Noah is a short film that only uses a computer and iPhone screens to show you the downfall of a relationship. It really makes you contemplate how much of dating today is digital. The short plays to the whole TMI factor of social media, which makes me wonder, in our age of digital dating is ignorance really bliss?
5. The Origin of The Term Catfish
This documentary and now TV show was so iconic that “catfishing,” has now worked it’s way into our vocabulary. A Catfish describes someone you meet online who is completely different in real life, basically what would happen in the real life version of You’ve Got Mail. In this doc, our main guy Nev is on a quest to meet his Facebook lover, only to discover she’s not who she says she is. I don’t know about you, but since seeing this, every time I match with someone on Tinder and they can’t meet up, I just assume I’ve been catfished (for the sake of my self esteem).