Have you noticed how the descriptions that people put on social media outlets such as Twitter and Pinterest, bare a scary resemblance to date ads? We have become a culture where we create little snippets to describe ourselves that will make people like us and want to follow us.
Our character has been reduced to a couple sentences that must reveal, entertain, tease and draw people in. Similar to date ads, we create a description that will get us attention….a new friend.
My grandmother would have been confused and completely horrified at the thought of this. She grew up in a time where your identity was dependent upon who your parents were, what church you attended, what neighborhood you grew up in and what women’s organizations with whom you were affiliated.
There was never the discussion of personal interests. If you were good at baking, people knew it by what you brought to Sunday potluck, not because you informed everyone that you loved to bake.
That world of privacy and modesty is gone. Today, we must be outgoing, outspoken and down right brazen in flashing our attributes. People no longer wait for their talents to be noticed, it’s part of their introduction.
However, these little snippets do give us insight into perfect strangers. Why spend an evening with someone when you could find out in a sentence if they make you laugh or run?
Here are some examples I pulled from Twitter and Pinterest. I am not personal friends with any of these people, yet their profiles gave me a good impression of who they are.
“Lover of books, sunglasses and all things Washington D.C.” – If she loves sunglasses enough to mention them in her ad, the girl is obsessed like some are to shoes. I’m guessing she has 200 pairs of very expensive designer sunglasses displayed on her wall.
“I’m a new mentor and I love baking, reading, languages, travel and new experiences.” – Hmmm. Free spirited and fun. I’d invite her into my circle of friends.
“Writer, joker, great, great, great, great granddaughter of a convicted Salem witch.” – I bet you anything her house looks like Halloween year around.
“Life is crazy and I’m just trying to keep up! I’m a mom, wife, football fanatic, I don’t back but I do cook or fry.” – This made me smile. Who specifies that they “fry?” She has to be from the South.
“Scribbler and Snapper. Photographer with a wolfish streak and a passion for vanilla (anything but the plain variety.)” – I wanted to ask “wolfish streak” of what? Humor? Mischief? Also, what other kinds of vanilla is she talking about? Does she have small, dark bottles all over her kitchen, and waits for someone to ask what they are so she can go into a long monologue on her passion for weird vanilla. Lastly, what’s a Snapper? I feel so left out….
“I love doxies, trivia and the beach.” – Simple, straight forward. Let’s meet at Starbucks and we can swap dog stories.
“Member of SCBWI, ACFW, RWA and HWA.” – LOL. BTW, I have no idea what those last two are but will look them up ASAP. OMG.
“Wife & mommy, cook, cleaner, washing machine, peace keeper, entertainer, story teller, dog walker, soccer player & woman. An aspiring everything.” – I’m exhausted after reading about her insane life. I know two truths about this woman, 1.) We would get along great because our lives mirror one another, and 2.) She has boys.
“I’m a writer, runner-spinner-weight lifter, a vizla mama, a nurse and a girl that really likes to eat cookies.” – She’s insane about working about because of the amount of cookies she eats and knows all about Diabetes from being a nurse. What is a vizla mama? Too much energy and too high on sugar for me.
“I think my pins say more about me than I could possibly write in this box.” – Wow. If this were true, I’d be in the schizophrenic fruit loop category.
“I am a mom. I like travel, food, garden, home décor, photos, weightloss.” – Has she lost her weight or does she simply enjoy trying to lose weight?
“I love cooking, animals…just about everything.” – Nothing but positive energy. She loves everything. How many of us can say that? If you find someone like this, grab onto them because they’ll always be agreeable to whatever you want to do.
“Wife to a wonderful man, and Mommy to a little miracle. Slightly neurotic, a little on the anxious side, but doing my part to ‘live like no one else, so one day, we can live like no one else’.” – What on earth does that last sentence mean?! I’ve read it 10 times and have no idea. Did she get it from a song?
“A mama of four who wants to be more intentional with my time.” – Can we all take a collective breath with her. She is making her daily affirmation known that she wants to spend her time wisely. Hint: Stay away from Pinterest, it is the biggest time suck in the world.
So, what’s your date ad? If you had to describe yourself, your interests, passions, priorities and your character all in a couple sentences, what would they say?
Here’s mine: Wife, mother of 3 boys, writer, avid reader, wannabe yogini, cancer survivor and blogger. I try to find joy everyday and spread light.
Perhaps. But that description has drawn the right people into my life, and given me the life I have. What more could you want from an ad?
July 4, 2013