This is going to be hard to hear, for everyone. Yesterday, the website Social Times, which touts itself as “Your Social Media Source,” published an article called “Five Tips for Successfully Dating a Blogger,” with a dash of humor and a healthy dose of no please stop this is so misguided. Bloggers, the advice begins, are “a rare breed.” OK! Then it includes a little quiz to make sure your partner — which the article assumes to be a male, and you a female — is “a die-hard.” Let’s start there. The real talk will follow.
Blogger Intensity Quiz:
1. Are the words “page views,” “clicks,” “pickups,” and “for the win” used in high frequency?
2. Is his BlackBerry in hand, or very close by, at all times?
3. Is he able to post a picture to Facebook, or send a Tweet, before you can even blink an eye?
4. Is he constantly thinking of story ideas and testing headlines out loud?
5. Does he break into hashtags at any moment?
No one datable says “for the win”; bloggers use iPhones; Facebook is for non-bloggers; how does one “break into” a hashtag? And breathe.
The five tips after the quiz include, briefly:
— Talking in 140-character bites (“Men already have an upper limit on how many words they can absorb at any given time…”)
— Presenting things in lists (“Trust me, he’ll melt the second you propose ‘The top 5 restaurant choices for dinner tonight…'”)
— Using social media to contact “him” (“…ditch voice in favor of text…”)
— Foursquare (“<3 <3") - Twitter ("RT his stuff...")
I see that tongue there in your cheek, Social Times. But on some level, this is a subject that needs addressing, and not with half-serious product plugs. What follows is both more earnest and more severe. But think about it.
1. It’s called “Computer Face” — get used to it. When you walk in, blogger will be on the computer or phone or both. Even if blogger looked up when he heard you, blogger didn’t see you. Let blogger finish. Tweet streams seem infinite, maybe to you, but bloggers know where they left off last time. This will also happen, maybe, after dinner, a movie, a subway ride, and sex. When you go to the bathroom, expect to return to the glow of a screen. It might not happen, depending on the quality of the person you were just naked with, but but expect the worst, because it’s less disappointing that way. If it looks like your blogger was fiddling with iTunes, it means your blogger was checking email or Twitter or worse (Tumblr, Chartbeat, comments). If you notice Computer Face happening, stop talking. Blogger is hearing loud, crashing ocean waves or the soundtrack from There Will Be Blood, depending on the tone of the comments. Which leads us to an ever darker place…
2. Don’t expect any cuddles or loving in the morning. A drug dealer recently corroborated the Politico mantra and the far-reaching laws that govern a good blogger over the phone from prison, accidentally: “Hug the block on the first. You gotta be out there in the morning. The morning, the morning, from like the morning. … You’ll catch all the morning flow … ‘Cause they’ll all come see you, boom, boom, boom, ’cause that’s the morning. That’s their first high,” he said. A lot can happen in six or eight or 10 hours, so let blogger catch up, write a post or tweet or two and then maybe blogger will climb back into bed. (Probably not.) Off-hours depend on how much your blogger hates their job, so maybe just don’t date a blogger in the honeymoon period of proving themselves to a new project or publication. Surprise them in the shower because iPhones don’t work in there.
3. Drugs and alcohol. As a blogger, sometimes you’re up, but usually you’re down because you were up but then six posts pile on top of the good one and a cat video clutters your feed and the job is to go out there and do it again. In other words, the highs are so few and so fleeting that Computer Face will often give way to Sour Face and Thinking About the Internet Silence. The cure is substance abuse, which will lead to physical love, if played correctly. If blogger had a good day, reward blogger with a drink or a smoke. If blogger had a bad day, nurse blogger with a drink or a smoke. A sober blogger is a blogger, and a blogger is always behind.
4. Stay off of the Internet. If you’re proud of your blogger’s work, email it to your parents so they can say something nice next time they see the scribe. Same goes for your friends, who might think jokes about Charlie Sheen are funny. But stay off social networks, if you can, because your frequent output is embarrassing, as is your infrequent output. If you’re a casual dabbler in the Internet, you can’t get mad when a passing remark of yours turns into an extended conversation or a fight. You started it. Think of your lawyer father and his bloviating at dinner and then imagine he were talking about a listicle or using the word “viral.” If you’re not feeling homicidal at the thought, you’re probably also a blogger, dating another blogger. If that’s the case, you need a whole other list, but here’s a hint: Almost everyone else online hates you.
5. Just don’t. If you read the Internet, you saw this coming. Please RT.