In its place, a new modality of communicating your non-single-ness. Creator Jack Appleby articulated it in a video this week. “For the first time in a long time, there’s a new way to soft launch,” he announced. “Here’s the new procedure: You do an Instagram carousel photo dump, but, like, the seventh of 10 photos has some person you’ve never posted with ever.”
Slide one: You’re making a face with a mixed drink. Slide two: You and the mixed drink are surrounded by close friends. Slide three: a totally rAndOm shot – who cares what it is? – a seagull or something! Slide four: your friend looking hot, so people know you are gracious and merciful, like the Lord. Slide five: a plate of food that cost over $28 dollars. Slide six: you and the person you’re dating, radiant with like for each other! Caption the whole thing “foto dump” or “spring has sprung” and you are good to go.
Eye-rolling Luddites, calm down: Wanting your community to know about your dating status is not somehow indicative of a collapsing society. Social media is a performance, and so is socialising, generally. It’s not any stranger to publicize a relationship status than a big move, a graduation, or a job change. People who don’t have social media, or whose feeds are just seven unfocused posts of national parks: YOU’RE NOT BETTER THAN US.
Just know this: If you are posting a picture of yourself standing anywhere near to any person who I think might fit within the spectrum of your sexuality, I am screenshotting that picture and sending it to the lab for analysis, and by “lab,” I mean my sister or my friend Katrina. You can delete the post, you can scrub your grid, you can deactivate, but you will be in our files forever. Amateur body language experts will be pulling up your new soft launches for side-by-side comparisons with the originals.