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You Salty, Bae?

Hanna Nilles, Guest Writer

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Modern relationships are maintained through a specific balance of compassion and indifference. Relationships end when you lose trust or respect for your significant other, and what better way to lose their respect than tweeting about them? In all its novelty, social media has caused us to lose more in our relationships than we gain in our boredom.

When asked whether they have used these words: “ghosting”, “talking”, “salty”, “draking”, “wifey”, “hubby”, “143”, “friends with benefits”, “grenade man”, or “jump off”, 50% of teens admitted to using them in regular conversation. Most of these words find their roots in social media. While our adopted vocabulary continues to become more accepted (with dictionaries adding slang words and novels changing their tone and diction to target a younger audience, etc.), our relationships tend to suffer.

Suppose you send your partner a text: “143”. This is used, of course, in place of the words “I love you”. It takes you 3 seconds to type the numbers one, four, and three, but years to find the courage to say it in person. What’s worth more to your lover- the quick, confirming text, or the lifetime of dedication?

Actually performing the actions represented by these slang terms presents another issue- how social media has changed our will. You have the choice to be proud of the fact that you’re with someone you love. Or, you can call yourself a “grenade man” (when you’re with an unattractive woman so your friends can hang around her more attractive friends), to save yourself the embarrassment of explaining that you love someone that society deems “ugly”.

A junior at Aberdeen, Taylor Arthur, says that when she and her boyfriend fight, “we look at the relationships around us, and so we don’t end up like them, we don’t tweet when angry and we don’t sub-tweet because that lets other people into our relationship.” What we leave behind us is now defined by that which we post, tweet, or snap. Taylor’s strategy keeps their personal business personal, and keeps what they leave behind, behind them.

Others actually use social media to instigate arguments. “My best friend isn’t my best friend anymore because someone said I was going to fight her on Instagram,” says Lavasia Wilson.

Social media not only hands us the tools we need to destroy our relationships, but also those which can destroy the relationships of others.

Whether you use social media with the intent to destroy a relationship like Lavasia’s,  or you use it to spite the one you love, or you use it just for fun- remember that with anything public, there is danger. Be careful- it’s easy to lose someone over social media.

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You Salty, Bae?