Getting to know someone — through Facebook.
I have always been a strong proponent against long-distance relationships. In fact, I really was not trying to be in a relationship at all. Honestly, I came to Korea thinking I was going to frequent bars, clubs, and Tinder.
But sometimes life comes up behind you and, like a bad friend (or a good friend depending on how you look at it), pushes you into a potentially awkward, unexpected situation that you just weren’t ready for and runs away laughing leaving you to squirm and struggle through it on your own.
Ignorant to the potential consequences, pain, and difficulties, I decided to send her a Facebook message. It was probably the first time I ever slid in the DM with the intention of starting a relationship.
It started with me sending a Buzzfeed video called “what guys think about girl names”. Her name was in there, and it was pretty spot-on. Honestly it could have been dead wrong but I thought about her and I just wanted an excuse to talk to her.
Sentences turned into paragraphs, paragraphs into essays, to short stories. A month went by, and we were still talking, exchanging our long journal articles to each other once a day. It was amazing how much we are able to learn from each, even within the small confines of a Facebook message box on the corner of your newsfeed. I learned about her family, her dreams, insecurities, fears, favorite sex positions, embarrassing drunk moments, past relationships, favorite TV shows, standards for a partner, morals, religious views, etc., etc.
Don’t underestimate the DM! I learned more about her, and she learned more about me, then I can say of most of the people in my life! All within a couple months. Why? Because all we could do was talk. There was no physical touch — hand-holding, kissing, sex — that we could express ourselves through. Instead, we had to express our feelings, opinions, personalities, thoughts through oral communication.
Still, we had never met and so many things we didn’t know! Except through the petty judgments drawn from stringent and severe stalking/vetting on Facebook (How many friends do you have? Mutuals? Ugh, I hate that guy. How many likes/reactions do you get per post? You breaking three digits? How many comments…Are they actually lengthier comments with some depth and genuine thought, or are they the inane, obligatory, typical “Cute!”, “BAE”, “(Fire Emoticon)”s that they write so you will comment back on their posts? What have you been liking? Complex, Insider, Occupy Democrats? Pictures!!! But who posts pictures with bad angles…I can’t tell how tall you are…I can’t tell your body type with all these clothes! You got a butt or not. What does your mom look like? Ooooohhh O.K. MAMA!!! )
She passed. To be honest, I didn’t really look at anything but her pictures. HAHA. Not because I’m shallow but because she is very transparent and expressive and you can feel who she is deep inside when you talk to her — her passion and her sincerity and her truth — and I felt I knew enough from her messages.
BUT, we had never heard each other’s voices, seen each other’s faces not in a setting with good lighting, communicating without having all the time of the world. Her energy. Her laugh. Would it be the same? It was time to take the next step in the long-distance relationship of a modern Millenial — Facetime.