Love in the Anti-Social Media Age

Written by Mike Robbo
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'Love is a serious mental disease.’ – Plato.

Complete with a sculpted bust that may or may not be him. Didn’t bother to check.

Memes are how we tackle the serious issues these days, aren’t they? Without actually appearing too earnest. We can hide behind the irony it invokes. It’s just a bit of a laugh, innit? We’re being post-modern. But we’re not. We see these generic, sentimental reflections of how we’re feeling at a particular moment in time, and we share it. We know it’s a banal statement deep down, but it’s caught us on an off-day. Vulnerable and trying to make some sense of whatever shit we’re going through. We know the rational us would slap us silly like the Tango Man in the ads. And it is a slap-worthy offence.


It should be tattooed on our inner eyelids.

Yet, we do. You don’t realise who is reading. It’s an internal monologue that has a nice picture. You think you’re just talking to yourself. Only everybody you know is watching. Even the lurkers who scoff at those who are pathetically active on Facebook. Twitter. Instagram. They’re all watching and judging. You’re unwittingly becoming the focal point for the community’s gossip topic that day.

The morning after the night before. You got in and decided to respond to someone ‘cos they’d looked at you funny in the pub. A stinging character assassination. An epic rant. 74 ‘reactions.’ Some will ‘like’ the fact that someone’s pissed you off. Some will be enjoying the thought of the future events brought about by your idiotic, drunken bravado. Read cowardice. Laughing emojis. What do they mean? With or at me? A handful of wows. Don’t think about them. Focus on the 7 angry ones. Who are they angry with? The solitary love heart is of no consolation whatsoever.

Trivial life events blown out of all proportion.


‘Love is a serious mental disease.’

It’s something only those who are suffering right now would choose to post on Valentine’s Day. And don’t they just know it?

You wake up. Alone. After years of being in a relationship and log on. You see all the pictures of flowers, of saccharine declarations of love, of platitudes, of duty ‘cos you know that guy’s fucking his mate’s girlfriend. And it pisses you off. So to add balance, you get real. You’re letting them know they’re full of shit. In your head at that moment. What you’re actually doing is putting a sign up, saying ‘I am unhappy, lonely and bitter.’ You realise this hours later. When it’s too late. When the damage is done.

The ‘likes’ pour in. You think ‘yeah, man, these people get it.’

‘Likes,’ but no comments.

The passive/aggressive ‘like’ of someone’s negative comment is my favourite. It says so much; a demonstration of cowardice, a delight in others’ misfortune and crucially, the belief that you’ve escaped anonymously. Wrong.

Hours later, the last thing you want is to get into this, but at that time when judgement is impaired, you crave dialogue. Later, you’re fucking thankful no-one’s engaged you, but when you post, you’ve got something to say. And it’s less eloquent than old Plato. In your head, it’s going to change the way people look at love, life, themselves. In reality, you are digging a grave so deep for yourself, that showing your face in public in the near future is an impossibility.

Thank fuck no one commented. 38 ‘likes’ though. Later on, you’ll question them. Were they sympathy ‘likes’? Were they mocking? Passive-aggressive delight in your situation. They all know anyway. You fart in this neighbourhood, and by the time it’s reached The Queens, you’ve swallowed 20 diazepams, drunk a bottle of whisky, and shat the bed. And it’s today’s hot topic. The only consolation is that as soon as it disappears from everyone’s newsfeed, it’s forgotten, ‘cos someone else has posted some equally ludicrous shit. Only in your head, your post is eternally scrutinised. And you daren’t leave the house. Days later, you’ll bump into Scarlett in the supermarket, the girl you’re subconsciously lining up as a replacement. Nothing. They probably didn’t even see it. You’re expecting the third degree, and the pitying tone. But it’s long-forgotten. Ms Johanssen is available, and she didn’t give it a second thought when scrolling through her newsfeed.

You’ll do it again though. Repeatedly. The 5 golden rules are:

• You must post straight after an argument or break-up

• You must post first thing in the morning when you haven’t woken up properly

• You must post at 3am, when you’ve just got in, pissed, and have no recollection in the morning.

• You must realise it’s an ill-thought-out move as your finger hovers over ‘post’ for an eternity, but do it anyway.

• You must be so self-obsessed that you don’t even consider how it will affect the person it’s unsubtly aimed at, who will invariably retaliate in a ‘subtle’ way that everyone who knows you will understand.
It will happen again though. Strap yourself in for the inner turmoil.

And train yourself to think ‘this is a fucking stupid thing you’re about to do’ whenever the urge to post that Ryan Adams video off Heartbreaker takes over and your rationality radar is off-kilter. It’s unadvisable. In the moments of clarity which cloud the black moods, you know this. And mock others for doing so.


You’re welcome.

I’m off to listen to The Smiths with a whisky. Wish me luck.

To die by your side, is such a heavenly way to die

Turn that phone off.

It’s a loaded shotgun. And instead of aiming at the intended target, it’s twisted and it’s aimed at your soul. Reputations are obliterated. It cannot be undone.

So next time: Stay away and wallow in private. Ryan Adams is good.

On the other hand: It’s all in your head. No one remembers it anyway.

Because they’re all going through the same damn thing

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Read 4405 times Last modified on Sunday, 14 February 2021 15:14
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Mike Robbo

Mike Robbo

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