A disturbing stare, frightening smile, and terrifying lyrics—meet the Overly Attached Girlfriend. For the last month she has been making waves online, going viral with creepy parodies of Justin Bieber’s Boyfriend and Carly Rae Jepsen’s Call Me Maybe on YouTube.
These videos made me laugh, feel uncomfortable, and got me thinking. Instead of thinking about something normal, I thought about how social networks are a lot like crazy girlfriends (or boyfriends) also. There are a shocking number of similarities between the two and I’ve shared some below.
Similarities Between Social Networks and Crazy Girlfriends
- They always want to know what you are doing, where you are, and who you are with.
- They want to be “liked”… but they prefer “engagement.”
- Engagement is the end goal for both of these parties, but of course it means two different things. For one, engagement means communicating with others in meaningful ways online. For the other, engagement means never communicating with anyone else ever again.
- They remember everything.
- Remember that one thing you said to your girlfriend two years ago that she still brings up in arguments from time to time? Social media also has a way of resurfacing old content because anything put online never goes away completely.
- They can feed your ego.
- Nothing like an arbitrary and artificially high friend count or excessive compliments from the crazy girlfriend to make one feel better about life.
- They pressure you to make your relationship status public—as soon as possible.
- The “Facebook official” stage is now a legitimate stage in relationships. Both parties want you to embrace that stage as soon as possible for their own reasons.
- Spending too much time with them can feel overwhelming.
- Too much of anything can be overwhelming. Combine that with dozens of platforms in social networks and dozens of personalities in a girlfriend and both can get overpowering quickly.
- Anything you say to them can (and will) be repeated to everyone you know.
- Privacy settings are great when used correctly. In the same way that any email message can get forwarded, any content you post online can get retweeted or shared, and anything you tell a girlfriend becomes potential gossip.
- They both have people “follow” you.
- Social networks have people follow you to give you a platform to speak your mind to those followers. Crazy girlfriends follow you because… they are crazy.
- Even if you sever ties with them, you’ll still see them everywhere.
- If you delete your account on a social network, you’ll still see social icons on advertisements and hear people talking about them. Overly Attached Girlfriend tells us that she’d still be attached even after a “break up.”
- If you treat them wrong, it can cost you.
- Take on both at your own risk. (See numbers 1 through 9).
I’m sure there are a lot more similarities, so if you can think of any more feel free to share them below. Engage with social media (and Overly Attached Girlfriends) carefully!