I’m a little too old to have ever thirst trapped. It isn’t that I wasn’t aggressively on social media when I was younger and single but the forms and semiotics of the space hadn’t codified yet. Clout was a lot more protean in 2014.
I’m absolutely fascinated by how much sexual status is now played out by your consumption choices on Instagram and Tik Tok. You filter it because your dating apps remove you so completely from the context of each other’s lives. No one meets through friends anymore. The apps have dominated costal enclaves in particular.
This atomization is affecting our our behavior in some negative ways. The more we moderate our professional profile the harder it is to discern morals and intent absent from your best marketed self.
Everyone is signaling in a giant sexual market place where even electricians have to worry about personal brand. And this is the origin of the fuck boy I suspect. There is a kind of man (and I’d argue woman too) that just doesn’t play by fair emotional rules. People get atomized and they get comfortable using other people independent of their own agency to consent. Power and status has never been less clear.
This is all on the backdrop of a world where sexual mores are being restricted back to retrograde positions previously only held by the reactionary right last generation. Everyone else got a whole lot chiller about advertising their sexual lives just as the new generation of prudes would rise up. But also maybe everyone just wanted to go back to being prude. Vibe shifts are coming at you fast.
Our elites have never been more promiscuous. Everyone is fucking each other but not so discreetly as there once did in our British colonial past. Our gossip columnists have fewer boundaries and besides everyone knows visibility is good.
But if you had ever considered that you might hold yourself to more relaxed standards of acceptable social relationships well that was a mistake. You plebeians better shape up and go with the conservative social family ideal. Even the gays. Especially the gays. I’d buckle up for some rapidly shifting cultural waters as I don’t know where this goes but I’m not optimistic.