There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call the Twilight Zone.
Even though I’m a bit young to remember when the show was aired, I still recall watching it with my parents and all of us reciting the intro of the show. A very interesting merging of fantasy, science fiction, horror, and suspense, this program presented stories based on that dimension where anything was possible. Where scientific rules follow other schemes. A dimension unintelligible for the human mind. Naturally, this show has become an obliged popular reference when you can’t find an explanation for something, and you just reply with a simple: “you've just crossed over into the Twilight Zone.” Well, maybe it’s not that common and popular, but I assure you it’s a commonly used phrase in my house.
The point here is that among all the mysterious and incomprehensible phenomena occurring every day, there’s one that stills makes me wonder if I had just entered the Twilight Zone, since I don’t seem to understand why I react the way I do. Let me explain. Recently I encountered a couple of articles on the internet. I opened them thinking they were being sarcastic because of their titles. But as I continued reading, I realized the writer was being completely serious. The article was about the writer's personal story of how upsetting it was to find out that her partner was liking other women on Instagram and how this unleashed a series of events that ended with a breakup.
The only thing I could think was: “Are you freaking kidding me?” Isn’t it a bit exaggerated? To be honest when I open Instagram to waste my time (obviously) I just scroll down and whenever I like something, I just double tap it. I’m not really analyzing what’s behind my liking or what that action could mean for others. I mean, these are just images. Then I saw another article that seemed way more over the top than the previous one, but that actually made some interesting remarks, or at least made me think of something I hadn’t considered.
We’ve based our entire lives on apps and social media. I know that’s no surprise, but in the same way, we still pour our previous relationship dynamics into them, not realizing that they work at a different social level based on nothing palpable. Still, our reactions and behaviors continue following social norms we’re familiar with, and when something as insignificant as liking someone’s publication ruins a relationship, it’s hard not to question what kind of society we are. I mean, don’t get me wrong, for me it's as ridiculous as when a girl got really pissed at a family reunion when one of my friends danced with her boyfriend. To make it more WTF-ish, she even called me to make my friend apologize with her because one should not dance with another person’s partner. I mean, did we just travel back to the nineteenth century and no one told me? See where am I going?
I get it. Not everyone thinks like me and some people might have other intentions when liking a picture on Facebook or Instagram. I even understand why these girls feel somehow betrayed or shattered when their partners like the photo of a girl's ass. That’s all quite comprehensible. This woman who shared her story explains that the first time she discovered her boyfriend had liked the devil’s picture, she sent him a message asking for an explanation. The guy just said he was sorry, that it was meaningless, and she felt happy. Sometime after that, when it happened again, he just asked her if it was so terrible to like his friend’s images. Still, the woman continued feeling bummed and insecure.
My point is, as a woman, what’s the purpose of being in a relationship where a simple like can tear down a relationship? Moreover, if you’re feeling so insecure, isn't that a matter of low confidence in yourself or your relationship? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not justifying the guy or any other person. But either you state at the beginning of the relationship that any contact they can make with other people on social media is with their family and parents, or you understand that social media is just an artificial tool we use to socialize, and that a like on another girl’s photo doesn’t mean the other person is cheating on you, thinks you’re hideous, or doesn’t want to be with you anymore. If that’s the case, I assure you there will be way more signals than just that red heart below the image.
I don't know. Maybe I'm just too cynical, and for me this is ridiculous. What's next? Cheating just by watching someone's publication? Or if someone follows you on Instagram? Perhaps we've really crossed over into the Twilight Zone, and in real life, we should care for more important and relevant issues than these.
Photos inside the Instagram layer are by Jakob Owens