Tori Fisher / Gavel Media

Diatribe: 'Gatsbying'

OMG. He sent me a Snapchat with the dog filter. Is that a good sign? Is that a bad sign? Which filter should I send back?! Would sending the bunny one be too forward?!

If you have ever communicated with a crush over Snapchat, text, or even social media DMs, you may be familiar with this feeling of dread and uncertainty. I am in no way making fun of the tendency to overthink a crush’s message as if it is an encrypted governmental code that needs to be deciphered. I have been there before. Nowadays, interacting with a romantic interest via Snapchat and other social media channels has become the norm. But should it be?

There is actually a term for casual flirting via social media. It’s called “Gatsbying.” Reddit user Cupcake Warrior concocted the popular internet term. Cupcake Warrior wrote, “Posting a Snapchat to your story and then waiting for that one specific person to watch it, is the modern day equivalent of Gatsby throwing elaborate parties seeking Daisy's attention.” Well... that’s actually pretty accurate.

As much as “Gatsbying” may seem silly, it is a valid way to try to ignite some communication between you and your crush. In a way, “Gatsbying” is the same as going to a party or event that you know your crush will be at just to “casually” bump into him or her—it's just via social media instead. In my opinion, flirting through social media is a great way to begin interacting with someone you’ve been crushing on, especially if you don’t get to see that person very often in real life. But this is where my PSA comes in: While using Snapchat and other social media outlets may be a good way to spark communication with your crush, try not to keep your relationship digital forever.

What would be the point of talking to your love interest on Snapchat if you never hope to pursue any type of connection beyond that? This may sound cheesy, but digital communication will never match face-to-face communication. I am certainly not saying that taking that jump is easy. In fact, it will most likely take a lot of guts on your end, especially if you are a wimp like myself. But, if you like that person enough, then the risk should be worth it. Or maybe if you’re lucky, he or she will ask you first.

The brilliant singer Khalid actually wrote his popular song, “Location,” about this exact topic. He offers some great insight by proposing a type of communication that involves both digital and real-life interplay. He explains that you do need to use your phone to initially connect and communicate with people, but adds, “I feel like it’s really necessary to kind of pick their brain, face to face, and see their reaction. Instead of seeing their emoticon.”

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