March 20, 2022

Girls check guys' socials for brand synergy opportunities, not detective work (and a parody of "Material Girl" for the online persona era)

A recent post at the Red Scare podcast subreddit is just one among many mega-posts on the topic of girls freaking out over a potential bf having little to no presence on social media. The standard view is that this comes from a true-crime detective mindset -- to weed out serial killers and the like -- or a less paranoid version that still wants to sift through his posting in order to determine whether he's hiding some deep dark secret.

Only problem is, it isn't 2007 anymore, and nobody does the whole "over-sharing online" thing these days. Every post, on every major platform that you would check, is meticulously curated to present that account's ideal persona to the audience. Nobody is going to be blurting out their deepest darkest secrets, or waving red flags from a mile away, like they're LiveJournal-ing during their middle school emo phase.

In 2022, it's taken for granted that people can deceive others on the internet, especially when they have a strong motive. And that they can scrub their digital past, if they're concerned about what others would think. So online sleuthing is not going to dig up any real skeletons.

Rather, what's going on is that these girls are in status-striving mode, and want to see what their potential bf would bring to the striving table.

Recall this old foundational post on the generational structure of status contests. Silents and Boomers are the wealthiest generations in world history, so they competed over wealth. Gen X took a major hit to their wealth, for their entire lives, but they weren't wiped out -- so they competed over lifestyles, conspicuous leisure, and so on. Millennials and Zoomers came of status-striving age after the 2008 Depression struck, which none of them have ever recovered from. Competing over wealth is obviously a non-starter, but they will never have enough income to even compete over lifestyle activities. They compete over their personas, primarily through the social media platforms, which doesn't require much income at all to take part in. When IRL becomes unaffordable, go entirely online instead.

It's hard for pre-Millennials, even a very tail-end Gen X-er like me, to appreciate just how digitized and online-ized the Millennial and Zoomer sense of identity, personhood, and social interaction, have become. Their online persona is their primary self, and their IRL body is just a vehicle for doing quotidian tasks necessary to keep their online persona engaged in its engagement. For pre-Millennials, our primary self is the offline one, and we go online solely in order to do things we can't already do IRL.

So, the Millennial and Zoomer girls who are poring over the social media accounts of their potential bf are like the yuppie Boomers who would rapidly zoom in on the all-important question, "What do you do?" -- i.e., how much money do you make, and what kind of status does your career have? Or the Gen X girls who would zoom in on, "So, what do you like to do for fun?" -- i.e., what variety of lifestyle striving are you invested in? The Millennial / Zoomer girls want to know how much online clout their suitor would be bringing in, whether just within their narrow online sub-culture, or broadly to a mass online audience.

Becoming an item, let alone moving in together, getting married, etc., is merging the two status pools of each partner. No matter how much or how little she's bringing in, she's always going to want to know how much he would be bringing in on his end. For yuppie Boomers, the goal was DINK -- Dual Income, No Kids, to maximize their wealth-striving capacity. Think of how much higher up on the zip code totem pole you could be living, if you merged your income stream with someone else's, instead of living alone?

Millennials and Zoomers will always be too poor to afford owning property, or even rent high-up, so they don't care about that. However, they are no less intense in their striving drive, it just takes place in the online social media domain. Sure, not every girl can find a guy who makes 7 digits (follower count, that is), but they're going to aim as high as they can. Otherwise their online friends will think she's a loser, dating a guy with barely any followers, posts, or engagement on his accounts.

This is distinct from the notion of a "power couple" in the mass-media celeb sense. Very few of these couples will gain national or local attention. It's just the rational thing to do, when you want to maximize your status at the expense of everything else in life -- whether a dual-income household, or a dual-clout account. Pool your separate resources when they can be used jointly.

To lighten the mood on this otherwise depressing topic, and to adapt an anthem from the yuppie Boomer era to the online Millennial / Zoomer era, here's a parody of "Material Girl" by Madonna. Pronunciation guide: stress on 1st syllable in "CO-llabs" to fit it better into that line.

* * *

Some boys click me, some boys @ me
They should up their game
If they can't max my media metrics
I just block their name

They can simp, and they can "SHEESH!"
But I don't need no shrine
Only boys with co-brand collabs
Can be my king online

'Cause we're engaging within a virtual world
And I am such a virtual girl
Y'know that we're engaging within a virtual world
And I am such a virtual girl


  1. When she checks your blog and finds 15+ years of prescient schizoposting and charmingly offbeat song parodies:

    *sweat drops* *starry eyes* *devil horns* *tongue out* *sweat drops*

  2. Oops, I did it again...
    I fav'd your fan-art,
    Retweeted your takes
    Oh baby baby
    Oops, you think I would sub
    That I'd hand you a dub
    I'm not an incel simp

    (stress on 2nd syllable in "fan-ART")

  3. Real groyper hours, I'm brewing coffee after 9pm and watching an anime girl play Rainbow Road (although not as the monke) while she reminisces about '90s-era Nickelodeon.

  4. Gura parodied the lyrics to "Material Girl" tonight, during the Kirby stream. "I'm a poyo boy-o, living in a poyo world."

    Possible she's lurking here? Or is it just synchronicity, both of us parodying the lyrics to the same song within a few days of each other...

    Whatever the case may be, it's further confirmation that you guys would like her streams, even if you don't watch streamers (I hardly do). We're on a similar wavelength. She took mocking aim at the "Um, ackshually" tone of redditor types tonight, knows as many memes as you (or more), doesn't pander to coomers like an e-girl, but still has an earthy sense of humor. And cottagecore style, for the trad crew out there.

    Speaking of Britney and Gura, here's her slow moody cover of "Toxic", in which she sounds both mature and sultry, as well as youthfully bratty, during a single interpretation. I came to her first through her karaoke clips, which you might want to explore first if you aren't used to the streaming video game format.


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