You Asked It

Just Wondering

Quitting Facebook, confessing crushes, and dealing with rejection.

leskooctober2013 copy

I haven’t had Facebook for two years. I found it tiring to maintain a persona, and I was constantly comparing myself to others when I was on it. I also always felt pressured to take good photos all the time, which made me kind of anxious. A lot of people act like it’s weird that I don’t have it, though—some are even hostile about it. One friend told me that employers are less likely to hire you if you don’t have a Facebook account. I’ve been trying to remind myself that Jessa from Girls isn’t on Facebook, but should I just suck it up and re-register? I’m kind of nervous that if I do, people will look at my history and see that I haven’t been doing much for the past two years. —Claire, 18, Sydney

I am high-fiving you for being both decisive and mysterious. I didn’t have Facebook for years, and I never felt bad about it for a second—it always felt like a part-time job to keep up with people in what felt like a superficial way, and I was not willing to welcome ol’ man Zuckerberg as my new information overlord, so I peaced right the hell out.

I can understand feeling pressured to rejoin—people can be relentless about things they think are good for you. Before anything else, remember this: You quit for a reason, and that reason is valid. If it were boring or just slightly annoying you might have put up with it, but you were tired and felt like you were putting up a persona. Nothing that makes you feel that way is worth keeping up! If staying away from Facebook makes you feel better about how you interact with the world, it is 100% the way to go.

Do you use other social media? The next time someone gives you lip about not being on FB, just say, “Duh, I’m on Twitter, where everyone fabulous hangs out and I can send a message to Channing Tatum if I want to.” If you don’t use any social media, that’s even better—they’ll be scrambling to figure you out, and you’ll keep ’em guessing about how you spend your time, which is really none of their business in the first place. Just by not having FB, you’re halfway to mastering the sort of aloofness people struggle their whole lives to adopt! If people won’t let up about wanting you to join, remind them how rude it is to get up in your face like that.

Here is something I can promise you: No employer cares about whether or not you have Facebook, unless you are applying for a job as a social-media person (or a job at Facebook), and there are privacy laws in most countries that prevent employers from accessing your private online information. Most employers just want to know that you’re not a liability or a weirdo, and there are a bunch of other ways to find that out. Don’t get Facebook just to get a job! Anyway, would you even want a job that requires it?

Right now I have a fake Facebook for work (not my real name, uses an email associated only with my Facebook account, all fake bio information), and you can always go that route. But trust me—there is no aspect of your life that will be enhanced by rejoining, and you don’t need the pressure or stress that it brings. —Danielle

I have a crush on a guy who probably thinks I’m a lesbian, because until recently I thought I was. The problem is that he is incredibly nice to everyone and physically affectionate (in a completely respectful way) with everyone, and he has a flirtatious sense of humor with everyone. How can I tell if he’s interested in me when he acts like he’s romantically interested in everyone? I’m not comfortable just telling him that I like him without at least having an idea about his feelings, as I’ve ruined a very meaningful friendship by just approaching a girl like that in the past. —Sophie

Ah, hello there, my young sunshine cadet. Before we begin work on solving today’s mystery, Sophie Drew and the Case of the Ambiguously Intentioned Flirt Machine, I want to let you know that, as a fellow not-always-straight person, it’s totally OK to switch the way you think of yourself in terms of your sexuality, or to choose not to identify any which way you want. I hope you’re not bugging out too much about, like, BEING A REAL LESBIAN/STRAIGHT PERSON/BI PERSON/ANY OTHA KINDA PERSON, as I did as a teenager. None of your feelings make you, like, dishonest or anything, and you should feel footloose and fancy-free about getting down with people of whatever genders you want, without limits. Just had to say my piece in that regard before we move on to your dilemma with the inscrutable crush-boy who, as we will discuss, is really not all that inscrutable if you don’t want him to be. After all, you’re SOPHIE DREW, a prodigy girl-sleuth with a good head on her shoulders (I have decided this identity for you and will not tolerate backtalk here—you’re too relentless in your pursuit of the truth for it to be any other way, sorry).

This is gonna seem like SUCH AN OBVIOUS QUESTION, but what I’m really asking you is to sincerely pay attention to detail, nuance, inflection, and all the other small-seeming stuff here—aka SNIFF OUT THE CLUES. What are the actual differences in the way he treats you versus the way he treats others? Like, does he talk to/touch all of his friends with the exact same degree of flirtatiousness, or do you feel like he pays special attention to you in particular? Most important, though, is to take a minute and seriously ask yourself if you honestly and truly feel the sexual-tension-based frisson that comes from mutual crushed-outness when you’re around him. This is an ineffable thing and impossible to pin down; it’s just a sensation that you either feel or you don’t. If you’re thinking the answer is definitely yes on this front, move on to the next paragraph, but if you’re uncertain, take some more time to carefully observe his interactions with people. Don’t, you know, stalk him like a sex-hawk and ogle him blatantly whenever he opens his mouth—just try to stay closely attuned to his behavior around you and others, which I’m guessing you’re already doing if you’re as crushed out on him as you seem to be. This could just be his way of relating to everyone, period, or it could be a way of trying to neutralize/make the flirtatious feelings he has toward you seem like less of a big deal. (“If I just act this way with everybody, maybe she won’t be able to tell I like her!”—his brain, maybe.)

Either way, if he’s this unguarded about flirting with people and being physical with them, which many people are uncomfortable with, or at least more restrained in doing themselves, he’ll likely be equally as open/non-weird about the inevitable repercussions of this behavior. In other words, he can’t be all that shocked that not EVERYBODY is going to maintain their platonic feelings toward him. Because of this, Sophie Drew, I don’t think you’ll be losing a friend if you approach him in a super-casual way about your feelings. Figure out some non-dramatic and playful way to let him know what your heart does when you’re around him. Maybe something like: “I think it’s cute when you give me back-rubs in free period.” Then see what he says! If he sweet-talks you back, ask him if he wants to hang out, and he says no, play it off like the kind of affectionate joke that he’s ever so fond of making.

If you still feel nervous about this, here’s an even lower-risk way of seeing what the state of the union is: Ramp up your own flirtatious moves toward him. If he’s touchy and tickle-y, touch and tickle back! When he makes a joke about what a babe you looked like at the school dance, counter that with “You’re not so bad yourself, Brendan.” Then see if things escalate. If they do, you’ll have your answer, plus a new makeout partner. If not? No harm, no foul.

Either way, you got this, Sophie. Now go forth and flirt your heart out, girl. Good luck with Brendan, and if it turns out that you guys are just friends, you’ll at least have practiced upping your game for the next time you want to mack it to somebody, you minx, you. —Amy Rose

I finally told my crush that I like him (by text message). His response was sweet, polite, and considerate but ultimately a rejection. Although I am proud to have gone after what I wanted with no restraint or shame, the rejection still really stings, and I want to get back out there without too much damage to my self-confidence. Any tips on how to deal with the yucky feelings of rejection? —Gabrielle, 16, France

First of all, many props, snaps, hair flips, and high-fives for being brave enough to put your feelings out there. I love and admire people who have the courage to be open with their feelings. It’s VERY REAL and VERY SCARY! I’m even happier that you aren’t regretting your confession, even though your crush’s response wasn’t what you would have preferred.

I won’t front, though—this shit totally hurts. The pain of rejection can feel as excruciating and terrifying as 1,000 scorpions playing double-dutch jump-rope right on top of your heart. It super sucks, but it’s going to be OK.

We can’t control how people will react when we reveal our feelings to them. Sometimes you will be the rejected, and other times you will be the Rrjector! ::A giant shrug Emoji descends from the skies:: I have been on both ends NUMEROUS TIMES—particularly the rejected end—and while neither side is a barrel of LOLz, I can tell you that as much as it hurts right now, you will totally get over it. Not every person you’ve got your eye on is going to be the right one for you; sometimes the hunk or hunkette of your dreams won’t reciprocate your feelings, and the reason might not be so crystal clear.

This situation does not invalidate you, and it has nothing to do with who will actually end up as your sweetfart in the future. There are millions of totally cool people in the world! When I find myself getting down or hopeless about love, I say to myself, If I exist and I’m super cool, then a person who is just as cool as me has to exist, too—I can’t be the only cool one around here! Then I stomp my feet and lower myself into the splits. It makes sense, right? (The part about not being the only cool one, I mean, not the splits—that’s just a habit of mine.) Please don’t let this rejection derail you from putting yourself out there again, or prevent you from being prepared to meet the person who is right for you. Rejection won’t have as painful an impact on you next time, especially when you are secure with yourself and aware of how lovely you are, so let’s always remember that, too. —Marie ♦

Got a question that you want a total stranger with no professional advice-giving qualifications to weigh in on? Send it to youaskedit@rookiemag.com. Please include your NAME, nickname, or first initial, plus your AGE and your CITY.

46 Comments

  • maddie123 October 8th, 2013 11:49 PM

    Hey! This has nothing to do with the article (even though all your answers were super amazing, as per usual), but I met Amy Rose at the New Yorker Festival with Lizzie Widdicombe and Tavi Gevinson (hopefully you remember me! I’m Madeline, from Caldwell!) and I just wanted to say how happy I am that I met you and I felt the need to thank you for being so cool and awesome all the time and just the absolute best in general! I have such major love for you, dude.

    P.S. I love your Bart Simpson shorts more than life itself

    • Amy Rose October 9th, 2013 12:31 AM

      Dear Maddie,

      I told my moms about you, that’s how excited I was.

      Eternal love,

      ARS

      • dreamygirl October 9th, 2013 12:12 PM

        Hi Maddy, this is Olivia, one of the New Yorker girls that you met! It was so fun gah!

        Amy Rose,
        I love you.
        Olivia

        • dreamygirl October 9th, 2013 12:14 PM

          Oops, sorry, not Maddy, Maddie!

        • Amy Rose October 9th, 2013 1:19 PM

          Love you too! Glad you had a good time.

        • maddie123 October 9th, 2013 5:33 PM

          AH i remember you! it was so great meeting you!

      • MotherOfInvention October 11th, 2013 9:56 PM

        Dear Maddie,

        It’s true. Amy Rose told me about you immediately after meeting you and the other Caldwell stars. She was as thrilled to meet you as you were to meet her! And me, I’m just thrilled to know ALL of you. You all make me smile and feel good about the world.

        Big love all around!

        Heidi (Amy Rose’s Mom)

        • Danielle October 11th, 2013 10:02 PM

          Um, I love you.

        • Anaheed October 11th, 2013 11:47 PM

          ♥♥♥

        • maddie123 October 12th, 2013 12:46 AM

          This is probably the sweetest thing I’ve ever read!

  • Serena.K October 9th, 2013 12:00 AM

    amy rose is truly the older sister you never had. can she have her own column solely devoted to like, the art of flirting? i’m so into the level of detail here!

    • Amy Rose October 9th, 2013 12:32 AM

      Serena K,

      Anything you want, just ask it!

      X ARS

    • Pavanne October 11th, 2013 1:32 PM

      i agree; any excuse to become a sexual beast;)

  • dandelions October 9th, 2013 12:00 AM

    I understand Claire a lot. I don´t have Facebook, either. And everybody treats me as if I were from other world and they always torture me saying I won´t be successful if I´m not in the social media. But Facebook makes me sick. And I feel anxious sometimes about it… like, the world is now on social media and if I´m not Dakota Fanning or someone famous, I won´t survive or achieve my goals without make myself notice by Facebook. Other people says that I just wanna look myself rebel and countercultural, but it is not like that. I feel sad sometimes, because everybody is on Facebook and I miss my friends, but I really don´t want to be in that blue and White world.

    • Nomali October 10th, 2013 7:18 AM

      You are awesome! Trust your instincts and if you do decide to change your mind one day it’ll be totally okay and you won’t feel obliged to be all posey, or whatever. There was a cool network (called Mxit) when I was in highschool — I never got into it like after high school as a way to “feel less alone” — ugh — long story short is that I enjoyed it for a while. Them took a long ass break from it. I’m rambling. Anyway, I just think that friends don’t invalidate friends’ feelings about FB.

      x

      • dandelions October 14th, 2013 7:39 PM

        Hi, Nomali, thank you. I feel kind of worried about it, too. because, if one day I decide to have a FB account, everybody would be bothering me me about it, and saying “finally”. I just wanna be who I am, now. I follow what I feel. But the pressure about social networks is huge. Like, “you must be popular” , “you must have tons of likes”, sometimes it scares me.

  • hanalady October 9th, 2013 12:08 AM

    This is awesome and i love the advice columns! but editorial note: MIGHT HAVE, not MIGHT OF! (in Danielle’s answer)

  • Alepisaurus October 9th, 2013 12:11 AM

    SOPHIE, ARE YOU ME? Can you check, somehow?

    also the Facebook advice is really helpful, I don’t have one with my real name on and I haven’t used my fake-name one in years, so I’m glad employers don’t really care.

  • Brodie October 9th, 2013 1:22 AM

    Claire! I totally agree with Danielle! I work in social media and once I leave this job I plan on leaving a wide berth between myself the the big F. Trust me, anyone who says it’s weird that you’re not on it is just jealous of you.

    Recently I did some work with a guy who deleted FB years ago, and he said “I’ve always wondered if it will one day affect a work opportunity, but it hasn’t yet.” He’s still just as connected and aware as ever. Also he works for himself and makes about $700 a day. Suck it, Zuckerberg!

  • jgirl2damaxx October 9th, 2013 1:56 AM

    Claire, I love what you said about FB. I’m the same way and deactivated by account 2 years ago. I felt so much lighter without the weight of comparing myself to others or devising comments that say what I truly mean. It’s harder to keep in touch, but I’ve found that having less friends I’m in contact with is better. I only need to hang with my real friends. Let the FB people stay there.

  • Angeline . October 9th, 2013 2:15 AM

    Claire – I totally understand where you’re coming from about the whole anxiety thing Facebook creates. If I wasn’t still in high school and needing it to ask people about homework, I’d probably deactivate mine.

    That was actually one of the reasons I deleted my first Instagram. Even though no one was asking, I just felt a lot of pressure to be constantly posting good pictures. I caved and got one again though but that anxiety still makes appearances sometimes though I’m trying to tamper it down.

    Social media can be a blessing and a tiresome mess at the same time.

    x

    http://masksandflasks.tumblr.com/
    http://pour-a-littlesalt.tumblr.com/

  • whyamidreamingwhenimstillawake October 9th, 2013 2:35 AM

    Social media is a little shit.
    Whenever I send a snapchat or post something on Instagram, I always feel like I’m going to be judged.
    But I feel like if I didn’t have these things, I’d be judged for that as well.
    Grrrr too much judging.

  • eza_236 October 9th, 2013 4:17 AM

    I am in LOVE with all of you girls’ style of writing. You’re witty and HILARIOUS and I feel like this post was just like one big funny chat with an older sister. Can I adopt you all to be my sisters please? Keep up the amazing work! Xx

  • elliecp October 9th, 2013 4:55 AM

    All of these are so relevant to me! The Facebook one especially…I live on a kind of cycle of wanting to delete all of my Internet profiles, to enjoying having them, to hating them again…sometimes I like the Internet and at other times I wish I had never discovered it. I wonder if I would be a different person if I’d never been influenced by things like Facebook, tumblr or YouTube…<3

    http://roseandvintage.blogspot.com/

  • RatioRae October 9th, 2013 7:41 AM

    Hey, can we be from a different country if we want to send in a question? :)

    • Danielle October 9th, 2013 8:22 AM

      Of course! Please do. :)

  • aela October 9th, 2013 8:13 AM

    Claire – I am an Austrian girl in my early 20ies, and for many years I have considered articles on “the alarming social media obsession of our generation” to be strongly exaggerated, simply because it did not reflect my own experience: Many people I know do not check their facebook accounts on a daily basis and most of them only use it for messaging/chatting. I have registered on facebook in 2008, and have never posted a status update to date. When I mentioned pinterest on a girls-night-out a few weeks ago, nobody had an idea what I was talking about. I even doubt all of my friends know what twitter is (might sound a little crazy to some of you).

    I gained a better insight into the extent to which people from other cultures use social media when I decided to study a year abroad in Denmark (everyone go study abroad if you can, it’s such a great experience!). I had such a fun time living and laughing with students from all over the world and, of course, did not only befriend them in real life but also in the online facebook community. All of a sudden I was tagged in tons of pictures my international friends posted, kind of felt weird for not having a smartphone (I have not internet and no camera on my mobile, but hey, I only pay € 3 per month!) and experienced first-hand what you called “maintaining an online persona” (Because yes, B., it was a nice, relaxed cooking night on Friday but it was not the “best food ever and the craziest night!” and M., you told me that you did not enjoy the trip to the museum last weekend that much, but according to facebook …

  • aela October 9th, 2013 8:14 AM

    … “it was the best exhibition you had seen in a long time”). I talked about this with several other people, and I think sharing so much information online is A LOT more common in America and Australia than anywhere else: At least in my facebook-friends-list, they tend to have the most friends, pictures posted, status updates (by far!). On the other extreme there are the students that I got to know from China, who were super excited to be able to register on facebook when they were in Denmark since it is banned in their home country.

    Just know that while you fear others might think it’s weird if you are not on facebook documenting your life with selfies and food-pics: There are just as many people out there who think documenting your life with selfies and food-pics is pretty weird. And guess what: When you meet people you have not seen for a while you might even be able to tell them about stuff that is happening in your life that they do not already know from your facebook status update! Awesome, right? And if you still decide to re-register on facebook (because, you know, it can without doubt be a convenient tool): There is no need to feel pressured to keep up with the posting madness. I think not even starting to create the best-version-of-yourself-online-persona makes it easier to just enjoy the positive sides of facebook and to not constantly worry whether your facebook wall makes your life look as interesting as those of your online friends.

    • silvermist October 9th, 2013 4:09 PM

      This this this. I just use facebook to message my friends.
      I changed some settings so no one can post on my wall and no one can see the photos I’ve been tagged in (unless they are friends with other people in the picture). The functionality of creating groups is really convenient too, it’s great for group work for school and for sharing things with your close friends without anyone else reading.

      I’ve also studied abroad and noticed the same thing. My friends from the US post much much more than we do.

      (Also I’m thinking of going to Denmark next year, I’m going to consider your comment as a sign of the universe that I should :))

      • aela October 10th, 2013 7:13 AM

        You should :) I studied in Copenhagen, and all my expectations concerning the city/people/education system/culture were exceeded by far!

  • Ella W October 9th, 2013 10:30 AM

    I completely understand about the Facebook thing! I didn’t get it for ages, it was like 2 years after all my friends got it. Although when they created me an account I liked it for a bit, I am getting pretty sick of it now.
    Plus I deleted my twitter, so glad to see that go!
    Ella x

    http://gorillalegs.blogspot.co.uk/

  • Erin. October 9th, 2013 11:06 AM

    Facebook is funny. I never really got how some people are so addicted to it. Maybe I just don’t care enough to spend hours looking at pictures of people I don’t like. I really just use it as an easy way to contact friends, because I find it easier than emailing. Recently I decided that my profile picture would be an image of whatever book I’m reading. I’m not a photogenic person, so using book covers is an easy way to eliminate the stress of having a god-awful picture. :P

    • notnobody October 9th, 2013 6:07 PM

      Ok, using book covers as a profile picture is an awesome idea. Would you mind if I borrowed it?

  • gruenblatt October 9th, 2013 1:34 PM

    sweetfart. from all the intelligent and nice stuff you said here, that typo is what made my day :)

    also: i’ve never really gotten over anything. just mentioning the other side. that happens to people as well.

    • Danielle October 9th, 2013 3:17 PM

      That’s not a typo. :)

  • ghostgrrl October 9th, 2013 2:31 PM

    I totally get the facebook deactivation. I haven’t had one since three years ago and I’m really glad I got rid of it. Everyone aggravated me and I was so nervous about having pictures on there and I had no idea what to say in status updates so I was just like fuck it. I didn’t even create the facebook for myself in the first place, my new group of friends kept telling me I was weird as hell and this girl set one up for me, without me asking her. When I stopped being friends with them I deactivated. Whenever someone asks me why I don’t have one I just say that it was super tiring and it was taking up all my time (it really wasn’t taking my time up but whatever) and the people seem to understand that because it takes up all of their time. You do you and ignore people who give you shit for it. Like Danielle said, you’re a mysterious cat and that’s very cool.

    ghostgrrlfriend.tumblr.com

  • tove October 9th, 2013 4:36 PM

    Facebook sucks and that is a scientific fact.

  • zoevija October 9th, 2013 6:26 PM

    Re: Facebook: I deleted mine… I think 2 years ago now, and I can assure you you will NOT regret it. I never have; I’ve been SO happy with my decision. Facebook made me miserable. Like you, I felt pressure to maintain a persona, and constantly compared myself to other people, whose lives looked so much ~~cooler than mine. It was making me feel terrible about myself. It just got worse after I broke up with my boyfriend and he started dating someone else/posting pictures of himself in a creepy Clockwork Orange costume making out w/ his new GF at a Halloween party… One day I looked through like every picture he’d posted of himself with her to make myself as unhappy as I possibly could, which gave me the impetus I needed to finally delete it, and I’ve never looked back, and ahh I just can’t recommend it highly enough. DO IT. And get Twitter! You can follow cool people like @brainpickings and Lena Dunham and I find it much more fun and actually informative/much less about like ~keeping up appearances~ than FB

  • Jes October 9th, 2013 6:58 PM

    “I was not willing to welcome ol’ man Zuckerberg as my new information overlord, so I peaced right the hell out.”

    ohhhh man this is the best sentence ever

    • Jes October 9th, 2013 7:08 PM

      okay, you were all on point today. like, “sunshine cadet”? yes, perfect. “a giant shrug emoji descends from the skies”? exactly what i needed.

  • doris October 9th, 2013 8:04 PM

    In regards to Sophie’s situation, he may have no idea that he’s flirting. That may be why he seems to act that way towards everyone. So there is still a possibility that he may be shocked that someone took it that way. I just wanted to add my two cents, since some people have mistook my friendliness for flirting and it’s so awkward to deal with afterwards.

  • wallflower152 October 10th, 2013 12:58 AM

    Just want to echo what everyone is saying about fb. I was big into MySpace and when everyone started moving to fb I had an account for a while and I just didn’t get into it cuz I realized I don’t need it. I mean, I have more hobbies/interests than I have time for and it’s just a big time sucker. On top of that, I don’t really care what random people from high school are up to. My close friends, I stay in contact with just fine via text/calls. And I agree w/ what others are saying, it totally makes you mysterious. Whenever I run into people they are actually curious as to what I’ve been up to. I use Twitter, but not really to socialize, more like to keep up w/musicians I like to know when they’re touring or have an upcoming album. I recently made an Instagram to promote my Etsy shop and for a while I was using it socially but it just felt weird. It felt like it cheapened the experience. For example I had a really awesome date with my bf and I was gonna post a pic from it but I felt like it made it less special by sharing it or like I was just trying to rub it into peoples faces. I prefer journaling any day. If it makes you feel better, your fb is never really deleted so you can do check ins like once every six months or whatever you want.

  • Nadifa October 10th, 2013 11:55 AM

    Aaaaah! This is the best article by far. I’m leaving Facebook recently, and I’m glad to know that it’s perfectly normal to not being on Facebook. Also those questions about crushes :’
    Sorry for the inaudible scream, but that’s how much I love reading Rookie. Love from Indonesia! :’)

  • chinchillin October 14th, 2013 10:44 PM

    Your advice about rejection particularly resonated with me. It sucks to be the rejected, and when it happens to me I always feel somehow not good enough, not worth the effort. It’s a tough mindset to get rid of, but Marie’s piece is definitely helpful for those who have been rejected for the first time. Thank you.

  • Mandilee14 October 19th, 2013 10:54 PM

    I have a crush on a guy that I met this year and I seen him looking at me and when our yes meet he ternd red and looked away dose that mean that he likes me to or was he just enbaressed that I seen him looking