'The man I'm dating isn't on social media. I think I know why.'

For the last two months, I have dated someone who isn't on social media

No Facebook. No active Instagram account. No Snapchat or even a LinkedIn. 

We met by accident and then a few days later, we met up on purpose. But in the time it took for him to ask me on a date, I scoured every corner of the internet to find out whatever information I could on him.

Apart from a Soundcloud profile from eight or nine years ago, I came up to naught. If I'm being honest, I was terrified to begin with. Never in my life have I met another young-ish person who isn't on the internet. 

But now I'm two months in and I've realised that the pros far outweigh the cons.

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Video via Mamamia. 

I've written extensively about my addiction to social media. It's eased up in recent months, but I used to doom scroll until in the early AM until I fell into a restless and disappointing sleep. 

I check Instagram religiously, I scroll on TikTok until I get the infamous advertisements that tell me it's time to go to bed and tweet like I don't own a diary. 


So when I met him, I was confused as to why he didn't at least have a Facebook account or a profile on Instagram. 

"I deactivated Facebook," he told me on our first date. "I don't want people I don't care about keeping track of me."

He also clarified that he does have an Instagram account — he just deleted the app four years ago and never looked back. 

Our first date went on for hours. We sat at the dinner table for a really long time asking each other basic question after question that constantly pivoted to deeper conversations. I didn't know anything about him, so even the basic questions were enthralling.

Then, a few days later, we had sex for the first time. There was more passion, understanding and patience than I had ever experienced before. He didn't stare at his phone afterwards in bed, or flick on the TV. He gave me a head massage and we talked for hours. 

When I told friends, one went home and sent me a story from 2015 published on VICE where the writer suggested that their partner's lack of phone usage contributed to a higher sex drive and better sex. 

"Last year, I started dating someone who doesn’t have any social media which means, instead of scrolling in bed every morning and night, we f**k," it read. "I've always had a pretty high libido across a spectrum of long-term relationships and slut stints, but I've never, ever had or wanted this much sex in my life."


Suddenly, everything made sense. 

In the weeks of seeing him, I noticed a pattern where my time on social media plummeted. I wasn't keeping up with my parasocial relationships. When he would roll over to fall asleep, I'd pick up a book on my bedside table (mostly because my phone was hiding beneath a pile of clothes). 

When we were in bed and not talking, we were doing the dirty. And if we weren't doing that, we were sleeping. The only time I ever did pull out my phone and scrolled through Instagram, it felt awkward and I quickly shut off my device after that. 

My most used apps on the days we were together were messages or Spotify for flicking through playlists to find the right one. He didn't pull out his phone once unless it was to schedule an alarm or show me a photo of his dogs.

His lack of online presence speaks to a bigger point here. Our connection was sincere and the intimacy was deeper.

Now I'm not here to say sex with people who have social media is bad (I am an avid social media user, after all!!) but the research does suggest that doom scrolling can contribute to a lower libido. 

A study from the University of Lisbon found that women who most used social media had an increased risk of difficulty with orgasming, sexual pain, sexual dissatisfaction and a myriad of other facts. For men, it was much the same. 

Phoebe Rogers who is a Clinical Psychologist from At Home Psychology told Mamamia that the more people are on their phones, the less intimacy, trust and connection is built. 


"Clinically, I see that increased social media use in my clients has the impact of making them more flat, sad, or anxious through the process of engaging in social comparison and feeling longing and envy for another life or experience," Rogers explained. 

"Low mood, low energy and anxiety can absolutely switch off libido and desire for sex. I also think that social media use is so captivating and engaging that more and more of us get lost in it, due to the neglect of our relationships. We're on our phones constantly, we answer them during dinner or when talking to a partner, and that simply kills connection, trust and intimacy."

It's important to clarify that the internet and social media have obviously not killed sex. However, the research does tell us that compulsive use of it can lead to people feeling less happy and satisfied. As someone who has flitted in and out of an all-consuming addiction to my phone and social media, I can confirm this to be true.

The guy I'm seeing probably won't be around forever, but I can confidently say that no matter what happens in our relationship, I'll be keeping my phone as far away from the bedroom from now on.

For more from Shannen Findlay, follow her on Instagram @shannenfindlay.

Feature Image: Supplied.

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