Every week our sexperts take questions from our readers - read on for this week’s dilemma.
I get that this is a really millenial question, but is it wrong to judge someone based off of their sticker collection? I met a guy IRL [in real life] and we started chatting, but his WeChat sticker collection is starting to really turn me off - even piss me off, when they’re offensive.
Is this a really millennial question? Yes. Is it okay to judge someone based on their horrid stickers? Absolutely.
Like it or not, WeChat stickers have joined emojis and hashtags as dialects in the new language of technology for those hunched-over individuals who interact exclusively through an electronic device. These modes of communication have become fair game for assessing those who speak this new language.
What are WeChat stickers if not the modern equivalent of hieroglyphics - animated pictographs able to convey a subtle emotion as easy as they can a cutting insult, whether it’s through a celebrity facial expression, dancing farm animal, or deluge of fluids on an upturned face. Nothing says, “Your message makes me want to puke into another person’s mouth” as concisely as a short clip from the German art-house masterpiece, Das Vömit Zirkus.
As a teenager, I expressed my personal taste through the posters I had taped to my bedroom wall. The A3-sized fantasy landscapes and comic book heroes were carefully curated and arranged so that a first time visitor would have but to take a brief glance around the room to know that I had never kissed a girl. It’s possible to get a similarly accurate read on a guy’s tastes by glancing at his sticker gallery.
If you find his arsenal of GIFs offensive, it’s safe to say you’re not going to be impressed with his sense of humor. It’s not the whole picture, but it’s a book jacket summary.
I’m also not saying you should find one of those “I don’t do social media” people. On the contrary, they’re far more insufferable than any tasteless emoticon could ever hope to be. At least you can delete stickers.
Millennial is a dirty word - but not nearly as dirty as the stickers this dude is sending you, apparently. WeChat sticker-premised relationship problems might be the wave of the future, but basic social etiquette is here to stay.
From the earliest Nokia bricks with T9 texting, we post-‘80s babies have grown up with means of virtual and visual communication. As a result, we’re sensitive to it. Careful selection of smileys and discretionary placement of punctuation are hallmarks of our daily digital conversations - for most of us, anyway. Others are absolute monsters over messaging apps.
You know the people I’m talking about, and it’s not just this guy sending you unfunny stickers. It’s the people who pull you into a group chat without asking because they want you to come to their painfully mediocre event for which it’ll probably rain anyway. It’s the people who ignore past messages and ask a question that’s already been answered three times.
It’s the people who say something direct and rude without thinking to pad their harsh words with a winky or smiley emoji. It’s the people who literally feel empowered by and even get off on saying mean things over the internet because they can do so behind the safety of their glowing screen.
Frankly, you should be thankful you’ve been able to see this guy’s true colors through the modern miracle that is WeChat.
One advantage of digital messaging is that when you aren’t speaking to someone face to face, the only thing you have to stand on is words - and emojis and stickers, as it were. You’re not blinded by a charming smile and dimple combination, chiseled arms or an exotic accent. You’re hearing the person loud and clear without contexts that can blur or even obscure your impression of a person.
If this guy you met has awful WeChat etiquette, don’t waste any more of your time and find someone better - at messaging and at life.
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