Textually Active


Razi Shaikh examines flirting in the digital age through tweets, Facebook posts and BB status updates which hide as much as they reveal







As you read this, you’ll be aware that

  • One of your friends just broke-up
  • One is on the verge of breaking up
  • One is on the verge of declaring his

And all this is probably happening online right now. Here are the dos and don’ts of flirting in the digital age.

Old school: The first step mandatory to any attempt at having a relationship – you need to know each other. Now, in the good old times, people had to muster courage to ask someone their name, class and stuff to their face. Hard times, eh?

Digital Flirting: Make use of the friend request on Facebook. Even if you’ve never spoken to each other face-to-face, there’s no reason not to do so in the virtual world. Once that friend request gets accepted, it paves the way forward. You can then see their profile, their posts and you know flirting has never been easier.

Old school: We’re not saying that they’ve completely fallen off the radar – Barney Stinson’s existence is proof of the power of pick up lines. But carrying them in the virtual world in their bare avatar may end up hurting you a lot; you know, a line like ‘you may fall from the sky, you may fall from a tree but the best way to fall…is in love with me’ is never going to work online.
Digital Flirting: Message something like that and you’ll creep the hell out of him/her. Instead, do it the subtle way. Drop a thoughtful comment on his/her profile picture, something like, ‘If that image isn’t photogenic, I don’t know what is.’


Old school: Mills & Boons has demonstrated time and again that love stories start with some flirting and that they would be totally incomplete without the exchange of gifts like flowers, chocolates, etc. Again, such social conventions haven’t died out but with the advent of social media, there are whole new avenues to do the same in a different way.

Digital Flirting: You need to let your crush know that you have them in your thoughts. Post a music video on their wall or make a meme dedicated to them. Send an image relevant to their interest, some links that they would like to go through. All in all, think of ways of showing your crush that you care.


Old school: Exchanging notes was the rage then among love birds twittering with excitement. And there’s no reason for the good old habits to die. Just that in today’s age the medium has undergone a slight change.
Digital Flirting: If you have gone on a date, make sure that you follow it up with a text expressing your gratitude towards them for taking their time. Might be old school, but showing some etiquette always helps.

Old school: Dressing right and in a way to seek the attention of your heart throb is still a must in the digital age. But here’s the scoop, your efforts just don’t end there.
Digital Flirting: People are going to judge you by your profile picture. Hazy and unclear images don’t exactly work wonders, which is why you need to invest your time and effort in getting a good image.

It doesn’t always need to turn out right with flirting through social media. Considering the unprecedented number of trolls residing on the internet, it’s but natural that you need to take some precautions. Says Archita Datar, 18, “Textual flirting is a growing trend in India. I guess it’s alright as long as the people indulging in it know what they’re doing and who and how the person at the other end is. But doing it for the fun of it without being aware of the repercussions is pretty dangerous.” Make sure you’ve got your privacy controls in place. If some unflattering images get leaked, you’ll be in a very tight spot.


The virtual world may give you the complete freedom to stalk but hanging onto that thread will do no good to your credentials. Says Pooja Patki, 18, “People have been using these sites to make friends and sometimes with the futile hope of finding a ‘soul mate’. Not to be completely pessimistic, some people do end up finding love. But half of the time, people end up as stalkers.”












  • Emoticons are add-ons and not the sole message. If you’re the initiator, don’t expect to gain much by relying solely on those smileys.
  • You know you’re struggling when you get monosyllable replies like ‘k’. Best close the chat and exit with grace.
  • It’s only when you act interested in someone that you can expect them to be interested in you. Give them the talking space on chat so that he/she can free up with you.
  • Mind your grammar. Reading broken English and grammatical errors is no fun and is a hallmark of teens and tweens who don’t understand the importance of getting language right.
  • Stay selective in your interactions as too much of it can backfire. You know, replying to or retweeting all their tweets kind of gives you away.


Volume 2 Issue 12


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