4 Social Media Red Flags That Mean He's *So* Not Boyfriend Material

Photo: Golubovy / Shutterstock
man texting in bed

By Mirel Ketchiff

Even if you didn't meet your last love interest online, chances are you did some cyber-snooping on Google or his social media accounts. And why shouldn't you? After all, if he's anything like the rest of us, he spends hours each day on these sites.

How he portrays himself on his online accounts may say a lot about how he is in real life.

Case in point: Guys who post tons of selfies on Instagram and Facebook tend to have more antisocial personality traits like narcissism than those who post fewer self-snaps, according to researchers from Ohio State University.

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Here are 4 social media red flags that mean he's so not boyfriend material:

1. He repeats himself

Specifically, you notice he uses one word over and over: "I."

"I've counted men using it almost 60 times in a little 'about me' section!" says online dating expert Julie Spira, author of The Perils of Cyber-Dating.

Of course, it's hard to describe your likes and dislikes without using the first person, but if every post, status, and comment starts off with "I," it's a sign that this guy is a little self-centered.

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2. He's a downer

"When you ask someone, 'How are you?' you want them to say, 'Fine, how about you?' Not, 'Horrible. I'm still getting over the flu, and my dog got sick, and my boss yelled at me…'" explains Spira.

If you're interested in a guy, she suggests scrolling back and reading his last several status updates. All negative? It's a sign that he's a glass-half-empty guy in real life, too. Tread carefully. 

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3. He's too upbeat

But an overload of joyous, celebratory messages should raise warning flags as well, says Spira.

We're all guilty of the occasional humblebrag-y Facebook status or ultra-filtered Instagram. But if the guy you're interested in never seems to turn it off online, he may be inauthentic in real life, too, warns Spira.

"While people may portray themselves to be a bit happier than they really are on social media, there should be some balance."

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4. He's online all the time

Most people's online activity ebbs and flows: You might post three Instagram pics in a row from one blowout dinner party, then go a few days without updating your account. That's normal, says Spira. But beware guys whose use never seems to ebb.

People who are on social media constantly tend to be using it for external validation, she explains. In real life, these over-sharers tend to be insecure, needy, and egotistical — not exactly what you'd call a winning combo. 

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Mirel Ketchiff is a freelance writer and former editor of Shape Magazine.