SOCIETY

This Is How We Tweet About Loneliness

Those flying solo are making jokes, sometimes feeling sorry for themselves—and getting shamed by the jerks of the Internet

SOCIETY
Feb 13, 2016 at 11:11 AM ET

Valentine’s Day is a time for roses, candy hearts and, for some, tweeting about how freaking single you are. In the last two weeks, thousands have taken to Twitter with missives about flying solo for the holiday—and many of them aren’t happy about it. And you know what? Plenty of other tweeters aren’t happy about them not being happy about it.

From January 31 to February 11, there were 4,985 tweets containing the words “Valentine’s Day” and “single,” according to a Vocativ analysis. Of those tweets, 1,237 also mentioned the word “again”—as in, “Another Valentine’s Day coming up and single again” or “Single again for Valentine’s day… What’s new?”

https://twitter.com/mallorystarr_/status/697624952892030977

Some took a different approach to expressing the depths of their singlehood: 460 went with “single as fuck” or “single asf.” For example, one woman wrote, “It would be kinda nice to have a bae on Valentine’s Day but here I am, single asf.” Not all of those people were tweeting about themselves: “I hate it how much people complain about Valentine’s Day like we get it, you’re single asf,” wrote .

https://twitter.com/all4ju_/status/697608932899037184

Not too surprisingly, given the tone thus far, many of these tweeters were pretty bummed about their singlehood: 1,035 used the word “lonely,” 611 went with “sad” and 184 said it “sucks.” For example, one woman wrote, “When everyone’s talking about Valentine’s Day and your single self just there sitting with a sad face ahaha.”

But many actually expressed that they didn’t feel upset, or that singles shouldn’t despair, like , who wrote, “I actually really don’t get why single people get so sad around Valentine’s Day. Just wait til the 15th and buy clearance chocolates.” And some were making fun of “lonely” singles.

A sizable subset of single tweeters felt, or at least joked, that they would be solo for life: Over 100 used the phrases “single forever,” “forever alone” or “forever single.” Of course, some of these people were talking about other people they thought would be lifetime singles.

https://twitter.com/jadejackmann/status/697657190472003584

Clearly, many people are quite alright with being solo on the 14th, but plenty feel lonely enough to announce it online—and it doesn’t look like the internet will offer them much sympathy. The top phase used in tweets about V-Day and singlehood came from a much-retweeted and plagiarized missive against single women. Vocativ found 502 tweets saying some version of this: “Valentine’s Day is for couples. Not you single bitches looking for a free meal and some chocolate. Sit your lonely bitter asses down.” Oof. It’s no wonder some singles feel so down on the holiday.