Feb. 12, 2015
In the past six months, Americans spent more time glued to social media feeds than ever before. The country’s sanity hinged on notifications detailing the latest prevention information and safety protocols from the recent illness outbreaks. But in diligently scanning their newsfeeds, many unintentionally exposed themselves to another health threat, and it’s spreading faster than Ebola in a port-o-potty.
Social Temporary Annoying Hipster Posting (STAHP) is described by Dr. Yuu Lovejoy (M.D) as a devastating and invasive mental disorder impacting single men and women using social media near Valentine’s Day.
“This week alone, we have seen a 44% increase of cases. That’s about 1 in every 2.5 single adult using Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr.”
The symptoms of Social Temporary Annoying Hipster Posting may include:
- Urge to justify relationship status through hashtags and impulse selfies
- Repeating phrases like: “I don’t need a boyfriend/girlfriend, I have ______.”
- Spamming newsfeeds hourly with Jezebel and Buzzfeed articles about the smugly single life
- RSVPing “Attending” to any Anti-Valentine’s Day or Singles Awareness Day events
- Setting status to “In a Relationship with Myself”
According to Dr. Lovejoy, STAHP sufferers experience a temporary drastic personality shifts triggered by Valentine’s Day.
“They become fixated on talking down the holiday. One of my patients explained she could only alleviate her symptoms by Tweeting about Valentine’s Day being Hallmark’s propaganda against singles.”
The condition is spread by simply reading too many jaded posts about Valentine’s Day, and is highly contagious. Once exposed, the disorder remains in a dormant state for the rest of the subject’s life.
“You could say it works like Mononucleosis,” Dr. Lovejoy said. “Except ‘kissing disease’ couldn’t be a further misnomer, as it only affects those who we medically define as bitter and forever alone.”
The appearance of a healthy respect for relationships in patients is common, making STAHP completely undetectable at times. To test for the condition, Dr. Lovejoy works closely with psychologist Hannibal Sweeting.
“Dissecting STAHP involves rigorous testing,” said Sweeting. “We expose the patient to photos of happy couples, readings of love poems, and even composition of Valentine’s cards. When they reach for their phones, that’s when we find our answer.”
One indication of STAHP during the tests, explained Sweeting, is reaction by spreading the illness:
Another typical response is the submissive humorous post, a tell-tale sign of one resigned to their fate:
Sweeting also described attention-seeking tactics to gain pity, while the subject maintained an attitude of ambivalence:
“Once we receive one of these reactions, we remove their mobile devices so they cannot do further damage to their loved ones,” Sweeting said. “Assuming they have not already been driven away.”
While Dr. Lovejoy & Sweeting ensured the behavior change is not permanent, lasting damage can be done when symptoms arise.
“It’s important to remember that an illness such as this will impact the entire community, single or not.” Dr. Lovejoy said. “Yesterday, I treated a patient for nausea and vomiting who was overwhelmed by the flood of backhanded comments when he asked what he should do for his wife for the holiday. I had to refer him to a specialist for couple’s counseling.”
Left untreated, severe cases may result in loss of Facebook friends and Twitter followers.
“I’ve lost most of my married subscribers from being an insensitive prick,” said Peter Whistler, a STAHP positive blogger. “This [disorder] is debilitating my lifestyle, and I know that, but…sometimes I see a heart-shaped pizza and I can hear it mocking me. So I post.”
If you are a single adult and are experiencing the symptoms described above, you may be suffering from STAHP. According to Dr. Lovejoy, the best treatment is to avoid social media accounts for the month of February.
“While deleting your apps and staying offline might seem like an inconvenience,” Sweeting said. “In the long run, it will help to develop the self-control necessary for coping with this mental disorder.”
Dr. Lovejoy insisted that if you’re single and using social media, you can help stop STAHP by thinking twice before posting.