One aspect of social media that has always intrigued me is its relationship with online dating and the opportunities it holds. How can social media assist people searching for that special someone? Or can it hinder the process?
We all know of dating sites such as match.com and eharmony, but what about just using social networks such as Facebook and Twitter to meet people? Is it possible to approach someone using these platforms without coming across as a bit creepy or stalkerish?
From my limited experience of online dating/flirting, I have seen first hand the negatives from those either weird, or just very confident and opportunistic, guys sending me random messages awkwardly striking up a conversation by grasping at straws, noticing that we have one distant friend it common, or we are both ‘friends’ with a bar in Edinburgh.There is also the case of the ex rearing his head asking if I have ‘dumped my boyfriend yet’ even though my Facebook status provides him with the answer loud and clear.
The virtual world does give us more confidence, there is no doubt about it. This is great as I have always lacked confidence. But for some people this confidence can be somewhat misguided and come across as cockiness (not from me obviously). The assumptions that by getting into a virtual conversation then of course you will meet them for a date in real life.
As we know, 90% of people look better in their social profile photo than in real life (yes that is a random guesstimate). So the case could be that you strike up a conversation on Twitter, some flirting occurs, then you decide to meet in person and get a nasty shock. This is not me being shallow, you need to be attracted so someone physically as well as emotionally. If you start communicating with a prospective date online, who actually looks at that person’s interests and likes to see what films, hobbies etc you have in common, and who judges everything on the profile photo?
I recently read an article about in-flight dating, KLM are planning to offer a “”meet and seat” service early next year that will let passengers tap their social media accounts and pick seatmates based on similar interests.Travelers will be able to link Facebook and LinkedIn profiles to their check-in information”. This definitely sounds fun, if you are a frequent flyer then I presume it could get very boring, so wouldn’t it be great to meet someone new each time you fly. Could this lead to love? Well at least you have something in common, you are both travelling to the same place, maybe you could holiday together, meet up after work, maybe you find out you both grew up in the same town, or maybe I just have a bit of a romantic view of it all.
I also recently heard about GuySpy on a TV show investigating the harms of Websex fro young people. GuySpy seems like a great idea. It is a location-based app for gay men to find out other gay men within a close proximity. They can view each other’s profiles and if they like the look of someone then they can message them and meet up. So someone they like the look of might just be ten metres away so they could go and check them up and meet face to face if they wish. I guess it is just taking ‘gaydar’ to the next level.
Overall, if I were single and looking for love, I think I would be very excited about embracing the opportunities provided through social media. Even if this did result in meeting a bunch of odd men that I wouldn’t normally go for, it would be fun/funny/ineteresting, wouldn’t it?
Has social media helped your love life? Or do you have any online dating horror stories?