Will Social Media Be The Demise Of Dating?

by Ashley Fern

In the constantly-innovating world of social media, is there such a thing as a true blind date anymore? It seems these days that everyone knows everyone else through a mutual friend, a family friend, a camp friend, a college friend, a home friend, and so on and so forth. Technology has influenced the lives of people exponentially. The six degrees of separation is more like the second or third degree nowadays. This can be both positive and negative, so you need to be careful, especially in the world of dating.

Social media sites are ruining the dating process. Before you go out with someone, you can look up their past and present via Google, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. You are literally stripping the discovery process out of dating. One of the best parts of a relationship is getting to know the other person. These different social media platforms take all of that novelty away.

“Social media, ruining less attractive people's chances at a blind date everywhere.”

It is no surprise that people are completely different than the way they choose to portray themselves on the Internet. Let’s be real -- we all know your default picture is not what you really look like in person. The Internet and social media allow you to manipulate your personality and looks, so that your best traits are flaunted while your worst traits are hidden.

The miscommunication due to text messages and instant messages makes dating more confusing than ever. This is a growing problem, especially as technology continues to evolve. We are literally open books of information on the web. There is no more air of mystery surrounding someone we may be crushing on, all we have to do is look them up on Facebook.

Within five minutes, you can see a list of their interests and hobbies, you can discover what they like to read and what their past exes have looked like. As soon as you come across something that you find to be in poor taste, you can be over this crush instantaneously, without even engaging in a conversation with this person.

“When sexting replaces actual sex, then I will believe that social media relationships have replaced real, face-to-face relationships. Get out from behind the screen and make your social media relationships something more.”

Although this may make dating seem easier to you, it takes all of the fun and spontaneity out of the courting process. Isn’t it more fun to engage in a conversation with a person in order to find out their likes and dislikes, instead of reading his or her Twitter feed? What is the point of even going on a date if you are going to investigate every aspect of your potential conquest's life before you even meet in person?

You cannot court someone via text messaging. You can send messages all you want, but if you have no follow through to back up your comments, then what is the point? A little follow up after a date is fine, but to pursue a relationship in this manner is not productive for either person.

“You are what you share.”

When you search the web to figure out what a person is like, all you are doing is inferring things based on what you find. When you eventually meet this person, you already have all sorts of preconceived notions, it's irrelevant if they are accurate or not. The entire premise of a blind date is that you do not know anything about this person. By researching them beforehand, you are removing the true meaning and intention from the entire process.

Why would you want to engage yourself in information that is solely based on your perception? You are only seeing what you want to see, as people have the endless capability of creating whatever fantasy they want to project about themselves. The Internet blurs the line of what is real and what is fictitious.

Back in the day, you may have had one too many tequila shots and have been documented passed out at a bar. Your future prospect is not going to want to see that, but once it’s out there on the web, it is possible to be found. Regardless if you are tagged or not, evidence of your sordid past exists and we all know the lengths some people will take their stalking to.

Social media and dating have taken a true turn for the worse with the idea of catfishing. How are we supposed to have any hope in online or blind dating with idiots like this in the world? Do you actually have nothing better to do than to endure a fabricated relationship with someone on the Internet? Do you have no moral compass that you could actually participate in something as demeaning as this?

Society has picked up on this pathetic idea and has developed technology to help protect people from this. We desire to be in love, but it can’t be at the cost of being unsafe. You cannot talk to someone for months on end online and never meet him or her in person.

“Assumptions are the termites of relationships.’’

Fast-forward to the end of a romance: the detrimental effects social media sites have when a relationship ends can be just as difficult as the beginning of the relationship was. Do you understand how hard it is to actually break up with someone who you are connected to on 3+ social media platforms? Defriending, detagging and unfollowing can be quite intricate and time-consuming.

Get ready to ride the roller coaster of emotion as you detag every great memory you and your ex once shared. Hopefully you were mature enough not to publicize your relationship, so that you do not run the risk of your newfound single status bombarding all of your friends newsfeeds. This is pretty awkward since they have the ability to comment and ‘like’ this activity.

As social media continues to invade every aspect of our lives, we really need to create some sort of etiquette when it comes to the world of dating. What happened to the good old days when we had to wait by our phone for our crush to ask us out on a date? Now people ask for dates via text. I understand it’s convenient, but where has the intimacy gone? It’s so easy to send a text, it kind of takes away the meaning behind the offer.

Keep your relationships as intimate as possible by keeping your social media in check. You want to go out with someone? Pick up the damn phone and give them a ring. This will look so much better than a simple text message. Show some effort and see where this takes you.