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On Life, Love and the Pursuit of Happiness

Social Media and Dating: The Good, The Bad, and The "Oops"!

Robert Manni - Thursday, July 18, 2013


It is the best of times. It is the worst of times…for dating.

The deepening integration of technology into our lives has, in many ways, pulled the world closer together. However, when it comes to developing basic social skills and maintaining a sense of privacy and decorum it has also pushed us further apart.  Dating is a prime example of the fallout, with both men and women paying a price.  Let's take a quick look at how technology and social media makes dating easier, while also presenting a few challenges along the way.

The Good.

Hooray for online dating.  I scored tons of dates with hot women while sitting at home in my tightie whiteys.  My wife likes to say that she found me online.  And it saved me years of hanging in clubs, bars and gyms in search of Ms. Right.  Dating online is fast, empowering and fun.  All you need is spell check, a handful of flattering photos, and the mindfulness to read between the lines of another person’s profile before investing your valuable time.  Once you meet, it’s business as usual.  And when you meet online, you can end things swiftly.  There’s an unspoken rule that makes anyone we meet online more disposable.  Sure; it’s not necessarily fair, but I think you’d agree.

The Bad.

Just because you meet someone online doesn’t make him or her less deserving of respect.  That’s the flip side of eliminating someone via one keystroke.  What is intended as expediency can come across as cold.  And although there's an endless pool of prospective partners available online, an itchy trigger finger on the delete button could prevent you from getting to know someone you may have liked had you met them in person, instead of your iPhone.  And when it comes to that first "date" at the coffee shop, not everyone is at the top of his or her game.  That’s not to suggest that you waste time on a bad fit. Just keep in mind that everyone has feelings. After an awkward first date a woman I met online wrote to me and stated that she did not “feel the sparkles”. How could I be upset?

The Oops.

Between Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. we live in an age of maximum exposure.  Once it’s online, it’s there forever.  You need to be mindful when being photographed at the party wearing just your tats and drinking straight out of a bottle of Whipped Cream vodka.  That may not be something you'd want to share with future paramours or potential employers.  My policy when dealing in the online space is if you can’t keep it positive; don’t put it out there. That goes for this post, too. Technology and social media can be a dater’s best friend or worst enemy—it’s up to you to decide.

Our Guy's Guy of the Week is Matti Makkonen, the inventor of the text message.

Be kind, be mindful, be loving and technology will serve you well.
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