Social media networking has become such a major part of everyone’s lives that it’s almost impossible to imagine every day interactions without it.
Whether it’s taking a sneaky peek at Twitter whilst you’re at work, or browsing through Facebook on your daily commute, it’s become an ingrained part of our cultural conscious.
Photo Credit: hulieoh
But how has social media affected the way we date?
As we can assume most people we meet have a Facebook and Twitter account, it can be a useful way to get to know someone before a date, though they can sometimes reveal things we’d rather not have out there for strangers to see.
True love on Twitter
An amazing story of how Twitter came into play for one lucky guy was in August, when an Oklahoma State football player met, wooed and started dating a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader – using Twitter.
While these lucky folks might be an exception, plenty of ‘relationship experts’ recommend you take the time to look into your prospective beaus online persona to get a feel of their personality before a date.
As today’s hectic dating world can leave many hoping to not waste their time or money, some experts recommend at least checking out Facebook in order to see what dates do in their spare time, and use Twitter to get a feel of their personalities and interests in smaller detail.
In real life
While it can sometimes be recommended to check out your date before committing to an evening spent alone with them, what people actually do can be quite different and surprising. According to research in the UK, you be shocked to discover just who does what online.
While some people might expect women to rely more heavily upon social media, it is in fact the men who are more likely to take a snoop at a date before spending the evening together. In fact, men are four times more likely to do so, while women prefer to leave their Facebook hunts for past lovers.
The importance of social media has grown in recent years, as what we put online becomes synonymous with real life events. Given the levity of the platform, only 6% of people reported having ended a relationship due to something online, though the percentage could be set to increase.
The next level
The internet has taken us far further than simply arranging to meet people for a coffee one afternoon. In fact, some aspects of the internet have become nothing short of extreme, with sex becoming available on an anytime basis.
In Britain, 10% of people confessed to engaging in cybersex, showing how online behaviour has shaped the manner in which our natural instincts are performed.
Keeping calm and carrying on
While it’s usually a good idea to check out your date online, it’s important not to let it become a decider for you. Emma Barnett, the Women’s Editor of the Telegraph, writes:
“The web can be unforgiving and is often out of our control. So while I fully embrace and accept a good bit of social media stalking prior to a date, unless you see something truly abhorrent, or your beer goggles have cleared and you simply no longer fancy the person in question, you should still go on the date.”
Do you practice online dating with social media? Share us your thoughts.
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