Today, dating is very different from what we’ve experienced prior to history. Our connection with digital media, apps, and extreme availability to almost anything, has a strong effect on our present-day dating lives.
In the days when there were no social media, people were required to take the time out to get to know someone.
Social media has taken our world by force and has almost become a prerequisite to relevance in society. It also has a direct connection to the way we feel about ourselves and others in relationships.
The effect that social media has on the perceptions of ourselves, and the way we view relationships and intimacy, has dramatically shifted in the last three to five years.
This article will be exploring the relationship between dating and social media. If you are interested in finding out if social media really plays a part in dating, this article is for you.
Dating & Social Media
All things in life have a positive and negative side, and social media is no exception. It has changed the traditional way of meeting and getting to know people.
In the days of old, we used to meet someone on our daily travels, exchange numbers, and, hopefully, get to know them better. We could not send DMs, PMS, and messages to get to find out if they’re even interested.
Now that we have the availability to do so, it can actually filter out much of what we don’t want and gets to our desire(s) quickly.
The Old Days
Before the great days of Tinder, Match.com, POF, and others, the only other way people could actually meet, was through the classified ads in the newspaper.
You were not able to find any information on that person, you could only respond to the advertisements if you were willing to take that risk. Otherwise, the only option you had was the old fashion way, meeting up and connecting.
The vast majority of people want to be able to connect and meet up with new people frequently. This provided only a small window of opportunity to meet at social places, after-work spots, etc., to secure the deal.
In the days of no social media, there was no way to ensure once you met someone, you’d ever see them again in “real-life.” If you were lucky enough to secure a telephone number, you had to be able to control the dopamine spike.
If not, your next actions could make or break your progress. That is, actually getting the person’s number.
There were many unwritten rules to dating back then:
- No calls the first day (texting wasn’t even an option until 2002-2003)
- The “three-day rule.”
- Only one message (voicemail)
These rules may be different from those in today’s age, but back then, they were strictly followed. These rules allowed time to determine the level of interest from another person and stay within the guidelines to not be considered a stalker or “thirsty.”
Rule #1 – No Calls The First Day
This sounds like something an older person would say to a younger person. Still, the reality was, before social media and the internet, people had to be more creative and meticulous to secure the interest of another person.
The main reason you shouldn’t call a person immediately was to avoid annoying them, right after you received their contact information.
It would be a bit annoying to exchange info with someone for the first time, and then receive a call from them before getting home and settled in. No calls the first day sets the parameters of which men and women should operate.
It allowed you to experience the excitement of connecting with someone new, as well as, the maturity and poise of not overwhelming that person immediately. When you take your time in life, things tend to come out a lot more effective and productive.
This rule could highlight why some issues in relationships today exist, based on the mere fact that humans no longer want to wait and take their time. The internet provides an opportunity to get anything in a relatively short amount of time, which has its pros and cons.
Rule # 2 – The Three-Day Rule
Anyone from the “old-school” era of dating has heard of this rule. It is even more of a shock now that this rule has not stood the test of time. I remember when this used to hold serious value. This rule was set in place as an extension to rule number one.
In those days, you were supposed to take your time to get to know someone and not scare them off. For guys, this rule meant once you got a woman’s number, you could not use it for three days. Why three days?
The there-day rule was popularized by romantics comedies of the 90s and was something that most people abode by. Popular television shows and movies such as, “How I met Your Mother” and “Swingers” first used this term; often depicting how breaking the rule could spell disaster for any hopes of love.
Most companies allow a three-day grace period to return purchased items. This seems pretty logical as you may have made an impulse decision, and should have a few days after the purchase to come to your senses.
Applying that logic to when should you call someone, makes sense as well. What if you have second thoughts, what if you realize the person has no purpose in your life? Should you not be able to retract the transaction? Yes, you should.
Rule #3 – Leave only ONE voicemail
As if we are reiterating the same thing, this rule was another of the “be patient” type of guidelines. One should take into consideration to ensure they are not coming on too strong. It is one thing to end a situation based on differences, lack of interest, or something else.
Still, it is entirely different when you cut communication because of someone being too pushy or over-zealous. Some people like the chase, but most people in those days, preferred a manageable approach to dating.
Fast forward to today, and we can see how the tables have turned. With technology and information, the dating experience can be handled at a quicker rate than ever before. But not all that glitters is gold, so let’s look at some pros and cons of mixing dating and social media together.
Pros of Dating and Social Media
If you are into dating online, then you will want to pay attention to this section of the article. Social media has dramatically changed the landscape of creating intimate bonds online.
You have a variety of ways to contact someone, learn their interests, and get to know them before you take the relationship offline for a more substantial experience. Social media and technology provide a great advantage to users that are looking to find specific interests in a mate.
Let’s say you are someone living on the East Coast and you want to find someone to date in a 100-mile radius, you can do that through various dating sites.
Many sites give you full customization of the categories to choose from. You can also use social media to search for users who leave their location information in their bio.
Social media allows you to:
- Be able to access people from around the world in seconds
- Filter who and what you are looking for
- Find information quickly (similar interest, hobbies, experiences, etc.)
- Allows people to communicate more freely
These are some great ways that social media can affect dating. Another great way that social media can be helpful for daters is by making the communication process easier for shy people.
People who do not do well in person have the opportunity to warm up to someone first. This could help increase the likelihood of finding similarities with someone before getting to know them. Let’s now look at some cons associated with dating and social media.
Cons of Dating and Social Media
Although social media has lent a helping hand in matchmaking for millions, this process is not foolproof by any means.
The impact of dating and social media cannot be judged by its’ conveniences alone–welcome to the world of catfish, stalkers, ghost followers, lurkers, and much more. The social media circus can be host to more characters than your wildest dreams could imagine.
Many people have been humiliated, injured, or worse when it comes to social media. Choosing to be public about your dating life can have some unwanted risks associated with it.
- It is easy to be found on social media (a stalkers paradise)
- Many people are catfishes or trolls
- Social media is linked to poor mental health
- Can create false-positive connections
- Can adversely affect relationships
Social networking sites have all the ingredients to make everything look good, but when you can navigate through the noise, you will be able to see things more clearly. It is easy to get caught up in someone’s interest or about me section.
A lot of times, you will not be able to spot a fraud until you get to meet them, which would seem like a waste of time, right? Truth is, social media gives a platform for many people to be whomever they choose.
It’s now up to you to make the right decision on what to do when you are interacting.
Objective use of dating and social media in the digital age can be difficult. You can quickly become lost in a sea of options or noise (depending on perspective), but you are still able to get through.
Finding your way around social media and dating sites can be overwhelming, but when you take your time, you can get a better sense of what you are looking for.
I recommend weighing the pros and cons, do not try to be over idealistic (the person I want must look like this, have that, drive this, etc.), and maintain an open mind.
Remember, we all have strengths, weaknesses, and unfortunately, baggage. It is essential to do what is best for you and know what you are willing to accept when meeting new people online. Happy fishing!
Please share this article & if you’d like to participate in a 1-minute survey on social media check it (here). Thanks!