The Effects of Social Media on Dating
The Internet has allowed people to share information across wide distances, classes, age brackets and cultural barriers. Social media uses Internet communication to allow people to interact on a person-to-person basis. This new type of interaction has opened up new opportunities for dating, but it has also created a number of hazards along with it.
The Time Constraint Factor
After high school and college, most people find themselves very busy with work, commuting, home responsibilities and learning new skills. Finding time to socialize often becomes impossible. Social media allows a way to keep in touch with friends and make new acquaintances without travel distances and time constraints getting in the way.
Broadening the Field of Contacts
In previous ages, dating was a local affair. Young peoples’ choices were limited to available members of the opposite sex that were of a similar age and class in their own local area. As the society became more mobile, young people were brought into contact with others from different backgrounds and regions of the country.
The “dating pool” opened up significantly, triggering a need for more communication between dating partners in regard to their own individual histories, cultural habits and life philosophies. The Internet, social media and the proliferation of smartphones provided a venue to allow people to address many of these personal issues before they ever met in real life.
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Eliminating the Dating Resume
In the past, dating was often a slow process of getting to know the other person’s history, likes, dislikes and circle of friends over a period of months or years. Social media facilitates this process at a rapid pace. The person, his new acquaintances and old friends can all interact on an immediate basis.
Social Media Dangers
Although social media offers a number of conveniences for establishing relationships before real life meetings, it also offers special dangers. Social media allows people to create whatever online persona they want to convey. The reality may often be quite different than the persona that is projected. This often leads to disappointment, resentment and even danger, when predators take advantage of the deceptiveness of the media to make contact with vulnerable individuals. To deal with these problems, people must develop a kind of second sense about contacts on social media. Small details that don’t add up, obvious exaggeration and rushing to establish familiarity are some of the behaviors that most people on social media recognize as danger signs.
Social media has changed the way people interact. It has made dating both easier and more difficult to navigate, as people deal with the same emotions they have always had in intense, significant relationships.