Wednesday, September 26, 2012

let's get

Online dating. For the 30-somethings, it's a powerful tool and a great way to meet people who are also socially awkward and didn't figure out dating in their 20's. Us young people laugh at it. I had a friend a few summers ago sign up for it while living in Virginia to meet girls. We had a great time making fun of him. But wait a minute. Should we be so quick to judge? I argue that even us young people are using digital media for meeting new people and doing a loosely defined form of "online dating." Let me explain.

He's a 6'4" Olympic sprinter online
This summer I got instagram. I really like it. I was originally a hater. I've changed. As I've used instagram I've noticed something. Not unique to instagram, but much more obvious there. People date and form relationships on their phones thru this app. It's easy to see who likes who and which guys are interested in which girls. (and vice versa.) All of the sudden, a girl likes your last 15 instagram posts dating back to January.

Next they get on facebook and this person has liked every photo of you since 2008. News flash, unless you are a universal "like-er" (something I will be posting soon) liking photos doesn't increase your odds with the person you are trying to impress. Really all it does is make it more obvious that you are into this person.

After that, comes the most entertaining par: the backlash. Odds are, whoever you are interested in has dated someone before. It's also extremely likely that this person is likeable and the break-up wasn't mutual. (no break-up is mutual fyi) So now their "ex" wants to know who the heck you are. I find this more common with girls than guys, but I've been in a circumstance where a girls "ex" all of the sudden wanted to be my FB friend. So now that the "ex" has you on radar, they start liking your photos, posts, etc. They may not even know you but they want to keep tabs on you to see what is going on with their "one-that-got-away." Its fun to watch from a distance and see this "fr-enemy" relationship form.

Potential online date
Now, do these interactions happen offline? You betcha. Girls "like" everything a guy they are interested says by laughing at stupid jokes, girls or guys pretending they are interested in sports/art/dance/politics/etc even when they don't have a clue about them;,guys being genuinely "interested" in the problems between roommates. Next, the "ex" figures out that you are dating someone and starts "following" you. Asking around about you, maybe even introducing themselves to you and giving you tips about the new relationship you find yourself in.

So before we laugh at those that do online dating, let's take a step back, and realize that us attractive "20-somethings" have a form of online dating. Then after we've realized that, we can get back to laughing at those poor saps on eHarmony. 

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