I’ll be the first to admit how much I love social media. It has allowed me to connect with people from all over the world and I’ve met some of my best friends due to the power of social media. However, when it comes to dating relationships, I’m on the fence.
Think about it, there are so many ways for us to connect with each other now, whether it’s from our computers or our phones. Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Skype, Seesmic, AIM, email, and the list goes on and on. We are definitely building relationships with each other, and I would even argue that these are authentic relationships, when we want them to be, but how important is it to have the physical intimacy when dating someone. I’m not just talking about sex, so get your mind out of the gutter. What about holding hands, cuddling, kissing, having a hand on the small of your back, or even just having your legs brush when sitting next to each other? No matter how good Social Media gets, it can’t replace any of those things.
Looking back at the attempts at dating relationships I’ve had with the help of social media, I’m coming to find out that the person I’m interacting with online usually is NOT the same person in person. Why? It usually has to do with the person I’m building in my mind with the help of the conversations happening via Social Media that creates someone a little different then who the person is IRL. It’s not their fault, but due to the lack of face-to-face interaction, what else do I have to work with? You can’t interpret tone through text messages, IM, etc. so isn’t it natural to interpret as what you hope for?
I know a few couples who are separated by an ocean who are ‘dating’ with the help of social media. It’s great that those tools are available, but I often wonder if I’d be able to have a real relationship without seeing each other often. Don’t misinterpret this as being needy. The last thing I want is someone needing attention from me all day, every day and I’m definitely not the person to need to know where my S.O. is at every moment. I figure anyone I date will be just as much of a rock star, hard worker, driven person as I am, which means we’ll both be busy with our own things. I believe that means the time together should be that much more important.
For me, I like to usually get to know someone before I’m attracted to them. One of the most attractive qualities I look for in someone of the opposite sex is a sense of humor. Add to the mix someone who can surprise me and keep the conversation going and you’ve got a triple threat. That’s extremely sexy and highly irresistible. And yes, for the most part, these things can be achieved via Social Media, but it doesn’t make it the best way to get to know someone.
The power of Social Media allows us to meet people from all over the world, which is pretty frickin’ amazing when you think about it. But I keep thinking that it can only compliment a relationship, not replace it.
So after all of this, I continue to sit on the fence in trying to decide whether Social Media helps or hurts dating relationships. What do you think?