By Robert Manni
It is the best of times. It is the worst of times…for dating.
The deepening integration of technology into modern life has in many ways pulled the world closer together. Unfortunately, when it comes to developing basic social skills and maintaining a sense of privacy and decorum it has also pushed us further apart. Dating is a prime example of the fall out with both men and women paying a price. Here is a quick snapshot of how technology and social media can make dating easier and more challenging.
Hooray for online dating. I scored many dates with hot women while sitting at home in my tightey whiteys. My wife likes to say that she found me online. This saved me years of hanging in clubs, bars and gyms in search of Ms. Right. Dating online is fast, empowering and fun. All you need is spell check, a handful of flattering photos, and the mindfulness to read between the lines of another person’s profile before investing your valuable time. Once you meet, it’s business as usual. And when you meet online, you can end things swiftly. There’s an unspoken rule that makes anyone we meet online more disposal. It’s not necessarily fair, but I think you’d agree.
Just because you meet someone online doesn’t make him or her less deserving of respect. That’s the flip side of eliminating someone via one keystroke. What is intended as expediency can come across as cold. Although there is an endless pool of prospective partners available online, an itchy trigger finger on the delete button can prevent you from getting to know someone you met via your handheld device a little better before tossing them back. Not everyone is at the top of his or her game on that first coffee date. That’s not to suggest that you waste time on a bad fit. Just keep in mind that everyone has feelings. After an awkward first date a woman I met online wrote to me and stated that she did not “feel the sparkles”. How could I be upset?
Between Facebook, Twitter, Google +, Instagram, etc. we live in an age of maximum exposure. Once it’s online, it’s there forever. You need to be mindful when being photographed at the party wearing just your tats and drinking directly from a bottle of Rang Tang vodka. This might not be something you want to share with future paramours or potential employers. My policy when dealing in the online space is if you can’t keep it positive; don’t put it out there. That goes for this post, too.
Related: Returning to the Dating World
Technology and social media can be a dater’s best friend or worst enemy. It’s up to you to decide. Be kind, be mindful, be loving and technology will serve you well.
Robert Manni is the author of the critically acclaimed novel, THE GUYS’ GUY’S GUIDE TO LOVE. Visit his website www.robertmanni.com to read his syndicated blog and listen to his weekly Guy’s Guy Radio podcast at www.blogtalkradio.com/guys-