In the Age of Social Media, Do We Need Online Dating Sites?
Online dating is old. Ancient when you compare it to Facebook and Twitter. And when you look at how these two models of connecting work, it appears that social media is a better way to find that special someone.
In real life, we often meet new people through family and friends. Social media already facilitates these connections. If you set your privacy settings on Facebook to be available to “friends of friends” then you’re likely to find folks who hang in similar circles as yourself. It’s one thing to have interests in common or to like the same bands, but if you’re both friends with someone, there’s a common ground that’s more specific than a bunch of data points. You likely share a similar worldview or social class or what-have-you. The same cohort.
Same with Twitter. You can now see the people that you both follow. And it stands to reason that if you both enjoy reading similar tweets, you have some indefinable thread that connects you intellectually or socially.
Compare this with online dating. You’re basically starting at zero when you sign up at an online dating site. You’re isolated from your network, and it’s just you amidst a sea of seekers. You can search for a date using any number of variables, but in the real world, some of the most important variables are the people that you’re close to. This social graph is much more valuable as a tool than demographic info and a list of interests. After all, our friendships and families are often the glue that holds relationships together.
Yes, our primary relationships do not function in a vacuum. Just as it takes a village to raise a family, why isn’t it the case that it takes one to keep two people together? And why only depend on them after you have met someone?
Comment below: What are your thoughts? Do Facebook and Twitter supplant the need for traditional online dating sites?