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In the Age of Social Media, Do We Need Online Dating Sites?

17 September 2010 6 Comments by Jeffrey Kishner

Online Dating vs. Social MediaOnline 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?


  • Dating Reviews said:

    I think we should use every social interaction resource we have available weather looking for a date a friend or even business/a job. Doing this mirrors what we do in life. We don’t just visit clubs and never go to a cafe, we don’t just go to Christmas parties and never go out at New year.
    Lets face it in recent years everywhere has been suggested for finding dates from signing up to evening classes to singles nights at the local supermarket.

    Of course we should use social network sites for social interaction and meeting people, that’s what they are made for BUT if a date is what you are specifically looking for the low cost sites designed for dating should also be put to good use, for one thing you know ALL of the members are looking for a date, something that can’t be said of FaceBook.

    And of course if you use FaceBook etc. the way most people (outside of marketing people promoting there websites) do your friend list is not that big and consists in the main of friends and family you already know.

    I’d recommend social networks (they keep you in touch with people anyway, which is great) but when it comes to dating I would not use them exclusively, nor would I use the internet exclusively. Shure get online but also get out in the real world with some friends.

  • Ged Online said:

    I totally agree with your description such an informative post

  • techcoquette.com said:

    In the age of social media do we need online dating sites.. Peachy :)

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  • electronic cigarette said:

    Do you people have a facebook or twitter fan webpage? I looked for for one on facebook or twitter but could not find one, I’d really like to become a fan!