Meeting the man or woman of your dreams has never been easier, or so you would think. In the modern age of online dating, we have more choice than ever before, thanks to the advance in technology over recent years. This includes the invention and rise of social media and the thousands of online dating apps out there now. However, more choice can cause confusion and it can also be overwhelming. Some romantic traditions still remain popular today, but the dating culture has changed significantly over the past two decades.

One of the greatest reasons for this change has been the invention of social media. Social media provides singletons with access to thousands of other single people, with just a few clicks of a mouse or a few swipes of your index finger.

Social Media Speeds Up Communication, But is it Less Personal?

This incredible phenomenon has led to the dating culture being shifted into a much more fast-paced version of what it used to be.

In the past, a boy would ask out a girl face-to-face or by telephone. Date planning would happen school or work, in a bar, at a function, or even when replying to an ad in the Lonely Hearts newspaper column. Nowadays, most dating propositions take place on social media or through a dating app, simply because it’s a lot faster and you have greater choice. But, has this change led to a worsening of our social skills and to a lack of verbal communication between people?

In theory, having more choice and the ability to “chat” to people whom you would never meet in real life, should mean it’s easier for us to find true love. Online dating apps allow us to narrow down our search based on age, gender, physical appearances, location, and interests.

Saying You’re “In a Relationship” on Social Media

Let’s say you find someone that you really like and it gets more serious. When do you declare to friends and the rest of the world that you’re “in a relationship”? If you love someone, then you shouldn’t be ashamed to publicly declare your love for them, right?

In this digital age, Facebook allows you to change your “relationship status”, but at which stage do you change it from being “single” to being “in a relationship”?

The argument for not posting an update to your relationship status lies in the belief that many people want to keep their personal life private. So, they don’t have to share everything on social media. Also, love can be fickle nowadays; a relationship status can change rapidly. It could be embarrassing if you constantly change your relationship status settings and people make assumptions about your love life. Or they might even say, “Sorry to hear you are single again”.

Being private is one thing, but completely hiding your partner on social media is different. Some people who fall into this camp don’t even follow the person they are dating on social media. The closest glimpse you may get is a face with an emoji covering it or a glimpse of an arm in an Instagram story. This can lead to dishonesty and mistrust. The person you are dating might think you are hiding being married, have kids you haven’t disclosed, etc.

Online Dating Culture: Swipe Right or Left?

With the introduction of the swipe culture, love is more “disposable” than ever before as you can move onto the next person very quickly, without giving someone a fair chance.  People often make their decision to swipe left or right based on a person’s main profile picture. They may not even read someone’s profile or looking at their additional photos. Thus, the amount of daily rejection is huge!

As verbal communication diminishes, many people are more insular and can hide behind their computer screen or smartphone saying things online that they wouldn’t normally say in real life. They can be a completely different person if and when you meet them face-to-face.

It’s good to be wary and to tread carefully when dating online, as there are many scammers and catfishers out there. But with 1 in 5 of us finding love online, it is possible to find happiness by swiping right as most people online share your dreams and aspirations.

Your guide to online dating in this social media era
Gareth Fosberry, author of Love at First Swipe, on how social media has changed dating culture.

About the Writer

Gareth Fosberry is a writer, dating blogger and an online dating expert. His new book Love at First Swipe is available at Amazon. His book is a comprehensive guide to modern online dating for people of every age, gender, orientation, and ability. So, whether you are online dating for the very first time or you have been burned online before and wonder why you are not attracting the right person, Love at First Swipe is your comprehensive guide to making sure you get it right. You’re entering the fun, exciting, yet sometimes painful world of online dating. Read more by visiting Gareth at Love at First Swipe and follow him on Twitter.

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