Reinvented Romance

Ryan Redding

To say that dating has changed in the past few decades would be a huge understatement. Like it or not, social media has completely changed the way that relationships form. Rather than meeting someone for the first time face to face, it is becoming exceedingly more common to spend weeks and sometimes months interacting online before any physical encounter.

Although online dating is seeming to become the predominant way to meet people, it definitely comes with its fair share of weaknesses:

The Online Persona

We all have come a long way since social media first came around. Years have passed and new features have come and gone, yet no matter what changes about social media, one thing will always stay the same; people want to make themselves look good.

I have watched as numerous people, both male and female, will take hundreds of selfies at a time until one looks good enough. Then after choosing the perfect filter, that selfie is finally great enough to bless the world, even if it is for a limited amount of time.

When this time and dedication is spent in preparing the perfect version of a person’s life to present to the world, this creates a fake persona. Therefore, when this becomes the majority of the information a potential companion learns about the individual, it can be a rather big letdown to learn that this person does indeed have imperfections.

Missing Out On Chemistry

The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology published in 2005 that people are overconfident in their ability to detect emotions such as sarcasm, seriousness, anger, and sadness over e-mail or text. Elias Aboujaoude, the author of Virtually You: The Dangerous Powers of the E-Personality commented on this finding saying, “Losing the ability to accurately communicate or “read” [these emotions] significantly diminishes our repertoire of developed emotion and our expressive bandwith”.

According to The Huffington Post, “in-person conversations allow you to take into account your date’s tone of voice, body language, and facial expression—and to open yourself up to things you might dismiss online”.

Even if two people have the same conversation about the same topics using the exact same words, a conversation held in-person is much more likely to result in a connection. Chemistry is found not only by the words being said, but also by all the little details that usually go undetected.

Too Many Options reports that nearly 81 percent of the US population has a social media account. Tinder, the leading dating app for college students, has over 100 million downloads. With so many users and so many common interest, there is a seemingly unlimited amount of potential partners who could be “the one”.

Once the initial flaws surface from the removing of the online persona, the potential lovers have two options; they can either decide to look past those flaws and actually work on the relationship, or they can go back to the internet to find someone who has more common interest.

In a society where the difference between whether or not you meet your soul mate could be based on which direction you move your finger, it is easy to judge people strictly on their social media profile. If you are going to stick to online dating, just remain aware that the account you are looking at (just like yours) is a carefully structured page designed to show the user off in the best light. Try to see past the imperfections that were left off of the page and see the people for who they really are; somebody who is just looking for someone to love.