Friday, May 05, 2017

Dating And Social Media Are Taking Over: Here's Proof

If you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, then perhaps you haven’t noticed, but dating and social media have completely changed the game for our social behaviors. Yes, with apps like Tinder, OKCupid, and Bumble (amongst a whole slew of others), online dating is more popular than ever. And with how we interact with social media shifting as well, it appears these services have made a permanent home in our lives and lifestyles.

However, to truly understand this phenomenon, we first have to go back to the origins of how this whole craze began. After all, even with how rapid this transformation appears to have come, it rose from baby steps as we adopted to new technology.

Social Media and Online Dating on the browser

It seemed like yesterday when we had to actually sit down and dedicate some time to checking emails, scheduling appointments, and posting online. It was almost like a daily surprise to see what was happening in our digital world; a feeling now seldom had due to dependency on our phones. In yet, even with less mobile accessibility, these behaviors established the foundation for how we look at social media and online dating today.

Due to only having a limited window of availability to check up on things, we dedicated more time to curating and establishing what our profiles look like, as well as who we selected to interact with. It taught us a certain behavior that some younger people might miss out on nowadays- your online self is who you want the world to see, so make sure it’s the best, most authentic version it can be.

How Apps and Mobile Phones Changed Our Outlook

This was probably the biggest crossroads regarding us transitioning into the worlds of social media and online dating. While before we only had interactions with these sites a few times a day, they’re now available anytime, anywhere, right at our fingertips.

Perhaps one of the striking things about this is the implied expectation of how quickly someone should respond to something. Suddenly we lost an excuse for not reaching back right away, as well as made it harder to ignore people. This has completely changed our social dynamics, as I (and I’m sure many of you) have gotten that anxious chill every time a message is “seen.” Of course, the on-demand nature of these platforms has made a lot of people impatient, but those that can play it to their advantage are already a leg up.

How We’re Behaving Now

As social media has practically become a science, we’ve figured out ways to track and increase engagement, followers, name it. While this is all well and good, our obsession with metrics has actually made us realize how much these terms can hurt us over helping us.

Believe it or not, people are looking at those assets less as primary targets but rather secondary to how we gauge success.

Considering the expansion of these services have now become commonplace globally, the behaviors that we understand as “standard procedure,” are morphing. No longer has it become a game of who can get the most matches, likes, or comments, but rather who can get the most genuine response. As the goal for social media and online dating is actually to connect with people, our adaptation to these catalysts has been drawing people to interact in person rather than online.

The most successful people in these realms are the ones that let their day-to-day life dictate their social and dating content, not the other way around. Rather than “doing it for the ‘gram,” people who just live their life and document the highlights become way more interesting and engaging. We want to have the two tie hand-in-hand rather than trying to ‘capitalize’ off one to feed the other. For example, if I see a friend went to a brewery I went to, then the next time I see them, I might ask about it. It says that you noticed, recognized, and remembered their post rather than just mindlessly double tapping. That’s real ‘engagement’ that can be quantified.

As social media and dating online have become a standard in our lives, it’s important to consider how they fit into our already established behaviors. At the end of the day, we’re the ones who dictate how much we use them and as long as you remember to keep the same presentation on and off the screen, you’ll find success in these areas in no-time.

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