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Social media platforms, such as Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr etc and dating sites such as Tinder and Plenty of Fish, have changed the dating world completely. The thrill of knowing you might get rejected face to face at a bar, or a club or just anywhere in the outside world is simply gone and now confined to a tiny chat box. No more does one have to build up the courage to walk up to whoever caught their eye, no more must one do the walk of failure back to their boys after rejection, it’s now simply just a message. “Hey” or “Hi”, or whatever opening line you usually work with; you simply send the message or a funny meme and then do whatever it is you do as you wait for a reply. I was very late in jumping into the whole world of social media and dating apps, I think I only really joined the wave last year. I never had BBM or twitter like most people my age had growing up, so when it came to talking to women I always had to be more proactive in the face to face approach. As a heterosexual man, understanding women is extremely hard. Any man who says they understand them is, in my opinion, a liar, as I grow older and date more and spend more time with women the confusion doesn’t seem to dissipate. I believe this is where technology is at its most helpful.
Through personal Twitter and Instagram pages and personal bios on dating sites, you can almost peer into a woman’s life and get a little bit of an understanding of the type of person they are, or at least the type of person they would like the world to see. This instantly gives you something to talk about and you can already get an idea on whether or not you’re compatible with this person: whether you like the same music, movies, food; you know, the basics. It also kind of gives you a little hint on whether you should shoot your shot or not in the first place. Although it’s not as thrilling as walking up to whomever you’re interested in at a bar, and trying out your whatever cringe pick up line your drunk self can come up, it’s still quite thrilling wondering if she’s going to reply or if the conversation will be awkwardly cut short. Technology gives those who maybe find it awkward or don’t have the confidence to be that guy who walks up to women and shoot their shot, a chance that would’ve have been harder for them to get before. Also, if we’re just being honest, as long as the pictures you choose to put up online show you at your best, it’s just a lot more convenient. You don’t always have to have a trim, since you have one in your profile pictures already, you don’t have to pay transport money, as you need wifi, not an oyster card, you don’t have to awkwardly walk back to your friends after rejection, if you delete the chat they’ll never know; it’s just a lot easier, or rather a lot less time consuming.
I think the main issue that technology has brought to the dating game, however, is that online, some guys seem to have no problem talking to women, but face to face they have no idea what to do. Once the move has been made from twitter DMs to iMessage to Saturday night at All Bar One, something gets lost in translation somewhere and that cool guy facade Amaka fell for is nowhere to be seen. I think some of us often forget about the whole meeting up in person part of dating since the world wide web is such a big part of the culture now. Liking her pictures on Instagram and telling her she has a pretty smile are two completely different things, and some have trouble realising that. That’s probably why Tinder dates are usually so terrible, well for me and my friends anyway. Luckily for me, I didn’t really use social media before and grew up around a lot of women, so I don’t have that much trouble talking to women, but a lot of men do, simply because face to face they think it should go as smoothly as it does online. When you can’t analyse every message she sends you with your boys over your phone in Nando’s, things can get awkward pretty quickly.
Technology has introduced a lot of new things into the world of dating, whether it has made it easier or harder, depends on the type of person you are. On social media, you could be as smooth as Jodeci, a young Casanova, but in person be extremely stale and uninteresting or vice versa. I think the way to succeed in dating is to find a balance between the two. Be yourself, be brave and try not to be too from the get-go.