Friday, November 18, 2011

In Love? Or In Love With Social Media?

Let's be honest, the most impressive additions to the Internet were made by the porn industry. They pioneered streaming video, photograph data bases and chat rooms.
Not the best pedigree, but it is what it is.

The same can be said for the expansion and growth of social media. It most definitely began as an attempt to help single people meet other single people and get together. Romance was a possibility, sure, but just facilitating the connection was a step in the right direction.

There are an abundance of online dating sites and for the first time more couples report meeting via an online dating site than through a traditional meeting (like a high school dance, party or concert.)

With social media you can meet, flirt, hook-up and more, without ever leaving your apartment (or your parent's basement.) This has changed forever the dynamic of relationships and specifically romance. It is not enough to bring flowers and chocolates. Now you need to connect on Facebook, let them peruse your Friend list and look at your photos and otherwise interact online first.

Romance is hardly recognizable today thanks to social media. Whether or not this is a good thing will only come to light once we see how these relationships evolve, change and grow (or not.) With enough time we will be able to judge whether romance through social media will be a permanent fixture in our lives or just another passing fad.

"Yeah, there's no time for boys. It's sad," said UW-Madison freshman Raven Foulker. So, when she and her friends find a few fleeting minutes for boys, those minutes are spent, where else, on Facebook, Twitter and text message. Just about anything with a screen.

"Started out with MySpace when I was in middle school when I was 12 or 11," said Foulker, "(I've) kind of just grown up with it, and then I switched to Facebook. And so, it's always been there, and it's always been a part of social life."

"I think it provides a great avenue for flirting," said UW junior Max Eichenberger. "And the whole 'poking' thing!"

Even the guys are aware of today's digital dating game. Just ask UW senior Brian Phelps about how he met his girlfriend.

"The first time I found out she was interested, she accidentally sent me a text she meant to send a friend," said Phelps. "(The text) was about me."

Students said you must have text appeal, and cupid's arrow needs at least a 3G connection.

"Mine is usually wherever I can get service. That's my texting strategy," said Eichenberger. "I have a terrible cellphone company, so that really does hurt my game."

Heaven forbid today's tech-savvy suitors meet face to face.

Click here to read more about social media and modern romance.

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