Social Media: The Double-Edged Sword


It’s all about the Smart phones, Facebook, Twitter, texting, OKC, and Tinder!

Back in the 80’s when I was in the dating scene, one actually walked up to a person they found attractive, talked to them in real time, face-to-face. I was actually asked out by real men based on our person-to-person interaction. In fact, I met my husband at a soccer photo session. We saw each other on the field, talked, laughed, and the rest is history. That was 28 years ago.

Today, however, that’s not the case. The idea of seeing someone, feeling an attraction, then asking them out, is unheard of. Now people meet on-line, via programs that match you up with someone IT thinks you might like; then you text for weeks before you even get to see them in 3D.

Today’s 20-Something Group, and older, don’t find it the least bit disturbing to meet people on-line versus real life. As a matter of fact, it’s preferred. Not only does meeting people happen on-line, breaking up does, too. No more face-to-face explanation of why it’s over.

It’s great to have the ability to connect with so many people at once; to be able to share your life with hundreds of people by “Updating Your Status.” But I’m wondering if there’s something missing? That human interaction of actually being able to look someone in the eye, gauge their expressions, feel the warmth of their smiles. Texting is convenient, I’ll give you that, but you can’t read people by reading their texts. It’s impossible. Often times, the wrong message is extracted from a seemingly innocent text.

Social media has its positive side; nothing is all bad. But if you’re looking for your soul mate on line, be safe.

If you’re going to meet your Mystery Man/Woman:

  • Pick a safe, public place. You can’t really get to know someone just by texting. Sorry. You might get an honest person, but it’s like playing Russian roulette. There are people who do lie.
  • Before your first meeting, establish what you have in common. That’s a great way to break the ice.
  • Don’t lie!!! Don’t make up stuff about yourself, or post photographs that are 10 years old. Be real! That way everyone knows what to expect.
  • If you meet and decide he/she is not the one, be nice about ending the date. No need to be rude. Thank the person for meeting you, and be clear that you don’t want another meeting.
  • WARNING: Ladies, whatever you do, DO NOT send pictures of yourself that you wouldn’t want to share with the family at Christmas. Social media can turn on you like a vicious dog. Save yourself the possible grief.

Social media can be great. After all, it’s a way to connect. And isn’t that what we all want? But bear in mind that no matter what device or media you use, there is no substitution for engaging with real people, face to face.