Singles and Social Networking

A Whole New Way to Meet People

The scope of online dating is really so much wider than just sites like E-Harmony, Match and PerfectMatch. On one hand, I really think the fact that EVERYONE uses the Internet, and it is now considered so much more legitimate than it was 10 years ago has really reduced the stigma of online dating. It has also opened up a whole new way to meet new people.

What is a social network?

Here’s a great video that explains how social networks work, and how they can be beneficial:

As you can see from the video, social networks and introduce you to people in ways that are often not available in the day to day world. I had a guy who noticed we were friends with many of the same people, but had never met. He communicated with me via our MySpace accounts and then when we met with a group of friends, sparks flew. While the chemistry was so obvious, most of our fiends razzed us about it, not one of them had ever thought to introduce us to each other.

I’ve also had my fair share of really dirty, nasty messages from people who just want sex. This is why I make my profiles private, meaning you have to be added as one of my friends to see my information.

Background Research

These sites are also a GREAT place to do some background research when you meet someone on a dating site. Case in point, a guy I met on OkCupid back in November. This guy and I had lots and lots of instant message conversations before the first date came around. After he had asked me out, and we had decided on the where and the when, I got a little curious. So I searched for him on MySpace. And in less than 2 minutes, I found him. There was no doubt in my mind I had the right person since he was using the same photo on both his OkCupid and MySpace profiles. However, the next thing I saw caused me quite a bit of concern. His relationship status said “Married” and by looking at his friends list, I was able to find his wife.

However, keep in mind that while they can be a resource for you to research potential dates, you have to take everything with a grain of salt. My status on these networks will often say “In a relationship” when I am not, for various reasons. You also want to keep in mind what kind of information you are posting – how are you making yourself appear? Not just friends use social networking sites. Employers will often look at their employees’ pages, and some people have even been fired for information posted.

Play it Safe

If you choose to look at social networking for friends or for dating, remember to play it safe – all the same rules for security should apply.

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Written by Mandi

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