4 Things I Learned About Social Media from Dating Sites

Broken Heart - The Anti-Social MediaI’ve been single for about half a year now, and I decided I should try going on dates by putting myself on a dating site. I figure maybe if I can find someone else who is just as petty and hateful of social media as I am, we can both enjoy sitting in a room complaining about how the kids don’t understand Twitter. At that point, I like to imagine we both sit at home and and watch YouTube videos all night while drinking margaritas and have a grand old time.

Even my ideas of romance are soaked with social media.

However, after spending a few months on dating sites, meeting people that seem like the cast from the Simpsons, I’ve realize people are the same everywhere online. Whether they are reaching out to their friends on Facebook or making new connections on LinkedIn, people will behave in the same stupid ways online no matter what site they are on. Looking for romance is just another way to be stupid while connecting with people.

This is what I’ve learned about social media from dating sites so far:

  1. Everyone hides something online - We all want to appear a certain way. Whether that is we are nicer than we are in real life, or we just want to hide those ten extra pounds, we have something to gain by showing ourselves in  a certain light or keeping our personal brand a certain way.
  2. There will always be haters - You know what’s worse than trolls on a blog? Trolls on a dating site. I once got a 5 paragraph message from a potential suitor telling me that I was wrong about something. The message ended with “I’m not judging you harshly, and I’d love to meet you.” Why yes, I’d love to meet for coffee and be criticized for an hour by a stranger!
  3. Some people will never get it - Just like someone will message you daily trying to win your heart even though you told them to “BACK THE HELL OFF,” someone will read your blog daily and not understand any of it.  You can’t please everyone, and some people will never learn you just aren’t into them.
  4. We all want to be loved - Whether we want to meet the love of our life, or meet our favorite blogger, we all want some affection and caring to justify our measy online presence. True love is just a retweet away.

If I keep going on dates, who knows what other crazy things I’ll learn. Maybe I’ll finally understand why we keep talking about Quora.

Have you ever used a dating site, and did you actually meet someone sane from the site? What did you learn from using the site? I need some inspiration here, otherwise I’m going to start using LinkedIn as a dating tool. I’m sure the professionals in my network are looking forward to those e-mails.


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27 Responses to “4 Things I Learned About Social Media from Dating Sites”

  1. John Morrow March 31, 2011 at 8:53 am #

    The thing I like best about dating sites is that by exchanging just a handful of messages you can usually entice people to reveal some of their biggest dumbass opinions and therefore prescreen for complete idiots.

    Of course, this just leaves you with the more devious sociopaths.

    • Rob Laughter March 31, 2011 at 9:40 am #

      Great post. High five! Errr… “Four.”

      • Jay March 31, 2011 at 3:57 pm #

        Right back at ya!

    • Jay March 31, 2011 at 3:57 pm #

      I once went on a date where my date thought that the events in 2012 would actually happen.

      I wish there was a prescreen for that.

  2. Katie Trapp March 31, 2011 at 9:17 am #

    You can marry me, Jay… as long as our cats get along ;-P

    • Jay March 31, 2011 at 1:16 pm #

      Finally! I’ll pick up the ring at Wal-mart tonight!

  3. Brankica March 31, 2011 at 10:23 am #

    OK, I gotta say that Rob’s comment is definitely a comment of the year, relating to this post :) No way anyone can top that.

    I haven’t used any of those sites, but know people who have. I agree on all the lessons learned from them and I can say I know a story or two where people met on blind dates, after online meeting or some other form of non-personal meeting and it didn’t end up so great. I mean really bad.

    So all I can say is that you are lucky to still be alive, although it wouldn’t be a fair fight, considering the assets :)

    Awesome one, Jay

    • Jay March 31, 2011 at 4:32 pm #

      I always carry my concealed iPhone on dates, just in case I’d have to whack anyone with technology.

  4. eurekajanet March 31, 2011 at 11:55 am #

    I’ve learned my lessons and now use only sites that are for a certain niche. The niche being for Mental Illness. And I am So Not kidding here.

    You know what your getting on a mental dating site…everyone is like: I’m bipolar; I’m schitzo-affective. And they all have decades of CBT behind them (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) so they can give you free advice and shit. And it’s pretty damn close to professional. And some of them are cute…and then there’s the good drugs…

    Yeah dating online can be funzies~!

    • Claire Wagner March 31, 2011 at 3:37 pm #

      I don’t personally know jack about this, since I met my husband in Economics 106 my senior year of college. So I’ll speak for my widowed friend who tried dating sites for a few years. The only success she had was through a site for people with Herpes - a medical niche. It’s hard to get dates to stay around when they find out you have Herpes. It’s been a year now and she and her boyfriend are very much in love and getting ready to move in together. So, yeah, try the niche sites where you already share something that might bother other people…

      Janet, my daughter is in CBT and it’s helped her a lot.

      • Jay March 31, 2011 at 3:54 pm #

        I need a dating site for social media nerds. Someone has to have made it.

        • Camilo Olea March 31, 2011 at 4:22 pm #

          As a single Social Media Nerd in Cancun, I second that opinion. Let’s build the site and get millions of dollars. Then we will get love. No?

          • Jay March 31, 2011 at 4:33 pm #

            Because we don’t get enough love on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Quora, Blogger, WordPress, Tumblr, Flickr….. ;)

    • Jay March 31, 2011 at 3:59 pm #

      I have several dates that need to be on that site.

      Maybe myself too.

  5. Morgan March 31, 2011 at 12:14 pm #

    I’ve gotten some really rude messages from people correcting my grammar or some-such and then expect me to jump into their arms with googly eyes.


    • Jay March 31, 2011 at 3:58 pm #

      There’s nothing like a first date with a grammar Nazi who corrects your speech as you talk.

  6. Shara March 31, 2011 at 1:48 pm #

    Ha ! This is great ! Ill give you a flip side view..my ex just went through a mid life crisis, filed for divorce, doesnt want to spend time with his kids, it trying to be 20 again, new car, fake tan, at the gym 24/7. He just met a girl on a dating site. This is why I dont look for love there….Im scared to end up with someone like my ex…!!

    • Claire Wagner March 31, 2011 at 4:23 pm #

      …and this story is repeated every day all over the U.S. In fact, I really believe that the existence of dating sites encourages people to bail on relationships. It cheapens our expectations about finding partners. I’m serious.

      • Jay March 31, 2011 at 6:15 pm #

        I blame Facebook. Seriously. I had an ex who examined EVERY. SINGLE. COMMENT. I made. It was maddening.

    • Jay March 31, 2011 at 6:14 pm #

      I don’t look for love any more on those sites. Just entertainment.

      That’s terrible though about your ex. Spray on tan makes people look terrible.

  7. Barbara March 31, 2011 at 2:06 pm #

    if you’re actually interested in how to use dating sites, keep expectations low. Anyone you meet there will be a blind date, no matter how awesome your e-mail/im exchanges are. They don’t come pre-qualified: you’ve never actually met them, your friends don’t know him, you don’t run in the same social circles, etc. Without those pre-qualifications, chances are pretty good you aren’t going to hit it off. If it what it is, and it ain’t what it ain’t.

    • Jay March 31, 2011 at 2:18 pm #

      I’m always willing to meet someone for coffee. I figure I’ll realize if I hate you within an hour.

  8. Rob March 31, 2011 at 2:43 pm #

    I’ve done the dating site thing too. There turns out to be quite a few flakes. You have a couple good conversations, and then they just disappear. Maybe the real world called them back, but I find that to be an insufficient excuse. I’ve also had some very awkard dates come out of it. I couldn’t get out of there fast enough. There also still seems to be an odd stigma surrounding the whole online dating idea. Seems the girls have it worse than the guys though. I’ve developed a couple female friends from the site, and it is jaw-dropping what the idea of anonymity lets people feel they can get away with saying.

    It’s too bad you don’t live in Illinois, I’ve got some sassy but snarkily embittered youtube-philistic friends I’d introduce you to.

    • Jay March 31, 2011 at 6:24 pm #

      Clearly, I picked the wrong state to date in.

  9. Amy G. H. March 31, 2011 at 10:23 pm #

    I started dating online very early on - back when it was creepy and unacceptable.I did meet a few creepsters, but I actually did have a long term relationship with a guy I met online in college. we dated for 2 years before things fell apart. After that I continued to date guys that I met online and had an entertaining episode where the guy I was dating broke up with me and aired out all the details of our short relationship on his blog. Not a good feeling. To his credit, he did take it down after I politely asked him to do so.

    Eventually, I ended up meeting someone the old fashioned way - through a friend I knew in real life.

  10. SetSocial April 3, 2011 at 1:29 pm #

    Just like Social Media, you have to balance the numbers and the quality. You can try to flood the dating sites as well as the Social Media networks… or you can try to make them more meaningful and do fewer… there’s a balance you have to find between the two. Good luck.


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