The world has drastically changed since the beginning of online dating and other social network sites. With the growing number of people getting connected in the network, the way older generations used to communicate with each other is slowly diminishing. Today’s social networking sites have altered the way we communicate with each other, changed the ways that we evaluate one another, and the way we express ourselves. Due to the vast amount of information that can be found on the internet, a person can know about another’s past, current social circle, and interests in a matter of minutes. This has completely changed the way our generation was taught to interact with each other. For so many people now-a-days it has also become part of their social identity. Characteristics and pictures may be exaggerated slightly or completely fabricated, with the intention of enhancing one’s identity for outside observers. As more innovations in the cyber social network are developed, today’s post-modern culture society is heading toward an hyper reality.
According to “Statistic Brain” a US statistics website, there are currently 50 million people single in the United States. 40 Million People have tried online dating.¹ The way we meet and interact with one another isn’t the same as was 30 years ago. Our generation was taught different on the subject of dating and “Getting to know” someone. What used to be the only way of building a relationship or dating is now changed with the amount of information that is on the internet. We have seen that in films, a man meets a woman, they have face-to-face interactions, they talk about themselves and who they are and what they want to become.
1. Statistic Brain “Online Dating Statistics”, online http://www.statisticbrain.com/online-dating-statistics (6/20/2012)
Relationships started with getting to know someone unknown, communicating with that someone, and building a relationship out of the experiences with them. Due to the growth of online dating and other network sites, a person can be reviewed before they can present themselves. Websites like Facebook & MySpace give the user a profile where they can give a description of who they are without directly telling anyone. Someone with a user profile in these websites can be looked up in within seconds just by typing in the other person’s name in a regular web search engine. The excitement of exploring the person’s personality quickly vanishes with a stroke of a button. What was once local pub, or local café, or night club as the only ideal destination for social networking has now become online dating websites and online social networks. Society has begun to adapt these dating methods by using the tools and information in the internet to evaluate one another prior to the actual dating. The traditional dating experience of discovery, surprise, and experience is slowly fading away. In Glenn Ward’s Teach Yourself series, Glenn talks about postmodernism and the changes we need to adapt to, “… society, culture and lifestyle are today significantly different from what they were 100, 50 or even 30 years ago …. Old styles of analysis are no longer useful, and that new approaches and new vocabularies need to be created in order to understand the present.”²
Due to the rapidly increasing information technology, and social network users, the
2. Ward, Glenn “Teach Yourself” (Teach Yourself, 1998)
modern way to share and research anyone’s personal information is through the web. It can be can be used in many different ways, negative and positive. Law enforcement has used these social websites to investigate suspects and quickly have a better idea of who the person is. A users profile can quickly give brief information on where the user lives, interests, and social group. But it can also be used to leak viral information in seconds. A recent example...