Gemma Styles | Contributing writer | Saturday, 30 January 2016

Gemma Styles Sunday

Gemma Styles: Is Social Media Getting You Laid Or Killing Your Game?

The Debrief: How is social media affecting our love lives – help or hinder? Twitter or Tinder?

Online dating is here to stay. Recently I talked about the huge surge in numbers on apps like Tinder and Grindr – people are out looking for strange… and they’re using their iPhones to do it. But what of the rest of the internet? How is social media affecting our love lives – help or hinder? Twitter or Tinder?

Social media may well have killed the pre-date mystery – or flat out stop the date ever happening. You might happen to meet someone at an event or through friends, wherever. You only know their first name and where they work, but that’s enough to get you started… Within 20 seconds you’ve found a LinkedIn profile and with their full name it’s a matter of moments before you have their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. etc. etc. Now then. Who are your mutual friends? They’re two years younger than you, but that’s fine. Who is that girl they’ve tagged? Where do they spend their Saturday nights? Ohhh wait beach shot. Dodgy tattoo. 

Sorry love – you’ve failed the test. I will not be making an effort to bump into you again. NEXT.

Shallow and judgmental? Probably, yes; in the age of information, we’re a generation set up to need instant gratification (and also poets who don’t know it). Gone are the days where you’d not-so-accidentally end up in the same place and painstakingly mine snippets of information from friends and overheard conversations. These days, you can find out everything you want to know within the first five minutes and then decide if you want to make your e-move. Casually follow them and then hope they’re gonna slide into your DMs… 

It’s undeniable that people meet on social media. If people make friends all the time then why not form relationships? My cousin met his girlfriend on Twitter and they’re happy as a pup with two tails. I myself got an email not that long ago asking if I’d go on a date with a guy who has apparently tattooed my name on his ass. (Hi Ross). We’re living in a very strange time where it’s almost too easy to ‘meet’ people – being so connected can make us think and act very differently to how we might otherwise.

The thing about our global village is that we have so much choice - or at least we feel like we do. When the dating pool is this wide, are we always left wondering if someone ‘better’ is about to come along? I’ve often heard swiping on Tinder referred to as ‘going shopping’. I was talking to my friend today about how people are usually more attractive in person, when you meet them and see their movements, nuances and personality. But on dating apps, where you’re presented with a smorgasbord of potential partners, it doesn’t make sense to swipe right to every single person who you think probably looks better in real life and sounds reasonably normal in their bio. There are too many people. You have to just pick the ones you really fancy straightaway or it’ll become a full time job. Of course then we get stuck on boring dates in pretentious bars with the ‘part time models’ who are all Fit But Shit…

The good thing about meeting people through social media, I think, is that you at least get a bit more of a picture of who that person actually is. After all, discovering someone's bad social media habits can tell you just as much as a 20-minute rummage around their bathroom cabinet. For time and efficiency’s it might seem easier to decide how you feel about someone based on five photos and a one-liner – but in reality finding out that they use thirty hashtags on each of their Instagram photos is a much better benchmark of compatibility. 

Liked this? You might also be interested in: 

Gemma Styles: Why Your Perfect Instagram Is A Big Fat Lie

Gemma Styles: The Pros And Cons of Dealing With Your Parents On Social Media 

Gemma Styles On Being Trolled Online And How To Deal With It 

Follow Gemma on Twitter @GemmaAnneStyles

Tags: Gemma Styles