How Facebook Has Ruined Dating

Click the image to view a larger version, and check out the Facebook Fail Blog at http://facebookfails.com/ for more epic Facebook fails.

A little over a month ago, one of my best male friends and I decided there was a little something more between us than just friendship. We’re both pretty private people, so we didn’t exactly make any special announcements about our transition from friendship to BF/GF … until I realized I had made the mistake of designating my Facebook relationship status as “single” when I set up my profile once upon a time.

For those of you who are on Facebook, you know what that means: I had to change my relationship status to “in a relationship” since I did, in fact, now have a boyfriend, but doing so would formally announce that things had changed between us.

Now many of my close friends had put two-and-two together by a few photos I’d posted of us together, but those weren’t really enough for even my most gossipy friends to run with. The changed relationship status … well, that’s gossip gold. I mentioned my first mistake was that I’d even designated a relationship status in the first place. My second error was not deleting my changed relationship status from the news feed. The automated post garnered 17 “likes” and 6 unique comments, catapulting it straight into the “Top News” feed. Great.

This brings me to one of the many ways I think Facebook has ruined dating and relationships: it makes relationships National Enquirer-level public. I’m not at all ashamed that I now have a boyfriend; on the contrary, I really enjoy being in a relationship with him and have no problem telling people we’re dating if they’re interested in knowing. I just don’t want the whole wide world watching our relationship because it’s something that’s just between him and me. And I don’t think Facebook’s Godzilla-like rampage over the world of dating stops there.

Here are some other ways I think Facebook has ruined dating:

– It is now being used as a break-up tool. Jolie O’Dell posted an article on Mashable a few months ago called “Would You Break Up via Facebook?” It includes the results from a survey of 1,000 Facebook users that are pretty ridiculous, and other fun facts equally as ridiculous, such as “1 out of 4 newly dumped Facebook users found out about the breakup by seeing it publicly broadcast on Facebook.” Seriously, people? You couldn’t at least send a Facebook message?

– Private messages, status updates, pokes, you name it — they’ve all become replacements for the real-life interaction dating used to require, such as phone calls and actual dates. It seems now flirty Facebook messages have become acceptable replacements for real-life courtship and flirtation.

– Just like interaction through actual online dating sites, Facebook takes away a lot of the fun of getting to know each other when you go on actual dates together. There’s not a whole lot to talk about when you’ve already read through their profile and know they have two siblings, work at a law firm, listen to Matchbox Twenty, and love horror movies. I mean, when you’re first getting to know someone, aren’t those the fun little things you want to learn? I certainly don’t want to talk about anything too serious, like my past relationships or my failed dreams.

Samuel Axon posted this great article on Mashable about the “5 Ways Facebook Changed Dating (For the Worse).” I would definitely add his five reasons to my above list. If you read the article, I would highly recommend watching the YouTube video he posted of a clip from the show The Big Bang Theory. It’s a hilarious yet accurate depiction of how Facebook relationship statuses can really complicate things. The embedded video has been deactivated from the article, but a link will appear that will let you watch it directly from YouTube.

What are other ways you think Facebook has ruined dating? Are there any of you out there who don’t think Facebook has had a negative impact on dating and relationships? If so, give me some compelling reasons because I’ll be a hard sell!

Love and 17 likes,

Mika

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~ by Mika Doyle on November 5, 2010.

8 Responses to “How Facebook Has Ruined Dating”

  1. i totally agree. and while match.com has helped many people, i bet its hurt more. the whole online thing just makes it so impersonal.
    http://dearexgirlfriend.com/

    • I know some people swear by online dating and have met their wives/husbands/life partners on it, but I find myself to be too much of a traditionalist to be successful with it.

      BTW, your blog is great! What a unique concept.

  2. wow…Mika. All I can say is that I am glad you found someone worth your time! I am glad for both of you! It doesnt matter what the world thinks: rather only what you think! CONGRAYS again!

  3. ooops! I meant”CONGRATS!”

  4. For many of us internet dating is the only way to get dates. Luckily, I even met my current boyfriend on a dating site. The public aspect of Facebook certainly waters down the intimacy a relationship and even a break up should facilitate. I think social networks like Facebook take away a lot from the human connection, but on the other hand the internet has connected the people in a profound way. Unfortunately this new found connection is exploited by various social networks and advertising monsters. I’ve known more than a few friends that have met exclusively online, even a few on Facebook or Mys..what’s that one called again? The article hit some great points, but in the end the pressure of going public with anything entirely rests on our own shoulders. It’s this pressure that creates the illusion that it was never a choice. The hefty weight of social status is nothing new to us

    • “…in the end the pressure of going public with anything entirely rests on our own shoulders.” — this is too true, Eric! As I was writing this blog post, it dawned on me that all I had to do was delete the automatically-generated status change that caused such a hullabaloo. I was in total control over the attention I did or did not receive, but for whatever reason had a total lapse in judgment and saw it as a situation I had no control over. What was I thinking?!

      I do definitely see merits to dating and finding friends online (I actually wrote about the pros of online dating in a past blog post). In fact, when I was in college, I had many friends I met through LiveJournal (and never met IRL) who helped me through some really rough patches. But in terms of the dating world, I have become increasingly disgusted with the people who become lazy because of social media sites. Too many men started treating me like we were already dating when we had only exchanged a few messages here or there, and they had no real interest in taking me out to dinner or even just a cup of coffee. I think ultimately it amounts to what you’re looking for, first of all, and what your expectations are.

      And great comment, btw! Keep ’em coming!

  5. […] written about how I think facebook has ruined dating in a past blog post, but this new app really takes the cake. There used to be a time when […]

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