Online Dating: Love, Social Media, and the New Rules

Brandie Broihier | @Brandienic Online dating. Two small words with the power to evoke overwhelming emotion in the hearts of the uninitiated. Built to help the lonely find The One (and turn a handsome profit in the process), online dating sites are essentially specialized social media platforms. You have a profile, you connect to people, and you (try to) build relationships. Sound familiar?

When dating websites first popped up, they faced criticism and disbelief as they weren't believed to possess staying power. But online dating is no longer a trend: it is as common as many traditional methods of meeting a potential partner.

It is interesting to consider the stigma still attached to online dating when it has become a billion dollar industry with proven results. An estimated 80% of people know someone (or themselves) who has used online dating, and online dating websites in the USA take in $1.8 billion each year.  Just as social media is a cultural norm that no longer surprises anyone, so too has online dating become integrated into daily life.

Social media is more important to love and relationships than ever before.  Love and dating in the age of social media is here to stay.  However, don't take this as an indication that traditional values and dating norms no longer matter. 80% of singles still prefer a follow-up phone call after a date.

And if you are still unsure, consider this gem of a phrase: "If your significant other claims to never check out your Facebook profile, change your relationship status to "single" and wait 5 minutes."

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Infographic: Love and Social Media