Monday, July 19, 2010

Digital Dating Evolution

After all of the Facebook privacy issues, I thought Tom Anderson might have the last laugh when we all wound up back on MySpace. On a whim I even went back on to the site to check out my profile. Surprised that I remembered my login, I stumbled upon the following profile of my younger twenty-something self.

Luckily I've grown up enough to know that halloween costume profile pics outside the months of October/November are incredibly tacky. But it did get me thinking about how far we've come with flirting, dating and mating in the web 2.0 world and how the entry of each new platform follows the same trajectory that we do as we grow up and seek out potential partners. From mild flirting on Friendster that is reminiscent of highschool years to resume dating on Facebook that reminds me of the criteria I used to find a guy in my early twenties, below is a quick "e"-volution of how social media has helped us find new ways to reach out and tweet, flirt or friend someone.

First there was Friendster, or as I like to think about it, social networking training wheels where the "who's viewed my profle fetaure" let you enjoy the benefits of while tricking yourself into believing that you weren't online to date. (Sidenote: their new logo looks like a tween skater brand)

Then there was MySpace, the web site that became synonomous with the flip cam pic that later gave rise to guys with Iphones. Blame it on the bold-colored mySpace skins and the music blasting from profiles but it sort of made you feel like you were in the digital equivalent of The Hard Rock, Las Vegas partying with people you would never see again from states that don't border on any water. The anything goes attitude was kind of hot until the last guy that friended you suggested meeting in an Applebees parking lot and said he'd be the one in the blue truck blinking his headlights.

Or as I like to call it the website that established resume dating. Who needs an elaborate "about me" section when you can list your ivy league school and show off douchie pictures of yourself at friends' weddings and on adventure vacations. This site is every reason why the guy that looks great on paper can only get h*rd during episodes of Resue Me. (oh no I didn't)

AKA take a walk on the wildside. It's sort of like the sex club your German boyfriend makes you go to after 6 months of monogamous sex which you thought was good but apparently missed the mark. Here anything goes, even primal urges that force grown men to wear those protective cones you put on a dog after surgery and then Next you when you refuse to "lick your elbow" on command.

The most substanative site of all. With witty tweeps a plenty you can get to know someone based on their commentary, opinions and observations. The repartee coined as "flittering" has even been linked to the same feelings of true love. Plus its the only place where you can "follow" someone without being creepy. That is unless your twitter handle is at @jvandersloot.

We've come a long way baby!


  1. 1. Hot myspace picture.
    2. There is nothing wrong with a little that site still around?

  2. Holy hell - I JUST did the MySpace thing recently too! Go back and read your comments - look at old photos - it's INSANITY.

    I actually DIDN'T remember my password and had to have it emailed to me! haha.

    Great post!


  3. Thanks for the love ZUnit & Anonymous -- mySpace rewinds are fun! They make me long for the time when social media was more superficial.

    And yes ChatRoulette is still around and will be for as long as men have the urge to touch their privates in forever. Mwah!

  4. Where women go, men will follow. Like lambs to the slaughter. A good friend recently opened a bar and I helped him design the drink menu. Upon completion he asked "Isn't this a little too foofy?" Of course it is. The foofyer it is the more women it attracts. And where there's women, there are men willing to pay for over priced drinks trying to impress them. All of these sites have gained massive popularity because women have adopted them, and men have come along for fear of being digitally supplanted. Its the cyber equivalent of dancing. 99% of men feel like idiots doing it, but you need to make yourself accessible. I used to mock anyone with a MySpace page, laughing as I watched them debate between using an acoustic version of "No woman, No cry" or a song by The Gypsy Kings, futilely trying to seem deep and soulful. I finally broke down and joined Facebook, but Twitter is where I draw the line. Its the running man and Roger rabbit of the social networking dance floor. Does anyone care about the most mundane aspects of my life? Is mr sitting on my couch in my boxers scratching my balls eating a bowl of Cheerios and watching a DVR'd copy of The Bachelorette at all interesting? (Team Roberto NY the way).

    Side note: there's "sexting" but is there "sweeting!" I just figure there are enough exhibitionists out there who enjoy sex in public places (the back of a cab, an elevator at The W, Strawberry Fields at Central Park). When someone pioneers that digital frontier maybe I'll dance to Twitter's beat.

  5. "Twitter is the roger rabbit of social media."
    Anonymous, you complete me! But honestly I recommend you try Twitter, it's turning into a literal "tweat market" in my opinion. Lots of cute, smart and sassy girls on there. Let me know if you join and I'll be your first follow!