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Social Media & Dating: Swiping Left

By Aryanna Zavala, Clarion Staff

Ghosting, catfishing and other terms can be used to describe the negative effects of meeting and dating someone from social media. The dating scene in today’s society has changed due to the creation of the internet and establishment of social media. Most young adults have at least met or attempted to meet someone on social media.

There have always been alternative methods of dating, which can be dated back to 1690. In 1690, British newspapers began to print personal dating advertisements. Eligible men would post advertisements in order to acquire themselves a suitable wife. Following the proper establishment of a computer, people began developing programs that would match people based on their survey responses. During the 1950s and 1960s, computerized matchmaking became popular. During the 1960s and the 1970s, putting ads in the paper became popularized once again. Raymond Shapiro, a business manager for the New York Review for Books, stated in 1965, “…so suddenly it was okay to display oneself in print. It was very important to be ‘self-aware.’ So you’d get ads like: ‘Astrologer, 27, psychology student, desires to establish non-superficial friendship with sensitive, choicelessly aware persons who are non-self-oriented, deep, and wish to unearth real, personness relationships.’” The movement known as the Sexual Revolution took place in the 60s and 70s, which began a new trend of casual dating. The movement was a result of the Feminist Movement and Counterculture. They challenged the conservative views of the older generation and practiced sinful acts that were frowned upon by society. Between the 1960s and the 1980s, unconventional methods of dating were established and practiced.

Today’s youth practice similar methods of unconventional dating. Due to the further development of the internet, many dating websites and apps were created. The most notable dating websites are Match.com (1995), eHarmony (2000), and FarmersOnly.com (2005). These websites set the foundation for the creation of dating apps, which today’s youth prefers to use. Young adults prefer using Grindr (2009) and Tinder (2012). Online dating forums played a big part in establishing society in the early 21st century. People signed up for dating sites or joined chat rooms to meet people. Technological development further pushed the creation of dating forums, which displayed the foundation a new society for a casual view on dating.

Even though dating broadens the field, it can create and pose serious complications. With the progression of dating forums can come with new issues when dating. Ghosting is the practice of ending a personal relationship with someone suddenly and  withdrawing from all communication without an explanation. Catfishing is the process of luring someone into a relationship by means of a fictional online persona. Ghosting and catfishing has appeared more prominently in recent times due to the accessibility of content on the internet. Instead of talking and confronting someone face to face, people are preferring to ignore the person or situation, hoping that they would get the message and leave them alone. Catfishing has been such a big problem over the years that there has been a show centered on the issue. The internet has provided people the comfort of their homes and protection behind the screens, which allows them to do whatever they please. Dating or meeting someone online has brought negatively impactful issues to the public.

However, while there are perks to online dating — be cautious. Many negative developments have been created from the internet. Ghosting and catfishing has been proved to have a negative impact on an individual and the public as a whole. There is nothing wrong with online dating, but there needs to be precautions taken and respect needs to be established between individuals. The dating scene continues to change and the public needs to keep up.

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