BY MALIKA KNOX
Social networking is like a stalker; it follows you everywhere you go.
It would be almost impossible for a student to go through a full day of classes at McKendree without hearing about or even use social media. We utilize social networking to connect with family and friends across the globe, keep up with current events, network with people with similar career paths and now, we use it to develop relationships.
According to a study done by the Pew Internet Research project, 66% of online-daters have met their significant others in person after first meeting them online. This statistic was not alarming; this percentage is the number of people who actually set out to meet people on dating service websites like eHarmony or Christian Mingle rather than Twitter or Facebook. What about people who have signed up for Twitter, Facebook or even Instagram? People who sign up for non-dating websites form real-life relationships by making friends and meeting up with them.
Years ago this would have seemed odd, dangerous or maybe even desperate. As children, we were taught not to trust people whom we meet online; rightfully so, you never know who is behind the computer screen. Even with the success of the MTV show “Catfish” (a show where people have met online and started dating, only to find out that when they finally meet their virtual ‘significant other’ in person, the other individual usually isn’t who they claimed to be), people still tend to meet online before meeting up in person.
The taboo of meeting a person online is shrinking as well as the fear associated with it.
Some people actually prefer meeting online rather than in person.
A female senior at McKendree said, “I rather meet guys on Facebook or something because I get to know who they really are before we meet in person…I get to appreciate their personality, and they get to do the same with mine. I met my boyfriend online, and I think we have a stronger bond because of it. My interviewee informed me that dating online is not something you hide anymore; it is something you embrace. She said, “McKendree is small, and after a while, you get tired of the same people and faces. Everybody knows everybody’s business here so I would rather date someone outside of the university.”
When I asked her if she thought social media and dating messed with fate, she stated, “No; fate, to me, is whatever is meant to be, will be. It’s possible that we could have met these same people in other ways had it not been online.”
I couldn’t agree with her more; I met my boyfriend online. We met on Twitter last year, and have been together ever since. I often ask myself whether or not we would have ever met at all, had it not been for a social media website. We have over 10 mutual friends, and frequently go to the same clubs and bars, but did not meet one another until Twitter.
I feel like social media is an excellent tool to meet people whether the people we meet become our friends or even potential spouses. Dating online also has the same issues traditional dating comes with. It is all right to be cautious, but online dating can be safe and fun.
Junior Megan Crowell said, “I have never dated online, but I don’t see why I wouldn’t; meeting people online is just the norm now.” When I asked her why she thinks so many people, now, choose to date online, she stated, “People date online because we do everything online from banking, to shopping, to even working. Dating and forming relationships just had to fit in there.”
Most people believe that fate is the development of events beyond a person’s control, and determined by a supernatural power. Some believers of fate would argue that social media helps predestination, instead of hindering it.
Online dating can be dangerous so people should always use good judgment and check out some of these tips: https://www.match.com/help/safetytips.aspx?lid=4.
Like it or not, online dating is happening, and if approached properly, it can be a great life experience.
If you have an opinion on online dating, feel free to email your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or drop one off on the website: mckreview.com.