The Internet has enabled social networking like never before. Facebook Groups can allow friends to expand their social circle, interacting with anyone sharing their hobbies and interested. A simplified version, Instagram, allows users to like, follow and comment on photos. Twitter caters for immediate responses to practically any topic you care to mention, within the parameters of 280-character text messages.
Singles can embark on free dating services and connect with potential partners at the click of a few buttons on their smartphones. Online dating exists within a multi-faceted virtual environment, where social media is bound to have an impact. So what effect does social media have on online relationships? Here are four truths.
Must Read: Best Stranger Live Chat Apps
While users will tend to have sites or apps they prefer, and these may well fluctuate in popularity, most people who are tuned in to the virtual world will be comfortable with utilizing diverse platforms. Most of these will overlap in areas of functionality, so when it comes to using dating sites, the latter can certainly be accessed on a standalone basis, but many clients will see their membership of a particular site or app as something running in parallel with their other social media connections. This provides a more rounded background picture, which can be helpful in the early days of an online relationship. Once you know someone’s name, it’s very easy to find out more about them by examining their Facebook or Instagram photos, and so on.
Social and cultural boundaries are eroded
Social media and dating websites enable you to forge new friendships with anyone across the world. Entering a chat room on a matching site or joining a Facebook Group, and you could end up commenting on a post made by someone in a different state, or continent. This means virtual relationships tend to be uncluttered by social or cultural hang-ups. The Internet is such a great leveler, clients can be made feel just as comfortable chatting to site users from more exotic climes as someone from their own neighborhood. Video chatting software can assist with long-distance romance, providing singles with the tools to maintain meaningful connections even where people are separated by a considerable distance.
The virtual world can distort the truth
While the points raised so far present online relationships in a positive light, it’s also important to balance this by underscoring the downsides. The majority of people who reach out to get to know each other via social media or dating sites do so within the intended spirit of these applications. But there will always be more unscrupulous individuals who hide behind the anonymity of their profile, in order to create a false impression. This can range from site users using out-of-date or photoshopped images of themselves, or stretching the truth in their descriptions, through to the extremes of those who invent completely false personas in order to be in a position to wind up rather than connect with prospective partners. The key point to be aware of is these individuals are in the minority, and antisocial activity can be reported to site administrators.
Going offline requires care
If you’ve met somebody via social media or a dating site, the time will undoubtedly come when you wish your online relationship to transform into the offline version. The transition should be relatively smooth, assuming you have already taken the time to build up a strong rapport in the online environment. Provided you have been completely honest when communicating via social media, your face-to-face encounter will seem like meeting an old acquaintance.