I wish I could find my MySpace account..

Admittedly so, when I first heard about this social media class I immediately imagined someone forcing us to blog and use technology we already know how to use. Then maybe discuss how social media has “ruined” the social aspects of real human interaction. But I am SO HAPPY I was wrong…

My social media world began with the blissful sounds of dial-up, away messages, “chat rooms?!” (queue the sound of your mother’s voice) and one of my favorite rom coms, You’ve Got Mail.

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Senior year of high school, I was on MySpace learning how to edit html code to make my profile cooler…but it didn’t last long because the second I got my college email address I joined Facebook and never looked back. Through the years, social media to me was the distraction from homework, a way to make plans, a soap box to rant from, or just a place to post the hundreds of pictures – many of which were frantically untagged when the news buzz was all about employers looking at Facebook profiles and judging you… gasp!! I could write this entire blog on social media trends I have witnessed live and die. Never once did I think these platforms could provide any sort of benefit to my personal or professional perspectives.

Today, after years of growing up with the industry, it is the very place I plan to start a career. My younger brother has developed a start-up dating app and as a hopeful future employee, I plan to devote research to material that will benefit the growth and success of the business. More specifically, I plan to study topics related to active-lifestyle online trends, mobile user acquisition, mobile app strategies, and trends in online dating…with the expectation that I will also naturally improve upon my blog writing skills – I am new to this. (I fought the urge to begin this entry with “dear social media diary”).

But online dating was bound to happen… those of us who were around know that it all started with a little IM …”a/s/l?” Even Zuckerberg knew that social media would completely revolutionize the way we make connections (romantic or platonic) when he started The Facebook. Last year, Tinder CEO Sean Rad reported 1 billion matches were made on the app. Today there are so many dating apps, how do you choose? What do these statistics really mean? Who owns these sites? Is swiping left and right even the best way to find a match? What opportunities haven’t been explored within the online dating market? There are plenty of unanswered questions from both the customer and business owner’s perspective. However we do know one thing for sure, just like social media, online dating isn’t going anywhere.

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7 comments

  1. I will admit: I just don’t understand online dating. Maybe this is because I’ve been in a relationship for four years, or maybe this is because it really just isn’t natural. What about love at first sight? Or falling in love with a long time best friend? Are these now a thing of the past? Traditional dating methods seemed to work just fine, so why does online dating have to replace them? Dating apps distort reality and make people ignore the people in their everyday lives that they could “match” with. At least for my college friends, dating apps like tinder and coffee meets bagel are used not to actually start dating someone, but just to find someone to spend the night with.
    When my friend leaves our apartment to go on these “dates,” we make her give us the address, text us when she meets him in person, and we track her all night on “Find My Friends.” We beg her not to meet up with these strangers, but when she goes, we need to make sure we can keep tabs on her safety all night. Going out with strangers is becoming the norm, ignoring our parents’ most popular advice: “don’t talk to strangers!” Who would have guessed that this advice would be more applicable in our 20s than in elementary school? This might sound overly dramatic, but you don’t know what situation you are getting yourself into when online dating. Many people use fictional online personas to lure people in, also known as catfishing, and also only post their best pictures, and reveal their most interesting (often made-up) information. Online dating can certainly work out for the best, but when beginning a new online connection people just need to be skeptical and be safe.

  2. I really enjoyed reading your blog and the journey you have gone through with social media – who could forget that annoying AOL dial up! I think it is fascinating that you hope to pursue a career in social media as it relates to the online dating world. I agree that this was an inevitable path as people become more attached to their iPhones and use texts/iMessages as a primary source of communication, rather than making phone calls or speaking to others face-to-face. To be honest, I am guilty of this, too.

    I have been hesitant of actually using online dating to meet someone. My friends have made me download Tinder, Hinge and Bumble, which can definitely be fun to “play” on – the simple swiping motion is somewhat satisfying. However, I have never actually met someone from one of these apps or attempted to pursue something. I guess you could call me old-fashioned or a skeptic, but I am definitely intrigued. I would love to know what trends and data you end up finding on how to officially hook in the skeptics like me, who are interested in using these apps to meet someone but who have reservations of taking the official plunge of going on that first date with a stranger.

  3. It’s awesome to hear your enthusiasm about SM relating to your future career. The online dating world has become bigger than I had ever imagined and I think there is definitely a lot more growth still out there. We’ll talk about several dating apps in class throughout the semester so I am eager to hear more about your thoughts!

  4. Hahaha this was an awesome blog. Your voice really comes through and you’ll definitely be good at social media as a career with your tone and relatability.

    Tinder is a very bizarre platform, but one that many of my friends have gone on successful dates through, so I’m interested to see how it’s portrayed and analyzed throughout this semester.

    Also, I loved the references to AIM and a/s/l, those were game changers. I’m wondering when the smaller dating apps will be weeded out in the market and if Tinder will still come out on top. Looking forward to more blog posts!

    1. here’s hoping my bro’s app can outrun Tinder! Thanks for the kind words :)

  5. Good job Jessica! I’ve never been on an online dating platform, but many of my friends are and it’s definitely something that keeps becoming more popular. You are a pretty good writer even though it’s your first blog!

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