As a woman who believed in meeting a guy the ‘traditional’ way; for many that would be in a mall, while out shopping, or for some even at a club – meeting a partner online was the furthest possibility on my mind.
Generation Y is that group of young people who grew up on the internet – the digital era kids who find it normal to find friends online then meet up in person. The internet has pretty much become part of our daily lives, whether we’re connecting with people emotionally online or connecting with them physically offline, a connection is inevitable.
A few months ago a friend of mine asked me if it was possible for two people who’d only ever chatted on a digital platform to be attracted to each other, this subject was never really one I’d given much thought about until I realised just how much she’d fallen for the guy that would later become her boyfriend.
In the digital era people make all kinds of connections, whether it be intentional or not. With that ideal in mind, acknowledging the people who sign up onto sites such as Facebook and Twitter daily – chances are that if what you say online catches someone’s attention they will take the time to be interested in anything else you have to say. This said, I’ve realised that the conventional means of meeting people differ in our generation because of how much of our lives we put online; whether we choose to have it out there or not is irrelevant because people will put your business out there with or without your permission.
There’s a notion that people’s online persona differs from their offline one but my sentiments are “why fake it?” If you’re loud and and an unpleasant person in real life why would you pretend to be someone else when online? Doesn’t that take more energy than being yourself? Quiet and timid, loud and arrogant; why pretend to be someone you’re not to impress a group of people who you may – on a larger scale never meet, at least not all of them.
Someone asked me if it’s possible to find love online, my answer: you can find love anywhere. I say this because I know I’ve made some amazing friendships that were birthed online, and without the medium that is social media, who knows whether or not these people would be in my life or not. If that’s the case with some of my friendships, why wouldn’t it be possible for other people to find love online?
We’ve seen it happen – for most of us, we don’t filter what’s on our minds, and in the case of Twitter: we say what we want, when we want, and don’t really care who takes offense. Someone might be attracted to your mind; it happens. Your tweets are your thoughts, sometimes your feelings, but more often than not they’re things you wanted to say but wouldn’t have the courage to say offline. In a way, your online social status is a representation of you, directly or indirectly; a small part of your personality, and in some ways, it’s a catalyst that could lead to a relationship offline.
Some may trash it by saying what happens in the Internet realm stays in that world. Some may even go as far as to say that online dating is a human trafficking ring as some of the media reports of late have indicated. I bet they forget that they too have once (or more) found themselves laughing, flirting, charming, impressing and connecting with people they met on the Internet. This same group of people on the Internet may dispute the possibility that you can find love online by making an intellectual connection with someone, as opposed to the physical one that the “standards of love” have come to be measured upon.
We have come a long way from a time when the digital world was the medium of connecting with an already existing relationship that has been turned into long distance, such as Skype. So what leg do we stand on disputing the chance of love in this world that only requires an internet connection? We spend most of our time updating our Facebook status with random quotes and updates of our personal life, posting pictures on Instagram, tweeting our thoughts and blogging, so doesn’t that constitute some insight into what we may look for in a partner? If Re-tweets happen to land on someone’s Twitter timeline and they think to themselves: “Man, I’ve been waiting for someone who thinks like this,” they then proceed to zoom into the avatar and if they like what they see, can this be deduced as the first law of attraction?
How you connect with your loved one, crush or admirer is not only physical in this digital age. The intellectuality that goes into structuring a tweet, the careful posing on one’s Instagram pictures (hey, you might even learn to know what’s their favorite dish from the food photos), their favorite hangout spots via Foursquare… these are some of the things that come up in a conversation with the one you wish to date. That said, you can learn as much from another person as they’ll show you on social media; so much in fact that you might end up skipping the formal date scenario and dive straight into a pool of butterflies and candy-floss before you declare your undying lust for your new social media boo.
It’s no secret that we love all that’s Internet, thus we are bound to find love in the place we spend so much of our time. We are human behind that computer screen or phone and emotions know no distance or bandwidth barrier.
So it’s just Twitter you say? Tell that to the many couples who started out as nothing but mere followers.