I read a great article by Stacy Kaiser from USA Today in which she offered very sound precautions about combining dating, love and social media. Stacy quoted some astonishing statistics from the 2012 Harlequin Romance Report and I want to share a portion of that with you here.
Check this out:
57% of single women have sexted and 69% of women dating have sent a naked photo via email or text
Ladies, did you know that everything you do in cyberspace stays in cyberspace? Oh yes its true. Even if you delete or erase your hard drive, if you used Google or other similar services, they store records of every single word and photo. That means what you think is a private exchange is anything but and in fact is kept some big server in the sky. All I can say is “Yikes!” Does that make you think twice about sending more photos? I sure hope so!
Personally, I think the web and technology have made many people much bolder. It’s easy to post your opinion when you can do it anonymously. But sexting and emails with naked pictures are not nameless are they? Not really since they can be traced to your phone or email account.
Have you noticed that people tend to say things via social media they might not ever do in person? That’s why 72% of women who are not currently dating, say they are likely to post an update on Facebook specifically to capture a particular person’s attention. Keep in mind all your “friends” will see what you wrote unless you are sending a direct message.
Here’s another important aspect to think about with social media. Today employers are known to check out prospects on Facebook (among others) prior to hiring them. You might want to keep that in mind if you plan on looking for a job in the near future. Or really anytime in the future, because the stuff you post will be there FOREVER!
This statistic is still another example of how folks feel bolder on social sites than in person. Two thirds of respondents (67%) say they feel more comfortable flirting on Facebook than with someone in a bar. Not surprising really because when you are on Facebook, you are sitting safely behind your computer. You don’t get to see the recipient of your flirting activity respond in real time. You just get to see an on-screen response when they get to it, if they respond at all.
As a dating coach for women, to me this points out what social anthropologist have been saying for awhile – that we are losing our ability to communicate in person due to technology. If you don’t practice and get comfortable talking to new people face-to-face, how will you ever get into a relationship? Even when you meet via online dating, you still have to meet in person for a real date and to start a relationship.
Perhaps I’m too old school or cautious. Even if that’s true, I want to encourage both genders to think twice before sending naked pictures or posting comments online that may haunt you in the future. Think about what happened to Representative Anthony Weiner. Technology is fun but your post s, texts, and emails will never fade away.
Social media and technology definitely has a place in relationships today. The trick is to use it wisely. There is absolutely no replacement for in person communication. And there is no way to retract something once it’s on the web.
Photo Credit: Woohoo Megoo