Culture Lifestyle

Online Dating Versus Twitter

We’ve all been there – that REALLY lonely stage in life. You just broke up with your significant other, and now what? It’s too early to start serious dating again, but not too soon to mingle.

Okay, I admit it: I found myself lost amid the myriad faces of online dating, but often times I stopped myself from doing anything else but looking. There  were countless moments where I would be searching for hours only to step outside of my body, slap the back of my head, and say, “What the hell are you doing?!”

Not having been in a relationship for almost two years has been a bit of a mixed bag, pros and cons if you will.

For some reason, my family is fixated on me not having, and getting a boyfriend.  It seems as though every time I see certain family members, they always ask where my boyfriend is. “I don’t have one,” I always reply, as the knife that is already lodged into my heart travels a little deeper. “Why not?” OK, here we go. “I don’t really need one.” “But don’t you want a boyfriend?” they always follow up with. Ah, there’s the rub; the separation of needs and wants. Sure, I want a boyfriend, but I definitely don’t need one.

The ever growing pressure from my family to find a guy and settle down with, and the equally growing pressure watching my friends and the people I went to high school and university with their significant others, getting married, and having children, puts a lot of pressure on me to find Mr. Right, right now.

The whole online dating thing got me thinking recently. Dating is made up of awkward small talk of getting to know one another, so why not to that from the comfort of your own home. I think that Twitter is a really interesting social tool, and is the perfect device for making small talk since users are only allowed 140 characters of text; perfect for small talk, chatting, and of course, flirting.

It is a networking tool, but it’s not that Twitter was intended to be used as an online dating site, but I think it would be interesting to see just how many people meet, go on dates and even continue into long term relationships because of the Twitter website and service.

I have been making many connections, and have made a lot of new friends through Twitter, so who knows what the future will bring for me, or anyone else using the site. Life is full of surprises, so we may as well embrace them.

By Daniel Dessinger

Daniel founded CultureFeast in 2005, co-founded Mommypotamus in 2009, and writes frequently about self-awareness.

5 replies on “Online Dating Versus Twitter”

So…does this mean you’re single? ;)

I’ve met a number of people through Twitter, and while I have certainly not started dating any of them, that is not to say I haven’t met some I’m interested in.

I often view Twitter as being some sort of never ending social gathering that’s come and go as you please. The same way that you’ll go to a party and hang out with your friends, but also mingle around and get to know some other people, that’s what Twitter is to me. By that same standard, what’s the difference between walking up to a girl next to the cheese tray and striking up a conversation, and @’ing a girl on Twitter (Ok, lots of difference, I know, but the principle is the same)? So while I have not started a relationship with anyone on Twitter, that’s not to say the thought hasn’t crossed my mind.

I first met my wife almost 8 years ago in person after a comedy show. Twitter wasn’t around then, so we exchanged email addresses & I initiated the first exchange. We started exchanging emails all day, then switched to IMs, because emails were just too slow. We IMd every day (I worked nights, she worked days, so it was after work for me, during work for her), and every night (me from work, her from home). By the time we went on our first date a week later, we’d already been through all the small talk that a couple would go through on a first date.

The only thing that would bother me about getting to know someone via Twitter would be the public aspect of the exchange.

The speed and ease of Twitter compared to other forms of online communication, make it a wonderful tool in anyone’s dating arsenal.

I think it carries much more credibility than a dating site (which is nothing more than a pic from who-knows-where, and a few Q&A responses).

Viewing the Twitter-er’s pic is great to see if there’s any initial attraction, but being able to read a stream of their thoughts, activity, and responses to others, throughout the day, gives you a much better idea of their genuine personality.

Excellent article, Rachel.

I think monogodo makes an interesting point. It would be somewhat embarrassing to bare one’s soul in public. However, the initial personality testing phase would work great on Twitter. Assuming the photo is genuine, you have a great insight into the personality, humor, and interests of a person via Twitter.

If it had been around when I was single, I would have at least been open to the possibility.

Oh, look at these comments! This makes me happy.

Jeremy, I’m actually very happily dating someone right now, sorry.

I think that Twitter is great because there are so many opportunities to meet new people, both online and through “tweet-ups” at bars or Twitter functions.

Unlike online dating, I’m sure a lot of people do not sign up for Twitter with the intention of meeting and hooking up with someone, let alone starting a relationship.

Like Travis said, you can follow someone’s Twitter stream and see what he or she talks about and what they are interested in, then go ahead and start up a conversation. It’s a great way to get all of the awkwardness out of the way.

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