No such thing as offline dating

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So I went on a date the other week.

I met this lovely lady through a friend at a party, exchanged numbers, called her and arranged a date.

I scrubbed up the best I could, reminded myself how awesome and normal I am, quelling the anxious voices in my head which usually take over.

We met at a bar and she was on time waiting outside. She’s turned up. Check. This is the first prerequisite of a date.

I play a little game with myself when I first meet people I’m attracted to and see how long I can go without talking about work,  opening up other topics of discussion (like talking silly, fun stuff really!). It’s not that I don’t like my work, quite the opposite, or I’m not interested in what people do, I just tend to think it (sometimes) defines us too much.

So after a couple minutes of chatting she mentioned that she looked me up online before we met up,  then started asking about my work. I never asked what she meant exactly, but she had obviously checked me out in any number of ways: through my Facebook profile,  LinkedIn, Twitter, my organisation’s website or perhaps even reading this blog.

Hmmm? I guess I was partly flattered that someone would online stalk me but perhaps she was  just being cautious? Or perhaps checking people out online before we meet them is just what we do these days?

What is going on here?

While we increasingly put more and more of ourselves online on social media – can a person really go on a date in this day and age without first seeing how photogenic they are? Who they’re tagged with? And the sorts of semi-staged, semi-spontaneous selfies taken whilst engaging in activities we all wish we were doing right now? Can a person go on a date without any sort of preconceived ideas?

I am not my profile.

In fact I am not  this blogpost even. I realized this the other day and while it seems like something so obvious, it’s something I don’t think people who have grown up with social media acknowledge enough. It’s not that my online profile doesn’t represent who I am, it’s just that it’s a very small part.

So how do people meet each other these days?

A friend of mine told me that  before he goes into a new business meeting he will check out the person on LinkedIn and  prepares  accordingly. Another friend told me that some people now consider texting as dating .WTF?!

Call me old fashioned but I always thought there had to be some kind of awkward face to face, George Clooney-JLo Out of Sight sexual tension thing going on in order for it to be a date.

Are things like Tinder turning us into superficial, shallow, judgmental and unmindful freaks? (btw I had my first Tinder date but that’s another story!).

It would seem so.

So as I embark on my Five in Five challenge, which doesn’t allow ‘online dating’, I wonder if such a thing is really possible. While I like the idea of meeting people ‘through’ my friends who know me, and having a mutual friend to ‘vouch for the other’, there’s only one thing…

The temptation to check out my date on facebook before we meet…!

 

 

If you’re interested in the debate checkout:

Tincan Press The Button Day encourages us to switch off, slow down and spark life into your imagination by pressing the ‘off’ button on your mobile or computer.

How not to be alone – Online communication originated as a substitute for telephones yet these inventions were not created to be improvements upon face-to-face communication but diminished substitutes for it. Then a funny thing happened: we began to prefer the diminished substitutes.

#Phubbing – Ignoring the person in front of you in favour of your smart phone

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