Social media has changed the way we interact online and the important social aspect of dating. This new way to date and it’s implications in our social lives lead me to interviewed Australia’s leading Dating and Relationships expert on “How social media has changed the dating game.” We talk about relationship status updates, the chase and more. A fun and insightful interview. Check out the interview and transcript below. You don’t want to miss out on this one. 🙂
How social media has changed the dating game.
Sara: Hey, it’s Sara Nguyen here from Social Media Rocketeer and I’m here with Samantha Brett, Australia’s leading dating and relationships expert. Today we’re going to talk about how social media has changed the dating game. From online dating to Flirtbook – I mean Facebook – and how interactions have changed through the social graph. So, Samantha, how has social media changed the dating game? What are people doing now on social media that they haven’t before?
Samantha: Yes. Social media has absolutely changed everything when it comes to dating. I mean, it’s very easy to hide behind a computer and especially for guys – they hate rejection, so they’re loving this new media and that they can actually ask women out via Facebook. They don’t even have to text message or call or do it face to face. The big thing that’s happening is that people who haven’t met before are meeting on Facebook. They’re liking each others’ photos, they’re flirting, they’re poking one another and they’re meeting up via Facebook on blind dates. Now, I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve done this about five times! Because they’re not complete strangers, you know them through friends. You’ve got mutual friends, you see photos of them with your friends, and you just think, ‘hey, this person might be nice, I’m just going to go on a date with them.’ So, I’ve done that a couple of times. The other thing that’s happening with social media is that exes and long-lost lovers are reconnecting. So, people who might have dated 10 years ago, or five years ago are suddenly seeing their ex or just someone they hooked up with once pop up and they’re thinking, ‘wow, this is an easy way to connect, wonder if they’re single and, if they are single, then, you know, these people are meeting up, and they’re actually either forming relationships, or just becoming friends again. And, the third thing is: Affairs. Social media has become a very big cause of many affairs. People in relationships – they see their ex from 20 years ago pop up and they think, ‘wow, let me just have a quick chat to them see what they’re up to. Wow, sparks are still there no one will know about this, I’m going to have an affair.’
Sara: What do you think about relationship status updates and Facebook?
Samantha: It’s a very tricky subject, Sara, very tricky. Because we as women, we’re so quick to put a label on things. We love to say to a guy, “alright, are we in a relationship, or not?” and, it scares the guy away. So, women are loving this thing where they can say, “wow, I’ve hooked up with this guy a few times, I’m going to change my status.” They change that status, the guy freaks out, thinking, “Oh my God, I’m actually dating three other girls! This is terrible! Why does she think she’s in a relationship with me already?!” Freak out. Delete her as a friend. End of story. I think it’s a conversation that both couples need to have. I think, when the time is right and you’ve both discussed it, I say to girls, “Don’t even bring anything up until at least three months.” After the three months, you can say, “So, what’s happening with us?” or “Where’s this going?” or, something very light and funny like, “Ha, ha, I love hanging out. Should we change our statuses?” Make sure that he does it first, always, and then you can follow suit.
Sara: Facebook and all the other social media platforms have had this positive effect where it’s been able to connect people who haven’t been in contact before, or wouldn’t have been able to without these platforms. What are some of the other positive affects that social media has had on the dating game?
Samantha: Ah…I don’t know if it’s a positive or a negative, but, a positive affect can be that it is quite easy to stay at home or be at home on a weeknight or even a weekend and, you go onto a chatroom, or you go into Facebook chat or whatever social media you’re using and you can actually see who’s also at home and doesn’t have a date, and you can start chatting to them. It seems like life has become less lonely for singles. There’s always someone to chat to. There’s always something going on in social media so you don’t have to feel like you always have to be out or it’s a hopeless situation. You don’t have to ever think again, “I’m never going to meet someone because it’s impossible to meet someone at a bar or club.” It is impossible to meet someone that way – well, it’s not impossible but it’s very difficult – but it’s extremely east to meet people via Facebook. So, what? I click on a guy, I say, “Hey, what’s up?” If he doesn’t reply, he doesn’t reply. Who cares? It’s different when you walk up to the in a bar, and you say, “Hey, what’s up?” and, they’re like “Well, I’m here with my boyfriend or girlfriend…”
Samantha: “…That’s, that’s hard! It’s confronting and it’s rejection and you feel like shit. So, with social media, you never really feel too bad about yourself. Everyone’s on it to I guess for whatever reason…people are there to connect and if they don’t reply to you, they don’t reply. It’s not such a big deal. They’re not seeing your sad, rejected face!
Sara: How about some of the more negative impacts of social media on dating? For example, break ups on Facebook and false identities?
Samantha: Yeah, you know they just done a study and they found that actually less people are breaking up via Facebook and more people are breaking up via text.
Samantha: So, I think people have smartened up and they’ve realized that you don’t have to go, “I’m no longer in a relationship on Facebook,” unbeknownst to the person you’re supposed to be in a relationship with. It’s pretty cold-hearted. Also, I think people are trying to…I know that everyone posts everything on Facebook now, “This is what I had for breakfast, this is where I am, this is who I’m dating,” but, I think with break-ups people have become more aware that 200 of their closest friends are going to see them not being in a relationship anymore, And I think that they’ve sort of realized over time now because Facebook has been around for maybe a bit more than 10 years and I think people are now saying, “Alright, it’s not the best way to do things via social media.” So, yes, it’s a bad thing, okay, so people are breaking up over Facebook I mean that’s shocking, but I think less people are doing it. I think that the other negatives as I’ve said before is definitely the cheating thing. Also, misconstrued cheating. So, a person can be talking to someone of the opposite sex, as a friend, and their partner might see these conversations and thing that they’re cheating. Now this brings another problem which is, emotional cheating. And if you’re becoming friends with someone via Facebook – and I’ve seen this happen – and you start telling them your deepest, darkest secrets, because your partner might be busy at work or come home late or not listening to you properly you do start to form an emotional relationship with this person via the internet. It’s easy to continue this relationship but it takes something away from your real relationship. So, there’s a lot more emotional cheating happening via social media.
Sara: And, now I have some questions from the mailbag for you. So, Hamish wants to know, “How did you become a dating and relationships expert?”
Samantha: Well, Hamish…I started out about seven years ago as an author actually. I wrote my first book about dating and text messaging. And, it was really a social commentary on how text messaging, just like you’re asking me the questions now about social media, it was about text messaging and how that was changing the face of relationships. Because back then I actually wrote the book 10 years ago, and text messaging had just come to the fore and was starting to be used in dating. I mean, guys had never asked girls out via text, and, all of a sudden, they were. People were breaking up via text; people were saying, “I love you,” via text…
Samantha: …so, it began this whole new thing. And, I just wrote it as a journalist, I didn’t really write it as an expert but all of a sudden the media jumped and they’re like “Well, Sam Brett is this Gen Y dating expert. Let’s talk to her let’s ask her questions about what’s going on with dating. So, I started researching more into it and asking around and, the more I got into it I realized that there needs to be a forum about it in a public setting that people could write in their responses on all the issues that were coming up with modern-day relationships. So I approach the Sydney Morning Herald and I pitched them this idea of a column that would be interactive online, and they liked it. I started that and, when I started that it was more like I would talk about surveys or topics that other people had suggested and I’d ask my audience for feedback. Over the last seven years, approximately half a million people have written in to me. That spawned books and, more research and me going to the U.S. and interviewing all the best dating and relationship experts. Because I have such a wealth of knowledge and because I hear so many stories from the public, it sort of enables me now to coach other people about what they’re doing wrong. I hear from the guys; they tell me what the girls are doing wrong. So, all I do is tell the girls! Someone needs to be speaking to the opposite sex and teaching the other opposite sex what they’re doing wrong and that’s where I come in.
Sara: Karla’s question is: “Who do you speak to about your relationship problems?”
Samantha: (laughter): Good question! I try to keep personal stuff personal and I have two best friends that I trust with everything and two guy best friends that I trust with everything and, my parents are really helpful as well. I really try to keep it really small and, I mean no one knows about who I’m dating or how it’s going, ‘cause, they guys appreciate it who I’m dating that I don’t speak to anyone or write about it and I like to have something that’s for me – only for me.
Sara: And, Christopher asks: “Do you think that the roles are changing with who asks who out, as it seems more women are asking more men out. Are they enjoying this or do they want to be pursued more?”
Samantha: Christopher, great question. What I’ve seen lately is that yes, a lot more women are asking men out. Because they’re thinking this, “Okay, he hasn’t asked me out, I’m going to ask him out.” The problem with that is, when I speak to the guys, they always complain, “Oh, she asked me out. She texted me and she’s texting me too much.” Because, I think women go overboard. You know, when a guy asks you out and they say, “Hey, do you want to go have a drink?” and you either say yes or no. And, if you say yes, you go out on a drink. They might text you a few days later, but they don’t think you’re getting married! They’re probably dating five other girls. They’re used to asking women out, that’s what they do. And, they like to chase and hunt and be the ones to do the asking. Now, when the woman asks the guy out, she spots the guy and thinks, “Oh my God, husband material! I want to marry him tomorrow, let me ask him for a drink.” She gets upset if he says no and when he says yes, she tells all her friends that she’s met “The One.” So, they go on a drink and then she thinks, “Alright.” Also, if a girl asks a guy out, she’s got to pay, I mean, it’s not the best scenario (laughter). So, the guy’s feeling a bit less like a man and he’s feeling pursued and the balances of feminine and masculine are skewed and, it’s all a bit confusing, So, anyway, let’s say she successfully asks him out for a drink and he says yes, they go, her first story where the guys feels a bit pressured, she feels like maybe she should kiss him, then she has to text him saying, “Hey, that was a great date!” He feels like he’s being pursued but the guy wants to be the chase. If women chase the guy, the guy runs. I mean, that’s biology, it has nothing to do with modern dating. Women can think they can do whatever they want, but, in reality, men are going to like you more and they’re going to want to chase if you let them. If you chase them, then, the chase is ruined for them and they’re bored. And, quite simply, they’re just going to say, “Next!” Yeah. Sad. (laughter) It’s hard. I know. Dating is hard, but you know, follow some simple rules then I think, um you will be better off than if you don’t follow any simple rules.
Sara: So, Sam, thank you so much for your time. Just before we wrap up, where can people find you if they’re interested in reading more of your content or, connecting with you?
Sara: Excellent! Thank you so much for your time, Sam. Cheers!