How Social Media changed the dating culture of Gen Y: “The Millennials”
Dating has evolved a lot over the centuries. Once upon a time, women didn’t date so much as wait for their father to trade their hand in marriage for a goat. In the 1950s, it wasn’t uncommon to have a chaperone on dates to ensure everything was above board.
Perhaps the most disruptive dating evolution has been the shift into the digital era, particularly for the millennial generation. Here’s what it’s like dating after 30 with the social media dating culture.
The Subtle Art of Creeping
In the early days of online dating, it was already filled with horror stories about false identities, money scams, and catfishing (though the word that didn’t exist yet).
With the rise of social media over the past decade, that uncertainty faded.
Being online more often has made people more comfortable with talking to strangers, making purchases, and generally existing online.
In the dating world, social media created an opportunity for Millennials to confirm someone’s identity through the art of creeping. This practice of scouring someone’s social media for insights into their existence gave credence to someone is who they claim to be.
It’s also a time-honored tradition for women over thirty to sit, sip wine, and look at the prospects while carefully avoiding the “like” button.
That’s not to say that people don’t still create false personas.
Au contraire, there are plenty of false profiles or a strong dichotomy between who someone is on social media versus who they are in person.
However, social media has made it easier to highlight those red flags. Whether they’re acknowledged or not is another story.
Sliding into DMs
While dating apps like Plenty of Fish and Tinder revolutionized the online dating world, social media has become somewhat of a dating tool in itself.
Facebook recently launched a dating feature, while social media platforms’ global reach has allowed people to connect over great distances.
Even TikTok has become a makeshift dating platform (check this article to learn how).
This evolution of social media has coined the term “sliding into your DMs” when someone reaches out privately. Often as a proverbial cold call.
However, this approach can be a genius when used correctly.
Social media posts provide a topic on which to spark a conversation and see how it develops from there.
Snapchat and Image Exchanges
Another big shift in dating for social media users came through the introduction of Snapchat, which was invented with sexy picture time in mind. 48% of Snapchat users are between 26 and 45 years old.
Millennials in the dating arena like using Snapchat as they don’t have to provide a phone number, making it easier to peace out.
Additionally, they appreciate the added security of not sending hard copies of sensitive images to someone who could use them for nefarious purposes.
The Dating Marketplace
Another shift in dating for over-30s on social media is the idea of a dating marketplace.
Rather than logging into an application that matches you with your “ideal mate” based on your lifestyle and religion, you have the freedom to shop around.
The experience of using Tinder is similar to that of Facebook Marketplace.
You set some general metrics and scroll through, discarding people you aren’t attracted to.
While this approach to dating creates broader horizons, it also sets people up for failure via dating app exhaustion.
The Evolution of Ghosting
You’d think that being more connected and living life online would make it more challenging to ghost someone.
The rise of ghosting stems from the layer of separation and disconnect that social media offers.
Don’t want to talk to someone? Hit block, and they’ll never see you again. You don’t have to worry about running into them at work or the bar where you met.
In many ways, our over connectivity has made us more disconnected than ever.
At the crux of it, this is why dating in the social media era is so difficult for people over 30.