If video killed the radio star, has the Internet killed the fairy tale?
Once upon a time, in a not-so-far-off land called Baltimore, there lived a young maiden. The maiden would go out each evening and pick apples, always checking carefully to spot any rotten ones. Then, one day, as the maiden was on her nightly walk, a handsome prince stumbled upon her. Captivated by her and feeling the need to see her again, he grabbed her hand, got on one knee, and said . . . “Are you on Facebook?”
Not what you expected? Well, it seems nowadays, with the rapidly growing popularity of social networking sites, the story of the dating world has been rewritten.
Once was, when a guy I had just met asked for my number, I was hesitant to give it to him. I felt like it was too much access to give someone I barely knew. Now, a guy asks to be my Facebook friend and I accept, and yet this grants him far more access into my life than a simple phone number. Why the double standard? That’s easy—because it also grants me access into his life.
Think about it. Today, when someone is interested in you, you can immediately see if you have any mutual friends (great for reference checks), what they do for a living, where they live, and what they look like hanging with their family, sledding with their dog, or partying. (If there’s always a stripper pole in the background, beware!)
But instant access can come with a price: false advertising. We can easily be lured in by what we see on someone’s profile, but you can’t always judge a (Face)book by its cover. What you are seeing is the image someone is presenting, but not necessarily the whole truth.
What’s more, if you’re not careful, you might get stranded in Cyberia. In other words, all of your communication might start taking place online. Messages and “pokes” may slowly replace phone calls and love letters, and before you know it, a Farmville gift suddenly counts as an anniversary present. (For the record, I have received a plethora of date invites via Facebook message, and it’s not exactly tugging at this girl’s heartstrings, that’s for sure!)
I personally like to view Facebook as a combination dating catalog and nightlife GPS. Several times a day, I log on to share my humorous views on life (especially dating), leave some comments on my friends’ pages, and check to see what the happenings are for the week. I constantly receive event invites and have messages in my inbox about the hottest places to be that weekend. It sure saves me all the time it used to take to text everyone I know and ask, “What are you doing this weekend?”
And, if while I am deciding between having a few beers with some friends or goingbowling, I just happen to see on my news feed that a local hottie is now listed as single, then I can just click “like” and see if he takes the bait. Is it the stuff of fairy tales? Not quite. But then again, Cinderella never had to deal with the Internet.