Social Networks and Online Dating Collide!

Socializing is the cornerstone of any civilization. Your ability to communicate in a timely, organized and productive fashion is critical to do pretty much anything. Without interaction, we have no society. Without a society, we have no civility. With no civility, we have anarchy. Ergo, being social is the root of all things good! Taking this frame of thought, it is no wonder social networks like Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, and FourSquare have taken over the globe to a point where it feels like we consume 8.5 pounds of social Spam every day.

While being “social” may be the root of all that is good, be warned, it is also the root of all things evil. The ability to control interaction and how we digest, share then act on information is a VERY powerful tool. So powerful, its scary. In the trades this week, Facebook is in hot water for disseminating information to 3rd party sources without alleged user consent. Yes, this DIRECTLY affects you. If you think your information is private, think again. The hyper level of automated interaction Facebook initiated was a very bad thing. Facebook broke a cardinal sin in the digital world. They violated your privacy. They violated you. Or did they?

Facebook is a social “network.” Sharing information is part of being social. Sharing is inherent in a network so… what’s the problem? Why is everybody freaking out about what Facebook did when in reality they simply initiated the function a network is supposed to take. It shared.

To make a long story shorter, it is for the above reason that I will NEVER join an online dating website website that is integrated with social networking tools. There are online dating websites rooted within many of the popular social networks, so be careful what you sign up for. Facebook shares some of your likes, hobbies, and where you went to school (among other things) to 3rd parties. While they actually get your “consent” in fine print, most users don’t know their information is being shared because, who reads the fine print?

Granted, I don’t think many people are going to suffer if the world knows you like Justin Bieber, but what happens if an online dating website built within Facebook, or the “sharing is caring” people at your social networking site decide to share your dating information? Would you be okay if your network of friends knew your income, sexual desires, biggest fears and that you were lonely? What if your Mother, or your ex-boyfriend was in your network of friends? What if somebody stalks you? I LOVE online dating and I suggest you do it, but my advice is to RUN and HIDE from any dating website that syncs with your social network.

Remember, online dating websites are NOT social networks. They’re websites that help facilitate dates and introductions. I believe dating websites should be free like Facebook or MySpace, but for some reason may of them are not. That’s a story for another day.

To close this story I implore you: social network on a social networking site and only share what you want the world to know about you. Be resigned to the fact that there is no privacy on a network. Secondly, find a date on an online dating website. Its 2010… If you’re not online dating and you’re single, there is something wrong with you. Finally, NEVER merge the two worlds!