At Cyber-Dating Expert, we like to report on the latest trends in online dating and mobile dating apps. Is the digital world getting more complicated or becoming easier with reliance on text messages?
Our friends at JDate and ChristianMingle just released their study on the impact of mobile phones and relationships based on a survey of 1500 singles aged 21-50, which we’d like to share with you. I read the in-depth study, The Dating Game: Mobile Technology Redefines the Rules for Singles and realized one thing for sure; the cell phone has replaced a fancy purse as the accessory of choice, that is, unless there’s room for your mobile phone in your purse.
While we know the increase in cell phone usage has resulted in a dramatic increase in sending text messages to schedule a date or to stay in touch in between dates, the alarming data of who sleep with their phone in bed with them is startling. According to the survey, 50% of singles think they might be addicted to their cell phones, with 25% of singles 21-26 reporting that they actually sleep with their cell phones in bed with them. For those who don’t feel the need to cuddle with your mobile phone, we found out that many of you are just an arm’s length away from your phone, which is prominently placed on the table next to your bed or on the floor close by.
Data Before Hygiene
When it’s time to wake up in the morning, what do singles do first? Ahead of brushing their teeth, they reach for their mobile phones. According to the survey a whopping 56% of singles aged 21-26 check their mobile devices for e-mails, text messages, or voicemail (44% overall) as compared to 19% of singles who diligently brush their teeth first before grabbing onto their favorite mobile device.
When it’s time to schedule your online date, the survey found that texting is the most popular for those aged 21-26 with 50% saying they’ll text several times a day before their first date. In addition, approximately 1/3 of both men and women believe it’s less intimidating to ask someone out on a date instead of picking up the phone to call. Singles are using texting for digital foreplay and flirting leading up to a date and making reservations for restaurants.
Call me old-fashioned, but I still like to hear the sound of someone’s voice on the end of the phone, even if details of scheduling are done via text. Apparently I’m not alone as the study reported that 68% of singles prefer scheduling a date on the phone as compared to 20% who prefer texting.
Cell Phone and Dating Etiquette
Now that we know the cell phone isn’t going to be locked in a trunk while on a date, who can’t resist keeping it on the table or sneaking a peek? 98% of singles say they put the phone away on a date, but does that mean they’re still not attached? Not really. Somehow 67% of those surveyed found a way to check their phones, either at the table or in a bathroom break.
To the benefit of making us feel good after a date, 78% say they’ll send a text or communication within 24 hours if the date went well. Immediate gratification does have its place.
Til Text Do Us Part
When it’s time to part ways, how should you end your relationship? Of course I believe you should have the conversation in person if geographics allow, but at least by telephone so it’s a two way dialog. According to those surveyed, more than 50% said they would consider ending the relationship in a text message if they were casually dating and 24% would break up in a text message, even if it was a serious relationship. Where are your manners?
At the end of the digital day, I believe in treating someone the way that you want to be treated. Don’t let your mobile phone end up higher on the totem pole than your date when you’re sitting at the table, or you might be the recipient of a breakup text, no remorse included.
Are you using your mobile phones to schedule dates? Would you check your messages while on a date?
Photo Credit © naka – Fotolia.com
Julie Spira is an online dating expert and writes about the marriage of love and technology. She’s the author of the bestseller, The Perils of Cyber-Dating and coaches singles on the dating scene. For more online dating advice, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt.
As one who has studied and coached singles on the intersection of love and technology for 20 years, it was an honor to be called upon by behavior and relationship reporter Sharon Jayson for her in-depth story in Love 2.0: The Tech Effect on Romance.
Appearing as the cover story of the USA Today Weekend edition, Jayson wrote about a recent study conducted by online dating sites JDate and Christian Mingle in which 1500 singles aged 21-50 shared their thoughts on how mobile phone technology and texting when it comes to matters of the heart.
The USA Today article makes a bold statement. Jayson reports that “Cellphones and texting have blown up the dating culture.”
With the growth of smartphones, popularity of unlimited texting and data plans, it’s no wonder that singles are relying on their mobile phones to set up a date, cancel a date, make dinner reservations, order theater tickets, and yes, unfortunately break up.
In my conversation with Jayson, she asked me how long I believed a person should wait to return a text message. In my expert opinion, I thought 1-4 hours is polite.
The survey showed a surprising amount of singles (25%) believed that a text from a potential date or romantic partner should be returned within one hour. One hour? Think about it. If you’re in a meeting, on a conference call, on an airplane, or your phone is charging, does that mean you’re not interested? My big concern is the growing anxiety associated with response time for text messages, which appears to be shrinking. Another 25% thought 1-3 hours would be appropriate, followed by 12% who believed 4-6 hours would be fine. Responding immediately came in fourth place at 10%.
Does this mean your significant should go into the digital doghouse if you don’t hear from him or her in 1-6 hours?
When I was asked about my thoughts on breaking up in a text message, I was completely against it. However, the survey found that 59% might break up via text and even 24% had no problem breaking up with someone they were exclusively involved with.
Tone doesn’t come through in a text, and that can lead to misunderstandings, especially when a comment gets misconstrued and “your text may not get returned,” suggests cyber-relations and netiquette expert Julie Spira of Los Angeles. She’s author of the 2009 book The Perils of Cyber-Dating, which includes a chapter on netiquette.
The risk of misinterpreted texts is especially high in new relationships.
“There’s so little you know at that point,” Spira says. “You make all these digital assumptions that it’s one-size-fits-all — and it’s not.”
Sure, many celebrities have done so, including Russell Brand who notified Katy Perry of their divorce in a text message, but is it right?
Would you break up with someone in a text message? Your comments are welcome.
Julie Spira is an online dating expert and author of The Perils of Cyber-Dating. She writes about the marriage of love and technology and coaches singles on the dating scene. Follow @JulieSpira on Twitter.
It’s been a decade since Carrie Bradshaw was dumped by Berger in a post-it in Sex and the City. Now it appears, even breakups via email are becoming passé and a text message ending has become more popular flavor du jour.
I was interviewed in an article, which appeared on USA Today called Would you break up by sending a text? In the story, relationship writer Sharon Jayson reported that Katy Perry was notified by Russell Brand via text message they’d be getting divorced. Ouch.
Jayson was working on an in-depth article based upon a new survey conducted by online dating sites JDate and Christian Mingle. The study encompassed 1500 singles from 21-50 years of age who were either dating or had been in a relationship for up to two years.
The interesting findings showed the following:
- 59% of daters might break up with someone they are dating via text message
- 24% might end an exclusive relationship by sending a text
- 96% of singles hide their cell phones
- 67% find a way to check their mobile phones during a date
It’s alarming to me that so many singles make the excuse of going on a bathroom break during a date to actually text a friend about their date or to check their emails and voicemails in between the appetizer and the main course.
Where have all the manners gone?
I’m a big lover of technology and even believe that some digital foreplay and casual flirting via text messaging can enhance your dating life. I also believe, as I share in The Rules of Netiquette, that your mobile phone is not an accessory. It should be put in your purse or your pocket while on a date.
However, lately I even find myself breaking my own netiquette rules and using my cell phone on a date from time-to-time. From checking in on Four-Square Facebook Places, or Google Plus, to snapping a photo of each course of my meal on my cell phone to upload to Instagram and share on Facebook, my cell phone seems to resurface, with permission of course, and never on a first date. It can be fun and flirty, but ONLY if you’re on the same digital page as your date.
You must simply ask, “Do you mind if I take a photo of this beautiful meal and share it on Facebook?” Usually, the answer will be no, go right ahead. But there is a huge difference from sharing your mutual enjoyment of memorializing the date together snapping photos of the meal he selected for you, than checking your phone to see who else sent you a text or a tweet. That my friends sends a message that your date isn’t as important as someone else who might pop up in a text message asking you out for dessert.
Back to the subject at hand, the text message break up. How much are we relying on our mobile phones to help us multitask with everyday chores and matters of the heart? More-and-more every day according to this recent survey. About 25% of singles 21-26 will use their mobile phones to seek out information about a date, with a higher number of 38% using their cell phones to schedule and plan their date. But don’t wait too long to respond to his or her text to accept a date. Most singles are expecting a response in 1-3 hours now. That is, unless you’re getting dumped in a text message. In that case, lose his or her number, unfriend him or her on Facebook, and put away your mobile phone and take a good walk with a friend.
If singles are starting their digital courtship by asking someone out on a date via text, it shouldn’t be a huge surprise if the relationship ends the same way it started.
As I shared with USA Today,
“The risk of misinterpreted texts is especially high in new relationships. There’s so little you know at that point. You make all these digital assumptions that it’s one-size-fits-all — and it’s not.”
Another digital breakup study we reported on showed that 30% of singles admitted to initiating a breakup on Facebook, text messaging or email. By now, we think that number is continuing to rise. Dating site WhatsYourPrice.com’s recent survey of 7,500 of its male members and 8,300 of its female members found that an overwhelming 83% of the men had broken up with someone via text message, as compared to only 18% of the women.
So I ask you, would you break up with someone you were dating in a text message? Is that how you’d like someone to end their relationship with you?
Your comments are welcome.
Julie Spira is an online dating expert and author of The Perils of Cyber-Dating. She’s writing her second book, The Rules of Netiquette: How to Mind Your Digital Manners. Follow @JulieSpira on Twitter for more netiquette and dating advice and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt.
With Tinder becoming the fastest growing mobile dating app since its launch last October, it’s no wonder that everyone is checking out this fun and flirty free dating app.
When New York Magazine’s The Cut reported that 2012’s Miss USA, the gorgeous Nana Meriwether, had a profile on Tinder, people started to wonder why such a beauty needed to resort to creating an online dating profile. Most of the media joined in and the story became viral.
This actually bothered me a lot. It gave the impression that online dating and mobile dating apps are just for those who can’t find a date on their own. I couldn’t disagree more.
Meriwether shared with The Cut, that she’s been a member of Tinder since April, but she doesn’t take online dating very seriously, and only browses Tinder while hanging out with her girlfriends.
In the article, Meriwether what many singles in New York are frustrated with, that dating is just hard, even in a big city with so many options.
“Here’s the thing about dating in New York: It doesn’t exist,” she tells NY Magazine. “There’s so much going on in the city, there are so many distractions that people just forget to go on a second date.”
Tinder makes online dating more fun and more of a social experience. Like many others, Meriwether isn’t actually dating on Tinder, but she’s looking at men and even checking off a few that she liked.
Meriwether told The Cut, “I’m like, ‘Yeah, of course.’ Even pageant-title-holders get lonely.” Even though she’s approved a few profiles, she hasn’t actually gone on an online date.
During my most recently held Mobile Dating BootCamp, four out of six singles used the Tinder mobile dating app to find a date or love, but mostly out of curiosity to find out what the rage was all about. One of the daters actually did meet someone from Tinder. Others felt it was more for hooking up and deciding if someone was attractive or not.
Are you one of the millions of people using Tinder? Do you find it to be a fun game or do you think you can meet someone from the app.
Julie Spira is a top online dating expert and was a very early adopter of Internet dating. She’s the host of Mobile Dating BootCamp and Online Dating BootCamp. Julie creates irresistible profiles for singles on the dating scene and is the author of the bestseller, The Perils of Cyber-Dating. For more online dating advice, sign up for the free Weekly Flirt and follow @JulieSpira on Twitter.
What happens when a radio show host needs help with his online dating journey?
Watch as David Nelson enlists the help of online dating expert Julie Spira in a radio and video series to improve his chances at finding love online on the Steve Malzberg Show.
In this video, David makes the mistake of winking and waiting and does what many men have done with Internet dating; only made decisions based upon the photos.
Julie helps David prepare for his very first online date on Match.com with high hopes that his date will become a success.
- Arrive on time.
- Send a flirt text in advance of your date and when you arrive.
- If you’re enjoying her company, extend the evening to dinner.
- Read her profile completely before the first date and take a copy with you.
- Ask her for a second date if the date goes well and put it on the calendar.
Julie Spira is a top online dating expert and bestselling author of The Perils of Cyber-Dating. She creates Irresistible Profiles for singles on the dating scene. For more online dating advice, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt.
Every year on July 6th, singles and couples will have a good excuse to become more romantic and flirty for this annual holiday. As it falls on a Saturday this year, it’s time to get creative, both on the lips and in the desired location of that memorable kiss.
In honor of International Kissing Day, our friends at online dating site Zoosk conducted a survey of 3500 singles in the United States to find out everything you need to know about kissing. From air kisses to French kisses, find out the most popular styles of kissing and the biggest turn-offs for a bad kiss.
According to the survey, most singles have dated a bad kisser. With 73% of the singles polled claiming they’ve been stuck in a bad kissing situation, know that you’re not alone when you meet a kisser with the slobbering tongue, bad breath, or the one who kisses with his or her mouth closed.
Speaking of closed, the Zoosk survey showed that 83% of singles do prefer to kiss with their eyes closed as compared to wide-open.
Music and romance do go hand-in-hand, so it’s natural that those surveyed had some favorite make-out songs. The top selections included “Could I Have This Kiss Forever” by Whitney Houston & Enrique Iglesias, as well as “A Kiss From a Rose” by Seal and “Blow Me One Last Kiss” by Pink.
French kissing, surprisingly enough is more popular in the United States than in France. According to the survey, 46% of Americans prefer the French kiss as compared to 21% of those kissing in France.
Where do couples want to memorialize their kiss? The beach came in as the top choice with 30% of the votes, followed by kissing in the car, by a roaring fireplace, and on a carriage ride in Central Park in New York City.
If you’re away from your sweetheart, remember to send a few digital hugs and kisses XOXO’s via text on your mobile phone to celebrate International Kissing Day. Remember that a goodbye kiss can be more important than the hello kiss and leave a wonderful memory to the end of your date.
What’s your kissing style? Do you have your own kissing dos and don’ts? A dream spot for that first kiss?
Of more than 19,000 couples who married between 2005 and 2012, 35 percent originally met online, according to a study conducted by the market research firm IBISWorld (and funded by eHarmony). The research found that couples who met online were less likely to divorce and experienced higher levels of marital satisfaction.
With those types of statistics and the overall grim nature of dating, why not take a chance to meet the love of your life on the Internet? We know first-time online daters may be skeptical. Keep a positive attitude and be prepared to face any of these online dating risks:
Exaggerated Online Identities
For some people, online dating websites are spaces to set the past right again and erase relationship mistakes. It’s a space where people want to appear as perfect as possible, from a Photoshopped portrait to a falsely crafted profile. Unfortunately, the disparity between an online dater’s perfect self and the real self is often so gaping that in-person dates can be disastrous, as you can read from some of our Peril of the Week stories or in my bestselling book, The Perils of Cyber-Dating. Whether or not someone will live up to who they seem to be online is a gamble. Prepare yourself to take that chance and never let disappointment shatter your spirit.
“Catfishing” is the act of creating a completely fictitious online persona (often via Facebook) to mislead or defraud others, according to LifeLock. It’s easy to get tricked into believing catfish are real, as they go to great lengths to develop fake profiles, including those with more than 300 friends and photographs to make it look real. Facebook photographs can easily be stolen from accounts of real people and falsely used on a catfish’s faux Facebook profile. To combat this:
- Do a Google search on Facebook photos, which could easily be stolen from others’ profiles
- Do the same with a few distinctive phrases in the person’s profile bio. Perpetrators often have duplicate or near-duplicate profiles on multiple sites, each with a different picture or location
- Fraud and identity theft aren’t the norm, but they happen. Limit how much personal information you share until you know you can trust your potential date.
With so many dating sites and pages upon pages of singles’ profiles, it’s easy to maintain high standards and keep a mentality that, “someone better may be out there.” You should never have to settle for someone with whom you don’t have a connection, but focusing on trivial aspects of a person’s profile or appearance will only hinder your quest to find the one. Know your deal breakers while keeping an open mind.
Also, understand that many online daters become addicted to the process and accustomed to easily disposing of people they’ve met. Make it a point not to take rejections personally. You can’t let your self-worth and confidence break down because of strangers over the Internet.
A Proper Profile
Have a friend or family member whom you can trust to look over your profile or allow us to create your Irresistible Profile to help you attract your dream date and to ensure that it accurately represents who you are. Honesty is the best policy, especially in regards to photos. Oprah.com’s “Tips for Successful Online Dating” recommends that online daters keep pictures “recent and real.” Posted pictures should be taken within the last six months and include both a headshot and full-body shot. Also, avoid pictures with props and try not to post pictures taken with other people.
At Cyber-Dating Expert, we believe in authenticity from the onset and wish you much love and joy in cyberspace, or wherever you may roam.
Julie Spira is a top online dating expert and was an early adopter of online dating. She’s the author of the bestseller, The Perils of Cyber-Dating and coaches singles on the dating scene. For more online dating advice, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter.
Our friends at YourTango just completed their Dating in a Digital Age survey and found that 63% of singles are using online dating sites to find a serious relationship.
Of those surveyed, 95% said they have used Facebook to find a date. This number is enormous and does give hope to singles that cyber love is truly a way of everyday life.
So how do you make sure you’re putting your best digital foot forward?
Let’s start with amping up your Facebook profile.
Putting the best primary photo you can possibly find is key to your success in finding love on Facebook. Posting a photo with your BFF is off-limits. One with your cousin is also off the list if you’re single. It can send confusing messages and you won’t know for sure that someone is single. Posting no photo at all is as obsolete as the fax machine or VHS player. Remember, your photo will appear in a search, even to non-friends who would like to connect with you.
The YourTango study confirmed this as they found that two-thirds would not go on a date with someone whose profile contains no photos.
Think you’re too shy to let someone know you’re single? Think again. Not posting you’re relationship status as “Single” or “Divorced” doesn’t mean you’re desperate. It means you’re stating your intention that you’re available for a relationship. On Facebook Love Stories, you’ll read the heartwarming story of Taunia and Jake. When Taunia changed her relationship status to “Divorced,” she became reunited with a former boyfriend from twenty years earlier. The two got engaged at the Eiffel Tower in Paris and will be getting married this summer. Is that worth the free advertising on Facebook if you want to find love? We think so.
BECOME A FACEBOOK FLIRT
If you have a digital crush on someone, spend time occasionally “liking” and commenting on his or her posts. Don’t overdo it, as you don’t want to come across as an obsessed cyber-stalking type. It’s digital foreplay and it’s amazing how it really works.
WATCH WHAT YOU POST
Posting photos and party shots over-and-over again might not send the message that you’re relationship material. Make sure your posts are varied and not all about you. Ask engaging questions in your posts and thank those who comment. Even if he or she won’t be the love of your life, think about their extended social network. Who doesn’t want to play digital matchmaker?
Are you flirting on Facebook? Do you think Facebook could be the world’s largest dating site? You’re comments are welcome.
Julie Spira is an online dating expert and founder of Cyber-Dating Expert and Facebook Love Stories. She creates irresistible profiles for singles on the dating scene. For more digital dating advice, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and visit our Cyber-Dating Expert and Facebook Love Stories pages.
In a Harris Interactive study, commissioned by eHarmony, the new statistics show that over 1/3 of recent marriages have actually met online. This clearly shows that more people are interested in finding a serious relationship through a digital connection. The findings were published in the journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study, titled “Marital satisfaction and break-ups differ across on-line and off-line meeting venues,” is based on a survey of almost 20,000 people who wed between 2005 and 2012.
Just how much more satisfied are these relationships? On a scale of 1-10, relationships from online dating ranked 5.64 as compared to offline relationships at 5.48. Of those who met online, 45% met in a traditional online dating site and almost 21% met on a social networking site.
To be successful in online dating, I believe that you need to be very specific in what you’re looking for. More-and-more people are joining online dating sites for the first time, due to divorce, death of a spouse, or relationships running their course.
Earlier this year, we launched Facebook Love Stories to focus on the large amount of couples who are finding love through social networking sites.
So does online dating work? It certainly does, but you need to be patient and diligent in the process if you’re seriously interested in finding love on the Internet. Those who give up after a week or a month will be naysayers, but those who understand that finding love or a life partner is probably more important than finding your next job, should take the time and enjoy the journey.
Wishing you much love and joy in cyberspace, or wherever you may roam.
Julie Spira is a top online dating expert and dating coach. She’s the author of the bestseller, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online. Julie creates Irresistible Profiles for singles on the dating scene. Follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt.
Meet Lauren who signed up for Online Dating BootCamp with Cyber-Dating Expert Julie Spira. In a video series on YourTango, we’ll follow her progress while she looks for love online.
Lauren has a new profile on Match and has high hopes that she’ll find someone to marry.
In this video, you’ll find out how to create a catchy screen name, learn the best number of photos to include in an Internet dating profile, and how to describe exactly what you’re looking for.