Through Facebook, TIME Person of The Year Mark Zuckerberg has altered the dating game forever.
Today, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was named TIME "Person of the Year 2010." If the people at TIME were looking for a game-changer to receive this honor, they found the right man. Zuckerberg has undoubtedly altered the way more than half a billion people connect.
Through Facebook, and the door he helped open for other technology to slither into our lifestyles, we can now watch the interactions of our friends and families from thousands of miles away. We don't even have to see them in person. Which is amazing, intriguing, frightening and confusing all rolled into one.
We won't lie to you. This new-age concept is one we are certain we could no longer live without. Zuckerberg has changed communication forever, and he definitely deserves the TIME distinction. However, we would also like to personally note Mark for yet another feat.
He's managed to make our dating lives that much more complicated.
These days when you break up with someone, forget about letting him go. It takes about two minutes to stalk his Facebook wall, see that he is talking to a blonde he met last night at a bar, and feel totally upset. Now when we meet someone new we spend hours texting, Facebooking and tweeting our potential matches, and simultaneously misunderstanding, speculating and analyzing because we can't read their emotions through our cell phone and computer screens. What Is The Meaning Of Love In Online Dating?
It's frustrating at times. So in dating and relationship communication, it is necessary to find a balance between tweeting and talking.
"The negative side of relying solely on email, texting, and social media sites like Facebook and Twitter is that often your communication is unilateral," says YourTango Expert Julie Spira, who has written a book about cyber-dating, The Rules of Netiquette: How to Mind Your Manners on the Web. "Breaking up has become too easy to do online. In a relationship, you need to pick up the phone or set up a Skype date to hear someone's voice, or you run the risk of being misunderstood."
Regarding Zuckerberg's creation, Spira adds, "There's nothing worse than finding out on your Facebook wall that you're no longer in a relationship. He may change his status from 'In a Relationship' to 'Single' while you're still looking forward to Saturday's date with him."
Also, if you're communicating solely through texts, tweets, emails and wall posts, you may end up head-over-heels for someone's web persona, but not his real-life personality.
"If you rely solely on texting and tweeting, you may run the risk of falling in love with someone from behind the keyboard," Spira says. "It's not unusual to have a false sense of being in a relationship with someone you really don't know."
Web technology has also changed the concept of courtship, which can be a little disheartening. It feels almost too easy to win someone's affection these days, and that is not a good thing. Personally, we like to hear someone actually asking us out with words as opposed to a string of confusing texts, don't you? Online Dating: 7 Signs You Shouldn't Date Him
Spira cautions against making dates via Facebook or text messaging. "Don't ask them out and confirm plans only in a text," she says. "There still needs to be an element of old-fashioned courtship combined with today's technology in the modern digital world."
Ah, Mr. Zuckerberg. Genius? Perhaps, though he certainly has made the dating game more confusing. But hey, we will give credit where credit is due. When used correctly, his technology expansion has opened up a few ways for us to date more effectively, and share a little amusement along the way.
"Running late for a date? Send a text and let them know," Spira says. "Flirting on Facebook and Twitter can be fun and provides an instant way to connect, but remember to take your relationship from online to offline as soon as possible." Is Cyber Cheating Really Cheating?
So, we do have a few things to thank Mark for.
He might be TIME's "Person of the Year," he might have created a multi-billion dollar company in less than a decade, and he might have connected 500 million people. All that is well and good, but Zuckerberg has also changed the way we date.
Now, that's what we call noteworthy.