Image 2: Brett Ellis ( photographer). 2017. Making Online Dating Suck Less [ photo], Retrieved March 26, 2017, from http://www.weddedwonderland.com/online-dating-the-pros-and-cons/
Image 1: [ Dm photo]. Retrieved March 26,2017, from http://www.thelmathinks.com/2016/07/missing-one-it-goes-down-in-dm.html

With the popularity of social media and the everywhere access provided to us by smartphones and readily available Wi-Fi; it should be no shock that we use the Internet to search for food, entertainment and to find a mate. One of the great promises of smartphones and Internet was that it would change the way we communicate. Well promise fulfilled, but I’m not sure that is exactly what we expected or had in mind, as text messaging, and social media posting has almost replaced standard phone calls and face to face interactions; in fact, the closest you can get to face to face is a video call for some people.

Yet, for every benefit presented there are abuses and for every good, a bad. Social media has allowed for new levels of creeper activity.

“What kind of man asks a woman out via social media? It just seems so lazy and low class. Do men really think a relationship will form from some DM’s?” (Shelley, 34 yr. old tax accountant)

Well, to be honest, any kind of man. There is no particular type; all it requires is a little boldness. But, if we remove the stigma of online dating and recognize the progression that men go through before going to the dm’s, it’s not that much different than a man approaching you anywhere else. Just add this to the long list of places where it is almost no longer acceptable to approach a woman (e.g. your job, his job, the gym, church, etc.)

The internet/social media is the 21st-century gathering spot. Let’s just say your timeline is your table in the club. Just like in each room in a club the energy is different, the music, conversation, and how we move in each room changes. Now that we’re all at the club (the internet/social media), let’s go through the steps men go through before approaching you privately.

Lurkers – The observant people, that don’t really speak or participate, they just watch and study the room. Think of wall flowers. They just want to see who may catch their interest. The negative side of this are stalkers, just as in the physical club you can have internet stalkers that follow you on every platform (destination), know of your entire life, they never speak, they never like, they just watch. These people know when you’re signed on and off, and they know when you haven’t been on in a while.  Most men will start in this area, they’ll watch your timeline and comments for a while, they may go through it every now and then and look at your pictures; all without liking anything or friend requesting you. He usually doesn’t outright approach on the first time he sees or just because he thinks you’re attractive. He watches a while.

Likes – The next step is to like. Likes are essentially compliments and acknowledgment. It’s essentially the way to introduce you; we all notice a new or unusual like. It puts you on the person’s radar. Now, how often and what they compliment and how quickly, are what makes it acceptable or creepy. Think of the person that casually speaks every time they see you but they don’t really know you or talk beyond small talk.  Think of the man that constantly gives you unwanted or weird compliments at work, church or anywhere else. Likes if done incorrectly can be creepy. But still not unlike any real world situation.

Comments – Comments are attempts to start a conversation and gain acknowledgment if you reply it’s like talking back. Think of it as sending someone a drink in the club. The conversation here is very open and public and informal, think of having a conversation next to the bar, on the dance floor or at a cocktail table in plain sight. But it’s where decisions are made. Think of trolling as harassment or unwanted attention.

DM – A direct message is talking in private. This is pulling them to the side, sliding them your number or asking for theirs after you’ve had some decent conversation. The dm is where we can ask personal questions, flirt, etc., it’s what the standard phone call used to be. Except now we can add videos and pictures to the mix. Those personal conversations are now a whole lot more personal. Abuses here would be asking for nudes, sending an unsolicited d**k pic, etc.

Can a relationship start in the dm’s? It can and to be honest if you look at it the right way, it’s honestly not that much different from a relationship starting via a face-to-face interaction. It’s the same steps just in reverse order, instead of meeting face to face then talking on the phone; it’s talking on the phone then meeting face to face. And if both parties are open to it, if the conversation is good, the right questions are being asked and the interest is mutual; then what’s the problem? Good people and those with dating potential can be found everywhere, and there’s is no particular type, kind or brand of man that would miss out on the what he thought to be the right woman just because he met her on the internet. Men meet and approach women wherever they are, you’ll miss out on a lot of good things if you wait for what you believe to be perfect conditions.

Written By: Johnny Brownlee II

Follow Johnny on Instagram: @slin_k_polymath

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