I just received some junk email from eHarmony today peddling their services. It made me wonder, in this day and age if people still use services like eHarmony, Match.com, Yahoo! Personals, true.com, chemistry.com, or any other service when you can get a truer sense of what people are really like on social networking sites. The way that I see it, on Facebook you have someone’s real name, and using Google to research that should not only not be an issue, but it shouldn’t even be necessary. Let’s face it; most of the friends they have on Facebook are people that they have had some remote contact with in real life at some point in time. If they aren’t right for you, or are a jerk; it should be clear in their interactions with other people on that network. In fact you can get a better idea of how they are around others through Facebook than you may ever get to learn of them in real life where they can aggressively control who gets to see them in what situations.
Of course you can hide your conversations in Facebook, but you should be able to learn enough of what they write on people’s wall, and what people write on theirs, and their news feed to feel them out. Twitter is a bit different; the service is for narcissists, and everyone on there is selling or pushing some idea, rhetoric, or service or product. However you can still learn a lot about someone’s true nature on Twitter. First of all you have to be aggressive to last on Twitter because the service is very confusing to navigate, and you will never have a lot of friends, if you do not know how to assert yourself. Someone who you normally think is just meek and quiet, could actually have a very outgoing personality on Twitter; this tells you that in the right situations given the right circumstances, they can be very outgoing.
Someone who posts a lot of links on Twitter of someone else’s thoughts and ideas that they think is cool, but has no original thoughts of their own, is socially awkward and doesn’t really know what to say. They are the same people who, in real life, will talk about the weather or politics, or even religion, in order to get a heated debate going, through which they can come out of their shell. Someone who has a lot to say, but posts few links of anything, is probably really outgoing in real life, but could very well just be that narcissist that is all about themselves that you want to avoid. Everything is “look at me”; there are so many television programs or conversations you had with someone else that I want to hear about. Finally, someone who has a lot to say through links to their own work but has little to actually say in that 140 character tweet speaks through their writings and their art. If you ever were to meet them in person, they would be shy, and probably pull out a book they wrote or a poem they put together and start the conversation off that way.
They’re not the ones that you would look for your handyman business because they belong to an entirely different breed which makes them as tougher nuts to crack that would take a lot of time.
Social networks allow you to see people for who they truly are because you can see how they interact with other individuals before you ever meet them. So why would anyone pay money to rely on someone’s good profile, or good member rating, just to find out that person is only putting their best foot forward online, and isn’t being completely honest. If I were looking for a quick and dirty way to hook up, that option might work, but for considering whether or not I wanted to be with someone for the long-term, I would probably join their social networks …