“Authenticity on the web is a slippery idea. Deep down we all want it (that’s human nature!), but earnestness on social media isn’t just uncomfortable, it’s embarrassing. Sites like Facebook and Twitter have conditioned us to believe that we deserve to be listened to—not just by our family and intimate circle of confidants, but also by the 900 “friends” we have on Facebook. The things we share tend to be superficial, impersonal and self-promotional. There’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, I’d argue that’s the way it should be. Those 900 friends on Facebook aren’t our therapists, so there’s no reason we should act like they are. But Bader and Byttow like to believe there’s a place for a more authentic web, and they hope Secret will give rise to it. In this imagined digital utopia, snark will be replaced with self-awareness and kindness. Under a thin veil of anonymity, people will be able to say what’s on their mind no matter how cheesy, horrifying or lame it might be.”
“Thirty-one percent of respondents’ most recent first dates stemmed from an online connection. It edged out meeting through a friend for the first time ever. Friend-of-a-friend connections accounted for 25 percent of first dates. Meeting through work came in third place, with 8 percent of singles getting dates that way, while meeting at a bar came in last with 6 percent. Dr. Helen Fisher, a biological anthropologist and chief scientific advisor for Match.com, confirmed to Betabeat that this is the first year online dating beat out any other way of clinching a first date.”
“Remembering is traditionally a social enterprise. One person knows how to cook a turkey. A partner recalls how to fix the leak in the sink.
The Internet changes everything. With nearly ubiquitous online access, many people may first perform a smartphone search rather than calling a friend.
Being online all the time changes the subjective sense of self as borders between personal memories and information distributed across the Internet start to blur.”
“And in the digital era, the teen bedroom has glass walls. Everyone can weigh in. “When your picture is ‘liked’ and commented on, it is a great boost of self-confidence and brings along much gratification,” writes one 16-year-old explaining the appeal of Instagram on a parenting website. The fact that these sites are social means you know whether people are paying attention to the aesthetic identity you’re working so hard to craft. I can only imagine the power that the like button would have held over me during my tween years. Modern adults aren’t immune, either. A survey of American mothers earlier this year found that 42 percent suffered from “Pinterest stress — the worry that they’re not crafty or creative enough.””
“"Reaction to disappointment and reality testing occurs more quickly face to face," Sandberg said in a statement. "There is a narrowness with texting and you don’t get to see the breadth of a person that you need to see." The pair surveyed 276 young adults around the country; 38% were in a serious relationship, 46% engaged, and 16% were married. One big (and, yes, obvious) takeaway from the study is that text messages are a standard way of communicating for most couples: 82% traded texts multiple times per day.”
That’s the percentage of Internet users who say they believe that online dating is a sensible way to meet people and make matches. (That’s up 15 percentage points from 2005.) (More data on online dating here.)
“Compared with 2005, those who are looking for love online are much more likely to have actually gone out on a date with someone they met there (66 percent for 2013, versus 43 percent in 2005); 59 percent of people, up from 44, believe that the Internet is a good way to meet people; and the percent who believe that online dating is for the desperate has fallen, from 29 to 21 percent.”
“If your reading material consists only of chick lit and Amazon bestsellers you’re probably not a very empathetic person. A new study by psychologists from the New School in New York, published this week in the journal Science, concludes that people who read literary fiction have the ability to navigate complex social relationships, identify and understand others’ subjective states and form empathic responses to them.”
“Remember the get-to-know-me chat of a first date or that final (good or bad) conversation with someone you knew for years? Chances are, as time has passed, your memory of those moments has changed. Did you nervously twitch and inarticulately explain your love when you asked your spouse to marry you? Or, as you recall it, did you gracefully ask for her hand, as charming as Cary Grant? Thanks to our near-endless access to digital recording devices, the less-than-Hollywood version of you will be immortalized on the home computer, or stored for generations in some digital computing cloud.”
“I don’t want to give too much of the plot away — I save my spoilers for below the jump. But the story, in brief, is that Nattie is at work one day when a telegraph operator in another city, who calls himself “C”, begins chatting her up. They engage in a virtual courtship, things get funny and romantic, until suddenly things take a most puzzling and mysterious turn. It’s all quite nuttily modern. Wired Love anticipates everything we live with in today’s online, Iphoned courtship: Assessing whether someone you’ve met online is what they say they are; the misunderstandings of tone and substance that come from communicating in rapid-fire, conversational bursts of text; or even the fact that you might not really be sure of the gender/nationality/species of the person you’re flirting with.”