‘Are you serious?’ It’s that classic question uttered by Gen Y a million times and more.
And, it seems that, when it comes to being serious on dating sites, Gen Y is seriously serious.
A few years back, Gen Y was focused on ‘hooking up’. It was hard to define what that actually meant. If a Gen Y said ‘hooking up’ to their parents, the term meant ‘being friends’ or ‘getting closer’. If a Gen Y said ‘hooking up’ to another Gen Y, it could often mean ‘a casual, intimate relationship’. In general, there was always one word missing from the definition: ‘commitment’.
But, ‘dating’ was something a little different from ‘hooking up’. ‘Dating’ was used very loosely, too; however, it sometimes had that grown-up word ‘commitment’ in its definition.
Gen Y is now a term applied to people who have reached 30. And, their interests and lifestyles are changing rapidly towards adult, middle age. So, it’s marriage, children and a secure job.
But, that doesn’t mean they are going to change their lives in other ways. They have no problem looking for a conservative and secure life using modern social network technology. In a recent survey, a big majority of Gen Y women said they felt positive about getting married and a substantial majority of men felt the same.
So, ‘dating’ sites for Gen Y would be the obvious place to go to find ‘commitment’.
And, dating sites with compatibility tests, messaging, easy-reading profiles and support through forums, have become the efficient way to find Mr or Ms Right. Not that it stops there.
Gen Y was probably the first to Google prospective partners before meeting them. Now, they ‘background’ them by scrolling through Facebook timelines.
And, they use all the apps they can download to fill in any knowledge gaps and to avoid social flaps. They find that special restaurant that’s close by and inexpensive. They know the latest hot topic that interests their prospective partner and which celebrity tweeted about it two hours ago. They use message mining to read deeply into SMS and Facebook chat. They have a huge advantage in their reactions and they can easily avoid distractions.
It really is a case of ‘watch this space’. Dating sites have now been around so long that some of their users have grown up and, inevitably, changed.
And, like Gen Y, a whole cohort of users will push dating sites to adopt new technologies and new social supports.
Dating sites will have to alter as Gen Y focuses more intently on the altar.
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