At the Urban Dater, if I'm not writing about dick and fart jokes it just isn't “business as usual.” People wonder what the hell is going on. However, since my dear mother reads this blog, as well as many other parents, I've decided to do something a little different. Today, we're going to class the joint up and welcome Ms. Laurie Davis to our blog for an interview. Laurie discusses emerging trends in online dating and flirting and shares some tips for those looking for love online.
Alex: At a recent event – Shift Happens – you discussed how technology has changed dating. What do you think are some good takeaways for those not up on emerging dating trends?
Laurie Davis: The focus of my presentation was how you can manage your entire dating life from your smart phone. Most people say “What did we ever do without the iPhone,” but I say that it’s an under-utilized tool for your dating life. Smart phones are more vital to your love life than you know.
Traditional online dating sites like Match and Okcupid have apps that allow you to manage your accounts on the go. Location-based apps like Urban Signals and Meet Moi allow you to meet your perfect match in real-time. You can plan a date with Urban Daddy’s The Next Move app. When you’re out at night, you can strategize the best flirting situation based on Foursquare and Gowalla check-ins. eFlirting can even happen on Facebook and Twitter apps. I’ve actually proposed a panel like this for the next South by Southwest Conference. Vote for it here: Tweet and Check-in Your Way To Love.
Alex: How has technology helped you with your business and how does it help you with your clientele?
Laurie Davis: eFlirt Expert helps singles date online and transition offline, so technology is an integral part of our business. We take a strategic approach to online dating – what site should you be on, what key messages should you send your matches, what other platforms might be right for your eFlirting, etc.
Because of this, I’m basically obsessed with staying on top of technology trends. That also means that I’m a tech addict myself. You can find me tweeting, checking-in and updating my status at all hours of the day. I use social media – and whatever that next awesome technology platform is – to connect with online daters, give advice to the masses and grow my business.
Alex: I wrote a piece on Technology and dating recently. I made the observation that because we lean on tech so heavily, it actually hinders us in some ways. What are your thoughts on that?
Laurie Davis: The bottom line is that technology is here to stay. You mention in your post that we are missing out on interpersonal relationships because of technology, which I don’t think is true. Rather, emotion has gone online and we need to adapt to that. There is a right way and a wrong way to communicate online – the trick is to make it work for you, not against you. If you use technology in a positive way – by sending a cute eCard to your date, for example – it’s hard to go wrong. Technology can only hinder you if you let it.
Alex Vasquez: What do you see as the hottest emerging trend in online dating/flirting?
Laurie Davis: There are two other hot trends on my radar, other than the mobile apps I mentioned above.
Niche dating sites are really picking up speed in the online dating space. By this, I mean small communities of people who share a common interest. Ideally, singles should be on one of the big dating sites you see advertisements for as well as a smaller community of like-minded daters. You’ll meet two different groups of people on each, which can really broaden your dating horizons.
The other trend I’ve been noticing is social media flirting. Of course, people have been reconnecting on Facebook and Twitter before now, but now there are more tools available and singles are more conscious. Guys are starting to strategize and gals are beginning to become conscious of cyber advances. I’ll be writing a few pieces soon on the topic at www.eflirtexpert.com.
Alex: What are your thoughts on seeing multiple people at the same time? We're not talking serious relationships obviously, but does seeing more than one person help or hinder a dater's stock, if you will?
Laurie Davis: If you’re dating online, it’s actually necessary to see multiple people at the same time. Just because you had a great email exchange with John doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go out on a date with Greg, too. Be sure to keep perspective though – approach each date with a clear head and don’t compare! This can be a challenge – especially when your dates are back to back. It might seem unnatural not to compare things like the flow of conversation and the level of chemistry, but comparing is kind of like pre-judging. Until you give your feelings a few dates to develop, you won’t know where the budding relationship is going.
Alex: And lastly, what is the most common tip you seem to give to people?
Laurie Davis: When you’re searching for matches, don’t stay in your comfort zone. The amazing thing about online dating is that you have the opportunity to communicate with people who you wouldn’t otherwise bump into in real life. If you consistently reach out to only one “type,” you’re missing out on major possibilities.
About Laurie Davis, from her site:
Since Laurie Davis was a tween, she has been intrigued by online communications. To her parent’s dismay, she grew up in chat rooms and on Instant Messenger. Then, 10 years ago, she wrote her first online dating profile. Through trial and error, she learned what to always do … and what to never do. No advice existed, so she learned through experience. Then, she encouraged her friends to join various dating sites. Since she was a first adopter, she quickly became their virtual lifejacket in the sea of online dating and developed a passion for helping singles with the online written word. You can find Laurie Davis on Love Nation and at her personal site the eFlirtDateExpert.com where she discusses online dating and provides a number of useful services for savvy techie daters.