In a recent podcast, I interviewed Amber Boone, host of the podcast “30, Flirty and Thriving,” and frequent speaker on the use of social media, particularly dating apps and what dating is like in the real world today. Here is an excerpt from my podcast, Smart Sex, Smart Love:
Joe Kort (JK): I am still shocked that teenagers are embarrassed and feel shame about meeting people on social media. Will you talk about that?
Amber Boone (AB): I think there’s always going to be some sort of stigma, particularly for younger people, because there are so many ways besides social media or a dating app to meet people.
JK: I am thinking this would be true of my generation, but with this new generation so much is online. In my office, clients are telling me, “you know, I shouldn’t tell people this, but I met someone on Bumblebee.” What’s wrong with that?
AB: I think it's more of the dating app thing. No one wants to admit they were seeking love on an app. Social media is a social platform. You can get to know people and maybe build some sort of connection. It can happen organically. If you're on an app that means you've made a conscious decision to date, to want sex, to want love.JK: Why is there a stigma about using a dating app?AB: Nobody wants to admit they're looking for love. Everybody wants to be really cool and keep their options open and feel like they don't need a person. And, they feel it is a blow to their ego – they aren’t capable of finding someone in “real life.” I think people want to be proud of the fact that they found someone organically.
JK: What about social media? Isn’t it a great way to start a relationship?
AB: Yes. It’s an easy way to meet people. So many people are online. I think it's a good opportunity for you to look beyond the look. With most dating apps, you just get an image of a person and you decide right there that split second based on the image. Most people don't even read the bio.
JK: What do you think about that?
AB: After my divorce, I downloaded “Plenty of Fish” as an experiment just to see what it was like and to learn more about the whole experience and process. It was a little bit overwhelming for a woman. I don't want to say just for a woman, but I hear these stories more from women of how men are very aggressive on there. You go on the app to meet someone and your inbox is flooded. You don't know how to weed out the good from the bad. For someone like me, attraction comes more from just your aesthetic, from your whole vibe, how you’re standing, how you’re moving, your mannerisms, your personality – all of that. With a dating app, you can’t learn that.
JK: I know many people who have met their spouse on a dating app.
AB: I met someone off a dating app. We had a great conversation through the messaging, and he was extremely attractive. I was new at this, so I didn’t talk with him on the phone. We decided to meet, and there was a miscommunication on where we were supposed to meet so I had to call him. When he answered the phone, his voice was such a turnoff. I couldn’t get past it. I kept thinking, “this can’t be the same person I was messaging.” And his intelligence was just not there.
JK: Some apps have a webcam where a person can add a video of themselves. What do you think of that?
AB : I think the video component is really important. Like my experience, a webcam would have made a difference. My tip is to always make sure you have some sort of phone or video communication before you meet someone.
JK: How could someone kill the opportunity for a relationship on social media?
AB: Anything that's controversial is going to be touchy on social media. It could ruin potential dating or partnerships or job opportunities. If you've got pictures with a bunch of different men or a bunch of different women all the time, someone who may be interested in you may think you are a player and they don’t want to deal with that. Or if they're overly political and you have different political views, that could be a killer before the relationship even starts. And don’t post anything derogatory. Sometimes we use social media as our personal diary, so if we're feeling something really intensely, we go to Facebook or Instagram or Snapchat. I think those are private moments that don't necessarily need to be shared with people who don't know you, who don't understand and will make judgments. This could cost you a potential relationship or even a job.
JK: So, how do you tactfully end a bad date?AB: Unless the person is incredibly rude, I always see what I can learn from a person, so I try to stick it out. When the meeting is over, rather than saying, “I will call you,” you can say, “that was fun, it was good to meet you, thank you.” That’s it.
JK: What if they don’t get the hint and they call you several times. How do you tactfully say you are not interested?
AB: Just tell the truth. Ultimately, the closing statement is, “I don’t think there's a love connection. I would love to be your friend and we can talk some time, but this isn't a love connection.” I have no problem saying that. You're not responsible for someone else's reaction, but I would avoid telling someone you are not into them. You don't want to make it about them. They can interpret it as hurtful. That’s why I have found saying there is not a love connection seems to work. No one has to take the blame. I haven't had anyone freak out on me over that. So, so far, so good.
In summary, I would like to tell everyone that, as a twice-divorced woman, tapping into adult womanhood and feeling okay to be sexy, feeling okay to be powerful, feeling okay to be sexy and powerful at the same time and really just thriving personally and professionally. I like to give hope to those who don't necessarily like the mundane of waking up, going to work, coming home, eating dinner, going to sleep, repeating the next day – hope for those who really want to get the most out of life.Go out and date. Learn all of the new stuff that we should have learned 10, 15 years ago.
To learn more about Amber Boone, visit her facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Thebestamber.