Social media is defined based on what the meaning holds to a person. Basically, however, it encompasses all the activities and tools that bring people closer to people and information and makes what is incredibly tasking to achieve in the 80s and before to be available through the internet at the tap of a button.
Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn are few of the networking and interactive sites strongly acclaimed as social media. However, dating sites alongside the apps designed for dating have recently been included as part of the social media branch of the internet.
For people who are habitually or occasionally seeking for an adventure through relationships, either on a short-term or long-term basis, the social media is a wonderful go-to platform to achieve that. To access the dating scenes easily, owners have resorted to presenting applications that can be downloaded onto mobile devices such as phones and tablets for users to be able to get connected and active anywhere, anytime.
What Happens With Dating Apps And Sites?
Chatting, flirting and getting involved sexually/romantically are the highlights of dating apps. The users, in a bid to show interest and commitment to the accomplishment of their desires, provide succinct personal information which serves as their dating IDs. Amongst other vital bio-data provided are the username, age, gender, location, and sexual orientation. Certain sites are exclusively for gays and lesbians while others accommodate all kinds of sexual orientations.
Globe and Mail in a July 11, 2007 piece noted that more than 3.6 million cell phone users, many who are under 35 years, logged into mobile dating sites in March 2007 alone. The number surely has increased in 2018 with many new sites for virtual and physical dating rapidly coming into existence.
A survey by Digital Trends revealed the best dating apps of 2018 in the United States. Few of the apps are as follows:
- Coffee Meets Bagel
- Plenty of Fish
Reasons people frequent dating sites include:
- To make friends easily
- To find love
- For easy sex
- To find versatility in sexual preference
Impact of Dating Apps and Sites on Sexual Health
Dating apps and sites provide an opportunity to people on the way they would desire to have sex which in some instances, have increased the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.
The California Department of Public Health released a report on the prevalence of syphilis among men who have sex with men as well as heterosexual men for the period spanning 2007 to 2016. They observed that there was a 40% rise in the cases of syphilis involving men who have sex with men who reportedly met their partners on the internet, and a 10% increase in the rate of the disease among heterosexual men who use the internet.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 14,000 cases of primary and secondary forms of syphilis in the United States were reported for men who have sex with men out of 25, 872 diagnoses of the disease among men in 2015. Doctors believe that the proliferation of mobile phones especially as it concerns the use of the internet has affected the way sexual activities compared to pre-internet days.
It is somewhat difficult to be able to keep a record of how sexually transmitted diseases were spread through dating app users since it is not unusual to have unprotected sex in some first dates with partners who gave a sketchy history of their sex lives.
Also, there are anonymous dates where the partners involved are strangers to one another with no clue about themselves save for a short profile and photo on display. It is common practice for some users of dating sites to delete the profile of persons who they have ended a sexual relationship with.
In effect, if there was any form of transmission of an STD in the course of the relationship, both parties will be unable to contact the giver nor the recipient of the disease, respectively. This creates an avenue for the spread of the STD which, otherwise, would have been prevented if the infected ones were tracked down and treated properly.
Pathetically, sexually transmitted diseases are without exceptional symptoms and this impacts negatively on the revelation of their identification. Many who appear and feel healthy could present themselves as STD-free whereas they are serologically positive to a sexually transmitted infection.
Reverse Impact of Dating Apps and Sites on Sexual Health
While concerns have been raised on the implication of dating apps and sites on the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, public health scientists and advocates have somewhat found a positive way of putting STDs in check, through the same sources of problem – social media.
Though it has not been widely accepted by some popular dating services, there has been a major headway in achieving the aim of preventing the spread of STDs via virtual and real hook-ups through the internet. A handful of dating sites have been convinced to include STD status specificity as part of the areas to be filled before being accepted as a user.
Others have partnered with health organizations to provide STD testing, partner notification, and public health intervention services for those who are at a risk of contracting or spreading STDs.
STDs are losing the battle for human life gradually. Routine screening every 3 or 6 months on your part can drive the nail further into their hard skulls.