Men and women of certain age are hooked to social media. If you're reading this, there's a good chance you are too.
New data states that nearly 40 percent of U.S. adults would rather go to jail for the night, clean the shower drains of a local gym, read War and Peace, or do any number of other unpleasant activities than give up their social accounts. This is according to a Harris Interactive survey that was conducted for social networking management service MyLife.com and that examined the social media fixations of 2,037 U.S. adults.
One of the study's findings is particularly depressing: People in relationships seem to be less wrapped up in their virtual social lives than singles are. While the difference isn't monumental, it is telling. According to Harris, 63 percent of all Americans say they're afraid of missing news, important events or status updates if they don't keep an eye fixed on their precious Facebook News Feeds or Twitter streams. That stat jumps to 72 percent for those without significant others.
Though the survey didn't venture to guess why singles behave differently than non-singles, we'll spitball: Couples, presumably, are preoccupied with going out to dinner, seeing movies and doing other date-y things, therefore they're less glued to social media than their single counterparts. And on the flip side, singles have more time to themselves and can fiddle more with their online profiles. In fact, there's a batch of social networks dedicated to exclusively to singles: dating sites. Some of these services, like theComplete.me and Circl.es are even syncing up with Facebook to help users find true love.
We're painting with very broad strokes here, obviously. We're definitely not suggesting that all singles are awkward introverts who only interact with the world through a computer, or that all daters are social butterflies who live only IRL.
Even so, there's a point to be made. Mega-networks like Facebook want to be a seamless extension of our real lives. But it seems one thing social networks have an awfully hard time fully simulating -- for reasons a family newspaper won't get into --is dating.
Apple fans rejoice! "Mac-inspired" <a href="http://cupidtino.com/" target="_hplink">Cupidtino</a> will connect members with the Apple fanboys (or fangirls) of their dreams.
<a href="http://diapermates.com/browse.php" target="_hplink">DiaperMates</a> claims to be a forum where people interested in wearing adult-sized diapers or makeshift diapers can search for, share photos with and meet people who have similar interests.
Operating under the motto "Why toke alone?", <a href="http://www.420dating.com/" target="_hplink">420Dating</a> provides a hub where "smoker friendly" singles can meet and mingle, though a disclaimer states that the site's creators do not advocate the use of illegal substances.
"Slow-moving," "fast-moving" or "immobile" zombies turn to <a href="http://mingle2.com/zombieharmony/free-dating-sites" target="_hplink">ZombieHarmony</a> to find love with "freshly turned," "somewhat rotten" or "very rotten" members of the undead dating pool. Even those missing some or all of their limbs can find a match. "...because the apocalypse doesn't have to be lonely."
<a href="http://www.theatlasphere.com/" target="_hplink">The Atlasphere</a> is a community of enthusiasts for the Ayn Rand's <em>Atlas Shrugged</em> and <em>The Fountainhead</em>. The site boasts over 22,000 general user profiles and over 12,000 dating profiles.
<a href="http://www.vampirepassions.com/" target="_hplink">Vampire Passions</a>, a dating site and social network, welcomes "vampires" and "vampire lovers." While searching for potential dates, members can join groups like "sanguine vampirism," "newly turned," "amateur vampire hunter," "Team Edward," "Buffy," "Dracula," and many more.
Claiming to be a haven for furry fandom, <a href="http://pounced.org/" target="_hplink">Pounced</a> presents an open-minded community that connects artists, writers, publishers and "fursuiters" (those who dress in fur suits or anthropomorphic animal costumes for entertainment or pleasure).
<a href="http://www.darwindating.com/" target="_hplink">Darwin Dating</a> requests that only good-looking individuals join and mingle with the site's presumably attractive members. Acne, sweat stains, bulbous noses, pasty skin and saggy bodyparts are only a few of the many banned characteristics. If you're not sure that you make the cut, members will vote your hotness on a scale from "Ass-like" to "Awesome."
The Ugly Bug Ball
Internet daters will find a haven of self-proclaimed "uglies" at <a href="http://www.theuglybugball.com/index.php" target="_hplink">The Ugly Bug Ball</a> (TUBB).
Boasting 150,000 registered users, <a href="http://farmersonly.com/" target="_hplink">Farmers Only</a> bills itself as a personals site for farmers, ranchers, agriculture students, rodeo enthusiasts, animal lovers, livestock owners, country wannabes, and down-to-earth singles. "City folk just don't get it," the site asserts.
<a href="http://www.wealthymen.com/" target="_hplink">WealthyMen</a> purportedly connects wealthy men and attractive women. The site claims that its male members earn over $100,000 a year and even offers women a "sugar daddy" search option.
According to the site's curators, <a href="http://www.meet-an-inmate.com/http://www.meet-an-inmate.com/" target="_hplink">Meet-An-Inmate</a> helps connect "attractive" incarcerated men and women with non-incarcerated singles via letter and photo exchanges. "Whether you just want a friend, pen pal, someone to talk or even a possibility of a long lasting relationship you could find her/him here," the site says.
<a href="http://en.gleeden.com/" target="_hplink">Gleeden</a> purports to be a discreet extramarital dating site that offers married people "a secret little foray into infidelity."
Are you tall? Do you admire tall people? <a href="http://www.tallfriends.com/" target="_hplink">TallFriends.com</a> might be the dating site for you.
Not just for Trekkies, the <a href="http://www.trekpassions.com/" target="_hplink">Trek Passions</a> social network and personals site welcomes fans of Star Wars, Isaac Asimov, Ben Bova, Robert A. Heinlein, Douglas Adams, Arthur C. Clarke & more.
Though <a href="http://datecraft.com/" target="_hplink">Datecraft</a> might sound like a personals site catering only to World of Warcraft fans, all gamers and video game enthusiasts are welcome.
For a onetime fee of nearly $2,000, <a href="http://www.scientificmatch.com/html/index.php" target="_hplink">ScientificMatch</a> connects customers based on their physical chemistry, determined via DNA samples.
<a href="http://www.candobetter.com/" target="_hplink">CanDoBetter</a> pairs photos of current or potential couples and lets other members vote on whether the partners have found their perfect match. If someone "can do better," based on the community's votes, he or she has the option of meeting someone new from the member pool.
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<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/JakobsDiary"><img style="float:left;padding-right:6px !important;" src="http://images.huffingtonpost.com/twitter_profile_img/1463418.png" /></a><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/JakobsDiary">JakobsDiary</a>:<br />Cybergothdating.com is a strange cool dating site for Cyberpunks and Cybergoths who love the neon lights of a dance floor