Shall We Meet?

You've Got Mail is a 1998 American romantic comedy film directed by Nora Ephron, starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.

You've Got Mail is a 1998 American romantic comedy film directed by Nora Ephron, starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.

In 1998, Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks appear in a romantic comedy movie: You’ve Got Mail. He’s the owner of a bookstore chain. She’s the woman he falls for online. Both are reluctant to meet in person in the beginning. They are are unaware that she runs the little shop his company is trying to shut down.  Nevertheless, the story turns to be a romantic story at the end. They finally meet in person – Happy Ending!

In 2006, one of my friends (from Thailand) came to the U.S. She studied at NYU and also worked as a manager at a bakery chain. Because of her work and study, she did not have free time for herself. She had been single and felt lonely in this hectic city. One of her friends suggested to her. She met a nice American gentleman from the site. After establishing online relationship for a while, they finally met face-to-face. Two years later, they got married. They have been together for 4 years. – Happy Ending!

According to Hancock, Toma and Ellison (2007), “Online daters appear to intentionally take advantage of the profile features that afford the enhancement of their self-presentation (e.g. editability, asynchronicity), while bearing in mind the socio-technical constraints of online dating profiles (e.g. recordability and anticipated face-to-face interaction)” (p.452).

Certain deceptions are about to be spotted when they ask each other “Shall We Meet?”

1998 – In You’ve Got Mail, they spent months to make decision that they will meet in person.

2006 – My friend spent weeks to decide that they would in face-to-face first encounters.

How about 2011? When will daters first meet?

Based on Nielsen Report , 40% of adult US mobile phone owners have a smartphone as of July 2011, and expect smartphones to become the majority by the end of 2011. With smartphone, we can know where the 0bjects or persons are by using “Geolocation”. Geolocation also has great potential for online dating. One famous mobile dating application for gay men, is Grindr. It lets we know details of nearby men, whose pictures and personal information are displayed in order of proximity, based on their phone’s GPS location (Euromonitor, 2011).

Grindr launched in 2009. Now, there are 2 million users in over 190 countries. Grindr plans to launch a straight version in August 2011

Grindr launched in 2009. Now, there are 2 million users in over 190 countries. Grindr plans to launch a straight version in August 2011

People intentionally create inaccurate profiles in order to attract their potential daters. On the other hand, mobile technology strengthens socio-technical constraints. – Geolocation makes people quickly build online relationship and make them easy to meet face-to-face.

Is it a good idea to spend time creating inaccurate profiles in 2011?


Hancock, J., Toma, C., & Ellison, N. (2007). The truth about lying in online dating profiles. In B. Begole, S. Payne, E. Churchill, R. St. Amant, D. Gilmore, & M.B. Rosson (Eds.), Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on Human factors in computing sy

Euromonitor (2011, August 29). I Can See You! Smartphone Use Drives Boom in the Use of Geolocation Software. Euromonitor Global Market Research Blog. Retrieved from



About bankcolumbia

Graduate Student . M.A. Instructional Technology and Media . Teachers College . Columbia University . View all posts by bankcolumbia

3 responses to “Shall We Meet?

  • patrickscioscia

    Very interesting points, Bank! Are people actually just wasting time in the long run by lying to themselves and others? I think so. But in that regard, is it not best to meet at a mutual location after a relatively short period of interaction as to not waste time? I wonder.

  • Christina R.

    Wow… All these new websites that would have been unheard of a couple of years ago. Thank you for sharing them!

    I guess with online environments becoming more tangible and familiar, the time it takes to meet or engage offline is shortening?

    Perhaps now with everything quickening and being able to verify nearly everything, people are beginning to be more honest (and equally more deceptive until they meet in person)?

  • curiousstuff

    Your post would make singles who are looking for their significant others feel more hopeful. Since the magic of serendipity doesn’t work for everyone, sometimes it makes sense not to leave it to chance, but instead take more control by going online.

    On the other hand foursquare like interactions may also bring in chance meetings back to the scene. With geo tagging, GPS locators etc. Finding your significant other may become a combination of both serendipity and systematic seeking. :] (pinar)

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