Is the 21st Century Taking Away from the Fun of Dating?

Over the last decade or so the dating world has experienced a huge transformation. Dating in the 21st Century is certainly different than it was before Google, text messaging, social media and online match making websites. There’s no doubting that the ever developing technologies of this era make it easier to meet and communicate with people but with that comes a diminishing personal aspect of dating.

Online dating is almost replacing the initial intensities of asking someone out. Some may consider skipping this step life saving, while others may regard this as removing some of the small adrenaline of seeing someone for the first time and communicating those first words live-in-person. Sites like eHarmony, Match.com, OkCupid and Tinder have revolutionized the way people meet and set up a first date. Singles –and the not-so-singles- have the ability to easily set up a profile that sells them as worth at least one date or as a great match. Pictures, quirky self-summaries and lists illustrate an individual in the light they want you to view them. If this proceeds to messaging on the site, then you are one step closer to dinner or drinks or some other first date outing -yet an initial attraction stays in the virtual realm. Once you actually meet, the attraction may continue or fade but the first impression has, in a sense, already taken place.

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Via flickr/ Ray_from_LA
Via flickr/ Ray_from_LA

The internet is a provider of much of the information we obtain daily. Since the invention of Google and other online search engines, an individual’s pasts and present is available in minutes to almost anyone. Hence, in this day and age, searching about the person you are dating is almost like second nature. Finding out age, place of birth, high school, blood type, and where someone lives are no longer provided by the main source but unraveled via investigative discoveries. Social media is now another considerable player in dating. You can learn a lot about somebody from the posts they decide everyone should see. Instagram, Facebook and Twitter are some of the main social mediums that provide a great amount of material that will get your mind working to conceive a notion about who, what, when where and why of the subject at hand. Daily activities, food preferences, political views and a significant amount of angles of someone’s face allow for the formation of preconceived ideas of someone without even having to ask. So too, the questions you could ask over dinner, you probably already know the answers to. The mystery of dating has diminished substantially.

Then there is text messaging. Text messages are a quick, easy and often convenient way to keep in contact with someone –you can practically text anywhere if you’re discreet and not driving. Text messaging becomes a dating problem when that is the only form of communication you use with the other person -and when you are constantly texting friends during your dates. When texting you are just reading and sending words and if you are just getting to know the individual on the other side of the conversation, and meaning and tone can often be misconstrued. Miscommunication due to texts is extremely common and may create tension and end a relationship before one even gets started. Picking up the phone and making an actual call may be “old school” but still necessary in the dating world. Texts work for small talk but that will not help you to get to really know someone. So when not seeing them in person, completely relying on texting is not the best option.

Via flickr/ Emilien ETIENNE
Via flickr/ Emilien ETIENNE

The dating world is consistently changing –modern day technology has had a sizable role in that. Dating sites continue to help people find their soul mate or just someone to enjoy the day with, and social media and texting has helped people to get to know each other on different platforms. While each of these mediums have their pros and cons, it is each individual’s responsibility to understand both sides and to use technology in a way to assist their dating life and not hurt it.

 

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