Love letters, phone calls, surprise pop ups at your front door are long gone. It is no longer common to have a man dress nicely and show up at your door to take you out on a date. In today’s society, that is almost unheard of. Online dating has completely changed the way we meet people in today’s society. Each era of dating has its own set of unspoken rules. The web has completely ruined the experience of going on a first date and having that spark or connection with someone. It has affected the importance of taking your time to get to know someone and be in a committed relationship. To add, people lie about who they are, which is a problem we face due to the internet. Also, focusing on just one person seems to be a struggle for many people today. Lastly, today’s society has brainwashed people into thinking that their significant other needs to fit a certain category and look and talk a certain way or else they are not good enough.
People want to be able to live their busy lives as well as have a love life and online dating allows that. Technology has made dating so much easier and time efficient that everyone uses it to find their significant other. They have been given the ability to date while on their work break, at school, etc. it is downloaded to your electronic devices with an app to use wherever and whenever you want. Dating has become easier, but it has also changed the importance of what it means to be in a committed relationship. Most people have become so lazy over the years when it comes to relationships and going out on dates that they view online dating as a hobby or a sport instead of a commitment. According to the article How Technology is Changing Dating, “people want to spend as little time as possible looking for someone” (Karahassan). It is much more convenient for people to take as little time from their day to get to talk to someone which is why most relationships today don’t last. Online dating, being so time efficient has become more important than finding the right partner. Once a person finds someone who likes the same music as them or they have the same favorite tv show, they start only talking to them because they think that those are the only important factors when finding a significant other. They don’t put effort into getting to know them. Instead of worrying about what show they like they should be asking questions about their life motives, and their interests in life, and what they want their future to look like. No one is used to having real conversations anymore, so once they start getting serious with the person they realize how much they don’t like about them due to the fact that they failed to ask certain questions when first meeting one another.
A common problem people face when dating online is fake identities or ‘catfishing’. There is a large amount of people who use a fake age and gender as well as false images to get someone’s attention. A show called Catfish has been made about it because of how common it is. A plethora of people daily get catfished by someone. There have been cases where people would be in an online relationship with someone for years and then finding out that they were not who they said they were. Once those people get a conversation out of you and make you feel comfortable with them , “they typically act like they’re falling in love with you and ask you for money” (McClellan). The web has even made dating dangerous, that you cannot trust that the person you’re sharing your information with is really who they say they are. When meeting someone, both can see each other so they know who they are talking to. However, online people don’t have to worry about being seen, which is why it is so easy for them to get away with using someone else’s identity. For example, “because it is not instantaneous, users have the opportunity to craft a specific image and adjust that over time” (D’Costa). Being given the time to gather fake images makes these people seem like they are who they say they are. Problems such as this did not occur when the web was not introduced to us. Not only has the web made us exposed to catfishing and trust issues, it has also made people insecure. Most stories of why people catfish others is because they are ashamed or upset about the way they look. That insecurity element is also caused by the internet because so many women and even men edit their photos, making people think they need to look thin or have a six pack in order to be attractive.
While using applications or websites such as eharmony, Tinder, Match.com, etc. people are matched with multiple people. Being matched with several people does not necessarily mean you need to talk to each person, but people nowadays get excited when they see how many people are interested in them and end up talking to multiple people at a time. How can a person focus on finding someone to be in a relationship with when they are communicating with several people at a time? Dating apps have gamified the idea of love. Online dating is so far from the real idea of dating that “swiping is just a game” (Taylor). We focus more on swiping left or right based on a picture we see rather than actually having a conversation with the person and getting to know who they are. Imagine playing multiple movies at once and having to focus on each one at the same time. It would be impossible to choose which one is your favorite because your attention is not set on a specific movie. Likewise, it is hard to find a person to be in a relationship with and take seriously because you are entertaining or being entertained by more than one person. Both women and men enjoy the fact that they have “options” lined up for them which is why they never find that one person to be committed to. They do not take people seriously due to the fact that there are more people on the side waiting just in case that one person does not end up fitting their criteria which seems like nothing more than a game.
Our society has managed to objectify people and lacks emphasis on the importance of building a connection with someone. People are so focused on finding someone that meets society’s standards that they do not take time to get to know someone for who they are. It has become “normal” for people to meet online and hook up or rush into a relationship before spending time offline and getting to know the person. Social media has also given people the opportunity to judge someone without meeting them or having a simple conversation with that person. When a person makes a dating profile they present themselves as perfect, “charming, sporty, generous, funny, ‘no mind games’, good looking, sensual…They practically guarantee you’ll be on cloud nine” (Jeffries). If you look at any girl’s profile on social media applications, you will see that most of their photos are of them with a filter or completely different from how they look in person. This is because society has brainwashed people into thinking that any girl that shows her natural state is not as pretty as the girl wearing makeup and nails and hair done. People today do not take into consideration how important it is to get to know someone outside of an online profile which is why there are so many failed relationships. Relationships are more likely to last longer when there is a strong in person connection formed between one another. Online dating is creating a mental image in our heads of what to expect when you meet someone for the first time after only seeing their online profiles. When that person does not look like their images, people get upset because they are more focused on their looks rather than focusing on what truly is important. No online connection can or will be as strong as one formed in person.
An instant connection is not guaranteed when going out with someone, however it is worth trying. What if that person you never thought you would give a chance to was your soulmate? The internet has manipulated us into focusing on what is being portrayed rather than taking the effort to look into the person and learn about their likes and dislikes and figure out what motivates them in life. Dating should not be a game or a hobby, it should be something that you put your time and effort into. You should be excited to go out, dress up and just talk in person with no distractions. Will relationships be the same as they were before the web? Probably not, but that should not stop anyone from trying to keep them alive. People need to stop letting the internet get in the way of our everyday lives. The web has already taken over banking, seeing one another in person via Facetime, school, etc. Relationships should not be taken over as well.