Chocolates, jewellery and cute dates, with valentine’s day just around the corner ‘Tis the season for love. Though how people go about finding ‘the one’ has changed in the last 20 years. Potential partners are now just a click away, a feat which can be attributed to the advent of online dating and more importantly high-speed internet access.
This tool has made us more connected than ever with the creation of social media such as: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and snapchat and so on. The internet has broadened the scope of pretty much everything, naturally in the modern era people would use the internet as a route to find love. Popular apps such as Tinder, Plenty of Fish, and Match provide a platform for individuals to meet a variety of people.
To find out more about this I asked several students from the University of Manchester, England how they feel about online dating. Through this I compiled some benefits and drawbacks from their responses overall.
‘Online dating is a quicker way for younger people like us to interact’- AJ (Law student)
‘Easier for people who may be anxious or not the type to go out’- A (Psychology student).
A common theme was that online dating was a more efficient way of getting to know people. With so much of what we do connected to our smartphones, love and relationships have also become part and parcel of the digital age. Online dating has allowed greater access for people to meet a wide range of individuals, domestically and globally. This means a greater chance of compatibility and subsequent partnerships. In addition, apps can be used for platonic purposes for those who are just looking to get in touch with new people.
‘Tinder is kinda desperate’- UF (Law student)
Ever heard of the phrase too much choice, well that applies perfectly to online dating. Though a fundamental right for those in a liberal society, with an innumerable amount of faces and profiles to with them individuals can grow anxious and dissatisfied. Indecisiveness is a key factor, with so many options does one know if they’re picking the right one? In addition, once a decision has been made there is also the ‘what if? Thoughts that could plague someone’s mind about alternative options. As Leonardo da Vinci put it ‘simplicity is the ultimate sophistication’, perhaps when it comes to dating less is more.
There is an inherent danger with meeting people from online. There is a chance that the individual is a fake account, an issue that has even led to the creation of tv shows such as Catfish. There is also the chance that the individual is who they say they are but still unsavoury in character. However, safeguards are available, for example meeting in open places (not each other’s homes), taking a friend with you the first time, not sending over sensitive information such as bank details etc.
There is an argument that Online dating creates a swipe left, swipe right culture which reduces people to mere options. With online dating there is the view that interaction will be based purely on the superficial, individuals could possibly lose out based on a poorly taken picture. In addition, as a long-term issue, people may lose the ability to strike up conversations in person as were so used to using technology. Thus, making the us more connected yet more far apart. Alternatively, there is the stigma of using online dating sites as individuals may feel like they look desperate.
Online dating is a useful service in connecting people together, it has been proven to be successful for many people. At the same time individuals should be careful to exchange it for reality itself. Perhaps the last remnants of life pre-internet are real human interactions, created by real conversations. These behaviours should be continued so that later generations develop into well rounded, social and gregarious creatures.
By: Temi Adedeji
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