Online dating destroying or advancing the notion of love? (Short Feature Article)

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Chinese couple in Guangzhou

“So how did you love birds meet?” Our parents and older generations live for these questions, this is their golden opportunity to give their romantically, cheesy story of how they married their childhood sweetheart.  That ‘love at first sight’ kind of affair those hard headed romantics would eat up.

But it seems today chivalry is served cold and love is somewhat of a robotic process. We rarely ever witness the passionate, natural chemistry we hear and see in movies such as Jane Ayre or our Shakespearian favorite, Romeo & Juliet.  Who would have thought that we’d reach a time where we could essentially shop for a life companion online?

Technology is developing at a rapid pace causing society to change and grow along with it. This makes a lot of aspects in our daily lives a lot easier but consequentially makes us lazy. There is now a high and growing expectation for efficiency, getting hold of reliable information quickly and merely making daily chores easier for us.

This in effect changes the way we interact with other people. The 21century dating game revolves around technology. It enables us to communicate to each other through a computer screen or cell phone, this mean less face-to-face time and human interaction.  Internet users increase tremendously every day, about 2/5th of the world today use the internet hence society is introduced and given a new alternative, easy way in meeting people. A new era of online dating, speed dating and virtual dating.

Raymond Ras (26, Regional operational manager), a tinder user argues, “Technology affords us the opportunity to meet a person you might not otherwise have met due to various external factors such as distance or socializing circles”. There are approximately 94 million people across the world using dating applications. From 2005 to 2015, in America there has been a 15% increase in the number of people that agree that online dating is a sufficient way to meet new people. It is now said to be the second best way in meeting people up against meeting people through friends. “Today 33% of couples have met online. By 2040 this number will rise to 70%” (Online Dating Statistics & Facts; 2015).

Greg Blatt, the CEO of Match.com which is an well-known online dating service used in 25 countries, spoke on Martha Stewart’s talk show and said that, “1 in 6 marriages are between people who met on an online dating site”.  According to dating site reviews.com Match.com is the reason for 517,000 relationships. 92,000 marriages, and 1 million babies.

Hannes Prinsloo (53, Accountant) signed up for an online dating site called love2meet where he matched with 7 different ladies. He has been dating one of those matches for about 7 months. He firmly believes that “Online dating increases the prospects for like-minded people to meet, which could result in love”.

Hannes explained his perspective on the process of meeting people today, “The fast paced life in the city and people working longer hours leaves fewer opportunities to meet potential friends, except at church congregations and other similar social clubs, of which the membership is also declining. Online dating is a good place to meet potential candidates.”

Tinder has become an extremely well known and hugely successful dating application for students. Tinder was launched in 2012; it is an incredibly unique application because of its location feature which connects you to people ‘near-by’ and it’s link to your Facebook profile. The IAC website states that the purpose of Tinder is, “to address the social and physical barriers of forming new friendships and relationships”.

“”Most women are not as young as they painted…” Max Beerbohm, an English writer and caricaturist said this in the late 19th century. It rings as true today as it did then. An online profile is nothing more than the aspects of life a person wishes you to believe; the good aspects and qualities. You perceive a person by what they share or tell you on the profile.” Raymond discusses the possible dangers of online dating such as being ‘catfished’ or scammed online.

For Raymond online dating is “nothing more than a way to explore some form of lust” but continues by saying, “who am I to judge how people meet… Iran, a country known to support arranged marriages, has a divorce rate of 14%, it is also a country which allows for divorce from an arranged marriage as the marriage has a business like contract. A first world country such as Norway, with no arranged marriages, has a much higher divorce rate at 44%.”

Essentially at the end of the day if online dating helps someone out there find his or her true love then I have nothing against it. I asked Raymond whether he believes online dating is destroying or advancing the notion of love and he stated, “In essence technology might serve a purpose as facilitator for people to meet, but it’s not guaranteed that anything will develop from this meeting…Love is unexplainable”

“The idea of what love is might have changed, but its core belief is rather Neanderthal and simplistic. No one person wants to be alone.”

References

Datingsitesreviews.com,. ‘Online Dating Statistics & Facts – Dating Sites Reviews’. N.p., 2015. Web. 16 Apr. 2015.

Iac.com,. ‘Tinder’. N.p., 2015. Web. 16 Apr. 2015.

Martha Stewart,. ’05/17/10; Online Dating Video | Martha Stewart’. N.p., 2015. Web. 16 Apr. 2015.

NewsComAu,. ‘The Real Story Behind Hugely Successful Dating App Tinder’. N.p., 2015. Web. 16 Apr. 2015.

Prinsloo, Hannes. Online Dating. 2015. in person.

Ras, Raymond. Online Dating. 2015. in person.

Realtruth.org,. ‘Dating In The 21St Century’. N.p., 2015. Web. 16 Apr. 2015.

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