Once upon a time, the laws of dating were simple.
We met people through our places of employment, through school and through our mutual friends. These tried and tested traditional methods have worked as matchmaker for ages. But of course, there were always men and women who placed personal ads in their local newspapers or attended singles gatherings in an attempt to meet other like-minded individuals. We doubt these efforts were very successful when you consider that only 1 per cent of Americans used personal ads back in 1992. A pitiful statistic when we now know that 1 in 3 relationships are started online, and over 20 million Americans have placed personal ads on an adult dating site.
The digital age of dating is truly here, and it has brought about many positive effects. We can now sift through countless profiles and customize our user experience to find men or women who share our unique interests and our desire for casual sex. It’s kind of like shopping on Ebay – except you’re not looking at products. You’re looking at people whom you’ve never met before. It’s wonderful, but it’s also heartless in some strange way.
On an online dating site, we’re choosing who to message, which messages to ignore, and ultimately, we’re caught up in this voyeuristic world where the lives of strangers are placed out before us to judge. We laugh at the haggish women trying to be sexy by pulling the classic “duckface” or the douchey dude who uses his six pack as his display picture. It’s all a spectacle designed to offer seemingly endless options for everything we want right now.
But with great choice comes great responsibility. Online dating isn’t going anywhere and it’s time for us to start considering people online as people – not impersonal pictures or profiles. Karma is a bitch and even if you’re not interested in everyone who is messaging you right now, at least try to respond to those who have taken time out of their day to say nice things about you. You would say “Thank You” in real life, so why not do it on the net?
After all, the online realm is the new “real world”.