Is technology the new matchmaker and the Internet the new bar scene? Staff writer Frank Friedlander discusses this topic in his latest post. Agree or disagree? Sound off in comments!
While I did have a different game plan for this entry, as in every aspect of life, plans change. There’s always time to get back to said plan, but for now, I’ll take a temporary change off that particular course. Today, I’d like to discuss something else that is ever-changing, each change having some degree of effect on our lives as a whole.
Technology. It seems to have changed the rues of virtually everything in our day-to-day lives. No piece of technology has had more of n effect on society as a whole than the Internet. Everything from school to shopping to general communication can be done via the Internet these days. Dating and courtship are no different. As a matter of fact, it could be said that dating is one of those things that have changed the most.
Internet dating sites have been out there for years. According to brainz.com, the first dating sites were registered in 1994 and 1995. At that time, the Internet wasn’t the staple of our lives that it is today, but was gaining steam. Anyway, it was probably around the late 1990s-early 2000s that they began gaining more notice. That’s when I first noticed them.
In 2001, I had temporarily moved to Virginia, just for a change of scenery. My parents lived there, but I really didn’t know too many people. Actually, other than them, I really didn’t know anyone. As a result, I eventually began dabbling with some Internet dating sites. I met a few people, at least through chat rooms here and there. However, I never really could get myself to actually meet someone in person. This was partially due to the fact that at the time, there was somewhat of a stigma attached to Internet dating. On one hand, there was the great unknown. You really don’t know whom you’re meeting. You could say hat you’re anyone that you want to be, and the person on the other end had the option to trust you or not. Not only was their the chance that they could lie about their physical appearance, but the chance that they could be an axe wielding maniac with a basement littered with a collection of heads once belonging to their previous romantic encounters.
Not only that, but there’s the added stigma that at the time, if you had to look online for love, you were seen as, for lack of a better term, a loser. Yup, if you didn’t meet your boyfriend or girlfriend at a bar, or a mall, or by some other normal means, there was something wrong with you. However, these days, this is no longer the case. Online dating is very common. What’s more, you don’t have to jump through the same hoops. Once you get the seven digits, there isn’t the uncertainty of how long to wait to make that call. I’m sure we’re all familiar with the three days rule, not before, not after. Very similar to the Holy Hand Grenade from Monty Python and the Holy Grail; “thou shall count to tree, no more, no less. Three shall be the number thou shall count, and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shall not thou count; neither count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out.” You get the picture. It’s just one of those bizarre, outdated rules of courtship that people tend to cling to a bit too tightly. Rules that don’t have to be followed as strictly as they would otherwise. There’s also the luxury of being able to get to somewhat know your date before meeting, so you don’t have to deal with the awkward small talk, or not knowing just what to talk about period. Does it take the thrill of the hint out of the equation? I suppose it depends on how you look at it. I’, sure that when rifles were first invented, some might have felt that they took away from the thrill of hunting with knives and bows, but they made things a hell of a lot easier, and ultimately became the standard. Not that I’ve ever gone hunting.
With all of this being said, it’s all a long-winded way of saying that Internet and online dating is far more acceptable. People proudly proclaim how they met their match on one of the seemingly endless dating sites, as opposed to either tip toe around the question, or make up a completely falsified story. And yes, there’s that chance that you run into that axe wielding maniac online, but is it really any more likely that you meet him or her online than at some over crowded bar? At least online, you don’t have to wait outside in the cold for two hours for the privilege of getting in and waiting in line for a half hour to overpay for a watered down well drink. And of course, you don’t have to worry about making that phone call too soon or too late, and having it blow up in your face like the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch.