For those who are looking for love this post may or may not be useful, and to be upfront, this post is an opinion; there may be other opinions out there and if you have one you are certainly free to voice it. However, since love is such a motivating factor in the lives of human beings, I think there is much to be said as to how we search for it and in maintaining it. That said, here is my take on online dating.
1. Online dating is a player’s playground. In the land of online dating, it is quite possible to be involved with 2,3 or more people at the same time; especially if the contacts are long distance. While this is possible off line as well, it becomes even more feasible in an online environment. Conversations can go back and forth in chat rooms with multiple people, namely people who are interested in knowing each other better. Depending on what you are looking for, online dating can cheapen the meaning of intimacy; and can be devastating for someone who may come to realize that the person they are involved with, is also involved with many others.
2. Online dating can be misleading and can lead one to believe that finding love is as easy as opening the cook book to find a new recipe for lasagna. It is very easy to portray yourself in a flattering depiction across a computer screen and through charming conversation. Pictures can be misleading, (not what a person actually looks like in person), and conversation can be tailored to what the other person seemingly is looking for.(the tell them what they want to hear mentality). Also, discarding people becomes easier, because after all, you won’t have to hear from them again, all you have to do is delete them from your list. Sometimes people find themselves dating someone they would not have looked at twice in person. Deception is all too easy in this forum, and sometimes can be harmful or deadly; which brings me to the 3rd point.
3. Predators abound in an online environment. The news is full sad stories of women or men who have trusted someone they didn’t know, believed that they were who they said they were, and later found upon meeting them to be rapist, thieves or murderers. You have to be careful in any dating situation however you meet someone. But, most people you meet online are complete strangers with no tie to a community of people one knows or without any accountability to family, friends or anything. Trusting someone under these circumstances is like playing at your own risk.
3. Online dating leaves you poorer and the dating website richer. Online dating sites are there to make money. The sell is that they want you to find your perfect match; but the reality is you may or may not find a perfect fit. However, some people may feel the more I spend, the more sites I look into, the better my chances.(nothing could be further from the truth, love is not a crap shoot) It works something like insurance companies; you are paying the insurance company hoping that you don’t have an accident, yet while they empty your pocket book you don’t have an accident; yet they have your money just the same.
4. These next 3 ideas go together. Online dating is not for the emotionally vulnerable. Because of the easy way people can be discarded, one’s heart can be broken without any place to go for remedy; and it can be a quick cure for a deeper problem. (The problem of loneliness and social isolation. ) This type of dating environment creates a feeling of being warehoused; like so much of society today. People’s feelings shouldn’t be open for sale to the highest bidder or to a first come, first served basis. This diminishes or even obliterates individuality, uniqueness and the sacredness of a person’s emotions.
While the human heart is complex and multifaceted, online dating can leave one with the feeling that emotions are as easily discarded as old clothes which no longer fit. With each new contact that doesn’t work, the heart is supposed to program itself to discard those feelings and move on to the next ” love object.” Online dating creates the illusion that love is as easy to find as the click of a button, and the world of fantasy easily becomes real. Dating online can become a fantasy world gone wild.
Finally, because the people one encounters for the first time online is not in person; in other words, when you meet this person you don’t hear their voice, see them, read their body language or make any kind of eye contact, you could be missing very important clues as to who they actually are. If we as a people have been reduced to meeting possible mates in this manner, it says something about society in general and humanity in specific. Our humanity has been reduced to the level of mechanization and a type of robot existence where people’s feelings can be easily manipulated and shifted about on a computer or telephone screen. It diminishes our humanity, it diminishes our humanity, it diminishes our humanity.