The World of Online Dating

Online Dating Services

Taylor Endresen

In my twenty years of living, it is safe to say that I grew up in a greatly different environment than my parents did. When they were young, television channels were limited, cell phones were close to non-existent, and internet was simply unheard of. Fast forward to my generation and you’ve got the technology boom which is only expanding. The channel selection today is limitless, cell phones went from the size of a backpack to fitting in the palm of a hand while still being able to surf the web in 4G, and internet usage is HUGE. Now let’s look at a less technical difference that our generation gaps differ in, the world of dating. People that have been together for 25+ years most definitely met in person. Whether it has been through school, mutual friends, work, or a party, the point is that they most likely physically met their significant other. Today that is not always the case thanks to the online dating services that have become available nationwide.

Today there are countless online dating services offered to the general public ages 18 and over, with a monthly fee, of course. These companies allow a person to create a personal profile, filling out every detail about themselves that they feel comfortable with sharing. Once that is finished, the person can go through and select; gender, traits, interests, looks, morals, religion, practically everything they look for in a companion. Upon completion, the site scans all of its other users profiles based on compatibility and matches people that share similar interests. When a match is made, an alert goes out to the user, prompting them to look at the other’s profile. They then have the choice to further contact that person, be it by email, exchanging numbers, skyping and so on.

When these services came about, it was a widely popular concept, much like any other new craze. The companies marketed the idea based on how quickly life moves and how a person shouldn’t sacrifice happiness because of the busy life they lead. This new way of dating was a fast, secure, relatively cheap and practically guaranteed way to achieve happiness.

These companies advertise that they have been the reason for an obscene amount of relationships and marriages. With the statistics only rising, these sites are becoming more and more appealing to people everywhere. Why would somebody want to go on a blind date set up by a friend when they can grab a bag of chips, pull out their Visa and have thousands of people much more likely to fit their desires at the click of a button? Heck, a monthly fee of $20+ can land a wedding ring on that left hand in an instant, at least that’s what the commercials promote. Now revert back to the seemingly pre-historic era of my parents, online dating free. Their generation went out, conversed with their peers, and fell in love the good ‘ol fashioned way. When I asked what their take was on Eharmony.com all I got was a laugh followed by a quizzical look.

This new way of dating took us by storm, but why? How did somebody get the idea to put this together and essentially make millions? It is because technology has opened every door imaginable to entrepreneurs. They banked on people being busy, lazy, and even afraid. Technology has not only cushioned our ability to be lazy but has also limited our capability of being able to strike up a conversation with another human being in the flesh. These online dating services are the perfect example of an up-to-date popular culture phenomenon. They allow us to sit behind a computer screen and scan through pictures and profiles to sort out who we come in contact with, more drastically, who we date and could very well marry. Now, people are used to being incredibly impersonal by not having to step out of their comfort zones. People today are a text or email away which eliminates voice fluctuations and emotion, words are now ambiguous. That seems to cause an underlying fear of the public place. Where does that leave us? Match.com.

 

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