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ONLINE DATING MAKES PEOPLE DISPOSABLE
Me, being the huge hypocrite that I am, previously wrote an article about how I would never try online dating and how absolutely void of any romance I thought it was. Although I do stand by a lot of the things that I said in that piece, I did decide to try online dating. For one thing, I found it pretty difficult to meet people in my daily life and quickly realized that most people meet online these days. It just seems to be the way the world is moving and I couldn't avoid it any longer. So, it's been about three months since I've immersed myself into the online dating scene and I've surely learned a lot.
First things first, I was under the impression that dating would be fun, however, it seems to be more emotionally draining than anything else. I can't lie, I've certainly have had fun at times, but the whole thing has also left me questioning a lot about myself and how exactly things should be handled while dating. I often find myself searching google for answers (of which I get none). Most of the problems I've had stem from just not really knowing how the other person is feeling. We seem to be living in a world where it's taboo to talk about feelings and expectations in fear of coming on too strong. But, from my experience, it certainly makes things much harder than they need to be.
Should I have to ask someone how they're feeling after we've gone on a date or is that too much? Is ghosting acceptable? How many dates before you have a conversation about where things are going? There are so many questions I have with no answers because communication has become so poor. Not only that, but one of the biggest things that I've learned is that, because of online dating and how easy it is to get a match, people become disposable fairly quickly. You could probably have a date every night of the week if you really wanted to and it shows.
People might have an initial interest in you, but the desire to continue getting to know someone after a certain amount of time seems to wear off. You wonder what else is out there and off you go, back to the app and back meeting new people while someone is out there wondering if you still have any interest in them. Instead of either truly getting to know someone and invest time into one person or being honest and upfront about seeing other people, we've chosen not to say or do anything at all. It's not fair to ourselves or the other individuals involved. And, trust me, I've been on both sides.
Am I taking things too seriously? Maybe. But, I also think this is a serious issue that needs addressed: with online dating, people aren't being treated with basic respect. First of all, we're not being open and honest with our feelings out of fear of judgement and that's just not how things should be. Second of all, we don't know what we want because we're always being pulled in a million different directions because of the appeal to constantly be finding someone new.
I guess I'm a little late to the party with learning most of this stuff, but it's something that I felt needed to be addressed because it makes me a little concerned about where the future of dating is going. My hope is that we learn to have a little more compassion for the people we're choosing to be involved with and learn to be honest with ourselves as well in order to attract healthy, real relationships into our lives.
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All of these concerns about ghosting and poor communication skills, lack of interest, not being stimulated and all the rest, are really directly connected to the techno world we live in today. Nearly everything we could ever want is a google search away. Overstimulation of every sense, all gratifications available just a click away, now, now, now — it has a socially devastating impact on a society. Even people who were part of the innovation of the internet, social media and all the rest wrapped up in it are now stating how it is doing more harm than good (watch The Social Dilemma on Netflix). There was no such thing as ghosting when I grew up. No swiping left or right, if I didn’t like someone, it was incumbent upon ME to let that person know, “Hey, thanks but no thanks” and move on. If someone called me (on a real phone at home) and I didn’t want to go out with them, I simply said no thank you. If I didn’t want to dance with them at the club, just say no! There is so much awkwardness today and I firmly believe that technology is the main culprit. Those of you born after 1990, you really missed out on life! So what to do with the social ills in our world and can they be corrected? Unfortunately from a technology standpoint, it will get much worse before (if ever) it gets better. Think of this…you can have a virtual girlfriend or boyfriend, programmed to your every desire, never leave your room and have the perfect relationship. On what planet does that sound even remotely healthy!!?? Earth, I guess, because that’s where we are. Pretty soon there will be absolutely no interpersonal communication and everyone will walk along like zombies never looking up from their device’s screen…kinda like, well, they do now!