Digital love

internetz

I truly believe that were are living in the most progressive era of human history. The invention of the internet and the globalized economic system have created social ties among every individual with access to the web. We now spend a strong portion of our day texting on our phones or scrolling through buzzfeed; the internet has given the individual the ability to discover new things about our personal interest with just a few clicks of a mouse.

In my lifetime, I noticed that the  two biggest demands people shrived for the internet during the 90’s were online dating and pornography. These two interests are now highly profitable online businesses with women paying for sites like e-harmony or christian mingle in order to find their significant other while men are paying monthly subscriptions to brazzers or pornpros for quite the opposite.

What is even more interesting about Western society is the fact that dating is a fairly new concept. This type of interaction only became prevalent towards middle class adults in the late 19th century who finally had enough leisure and capital to invest a portion of their lifetime in finding the person they would be compatible with marrying. But even so, it was common for people to marry someone who lived relatively close to them; be it their neighbor, high school sweet heart, or a person the next town over. Now all of that has changed, the beauty of the internet has now allowed us to cross state or even country lines to find the meaning of love. Many of my relatives have found their significant others online and they currently live happy marriages.

Although online dating is a growing trend that has created happy and strong relationships, Erich R. Merkle and Rhonda A. Richardson describe how online communications impede essential qualities in interpersonal relations. Spacial proximity is a huge concern; just as I previously stated how people back then would marry someone within their town or county, it was just convenient to connect and trust someone connected with the other social circles you possess. Online dating now allows us to create these new circles that are separate from our family, drinking buddies, co-workers, church members, etc. Another important matter that is important to address is that the lack of spacial proximity also prevents us from creating a strong trust with the other person online. How can someone know if the person on the other computer is simply not chatting with other people sharing lies and scams? A case like this happened to my cousin in the early 2000’s; he was a naive 15 yr old kid who really thought he hit the jackpot when he was flirting with a 17 yr old blonde. As you can already predict, the girl was not 17, in fact, she was a 15 yr old con artist who was posting pictures of her sister and ended up tricking my cousin into mailing her 200 dollars! Infidelity for that matter is a crucial issue when engaging in an online relationship.

I did not expect that I was going to enjoy this film, it truly defines the way our current generation uses social networking within the dating experience. Noah was a character that I strongly related with, with the exception of freaking out about his girlfriend’s behavior. The fact that he quickly acted on his emotions and ended the relationship on his girlfriend’s facebook is a great indicator to how the demand for immediate response plays a drastic role in how we interact. Here’s another example, our text savvy culture creates this new form of manipulation when we choose not to respond to a text until the next day, or not at all. I’ve ran into a few instances when a person would send another text message to me after not responding to their first, the second or third would say something like “I know you’re ignoring my text messages,” but how would they know that I actually lost my charger or I left the phone at my house.

Online dating is a great start for creating a relationship, but intimacy can only exist when there is a face-to-face interaction. If intimacy is not your thing and you’re just looking for a quick fling, the internet can easily set you up with that. If you are unwilling to even meet someone, but still want a sexual experience, go on chatroulette or omegle. Gotta love dem Internetz!

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2 comments

  1. Hi,

    I like that you mentioned how dating is a recent innovation in human behavior and how the internet has kind of just let that relatively new behavior blow up as far as the geographic scale goes. The article below mentions a few ways that technology has affected dating and changed how people interact with each other, including the increase in how much people use text messaging, something which I notice you commented on in regards to “Noah”. Anyways, nice meme! (Despite the unfortunate acne.)
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2013/01/14/five-ways-technology-has-allegedly-ruined-dating/

  2. I definitely agree that the dynamics of dating have changed over the years!! I think one change is that the dating age is becoming younger; I remember being in 7th grade and hearing about all the pairings between my classmates! I remember one couple would break up and get back together several times a day! I was actually giving relationship advice last year to a 12 year old friend in Germany. She had one boyfriend (same age) for two weeks, but then he dumped her. Then she dated another boy and was asking me about first kisses….when I said I had gotten my first kiss at 19, she seriously asked me “Isn’t that too old for a first kiss?” I gave her some sage advice about it being better to have your first kiss when you’re older with someone you care about, then waste it on someone who might not care enough. I think there is so much (too much actually) pressure to be in a relationship and it doesn’t help that social media, such as TV shows, put so much emphasis on being in a relationship too.

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