Wednesday, 1 April 2009
Dating in the 21st Century
Dating is such a tricky game on its own without adding to it a plethora of new technologies and ways in which to meet, pick-up, and dump people. It has changed so much in the last decade that a new book needs to be written about dating, sex, and technology etiquette.
I haven’t been in the dating game for a few years now (whew!) but even then, I met all my past boyfriends and my husband the old-fashioned way via work or friends. But there has been an influx of dating stories from single girlfriends that inspired me to have a closer look at dating in the “noughties”.
Anonymity is a thing of the past, as you can now “research” the lives of the person you are interested in dating. How many times have you heard a friend say “have you Googled him?” Gone are the days of meeting one-on-one with no information about each other apart from what your friends or colleagues have told you. Jump online and find out what they do, what groups/associations they are members of, what events they have attended, and who they hang out with. Facebook and MySpace also provide ways to check out ex-partners, best friends, and favorite past-times. Now you can be fully armed with all the information you need to know for a successful first date.
But it can go too far. One successful, gorgeous, and single girlfriend told me the hilariously shameful stories of her and her friends and the obsessing that takes over their lives each time a new guy arrives on the scene.
“It’s so easy to become obsessed with Facebook,” she says to me. “I have banned myself from the page of the boy I like because I just don't want to see the photos, or girls that add him as friends, or whose wall he writes on. It might all be innocent but I have found that when I have checked out his page in the past, I'm like ‘Oh... so that was what you did on your quiet weekend.’” It does have the potential to harbour thousands of cyber stalkers.
Google has stimulated the cyber stalking situation by giving people the opportunity to see where a potential interest lives or works. Now you can sit on your computer and watch their house, rather than sitting out the front in your car, low in your seat with a cap and dark glasses on, hoping to catch a glimpse of them as they leave for their evening dog walk.
The introduction of mobile phones and emails to the dating scene caused quite a change, least of all totally killing the romance. It introduced a new, no-fuss way of breaking up with people via emails or SMS- as if being dumped isn’t bad enough. It also prompted the increase of erotic photo requests via mms, “to keep me warm on lonely nights,” as one eloquent gentleman put it.
If you’re lacking in time to get out and about and meet people through sports clubs, pubs and whatnot, there is a surplus of online dating sites like RSVP, Lava Life, and even one exclusively for rich, good looking people to meet other rich, good looking people.
Research done by RSVP showed that online dating has become one of the most popular ways of finding love, second only to meeting through friends. A survey on dating in the US found that one in eight couples that married in 2007 had met online.
Even the Y Generation has taken the new dating game in their stride. High school kids are no longer satisfied with people from their own school, opting to meet people from other schools via social networking sties. One friend’s 15-year-old sister met her 18-year-old boyfriend on MySpace.
This whole new world of dating seems to be utterly lacking in romance. No longer do you have to suffer those nausea-inducing butterflies the first time you went to call them on the phone- just send them a text instead! Never will you need to sit through those awkward first dates with nothing to talk about- just do a bit of research and you’ll have a whole list of likes and dislikes to discuss! And there’s nothing like a bit of text-sex to spice up an otherwise boring Wednesday night. Just make sure his mates aren’t gathered around taking in every juicy word you write.