Friday, December 21, 2007

Top 5 things inherently wrong with online dating

Before I begin this list, I would like to say one thing... online dating can and DOES work for some people. Sadly, these people tend to be the minority. For the rest of society, I would like to examine the following things inherently wrong with the concept of online dating.

5. Online dating is an oxymoron

Well, kind of. According to Wikipedia, dating is "any social activity performed as a pair or even a group with the aim of each assessing the other's suitability as their partner in a intimate relationship or as a spouse. The word refers to the act of agreeing on a time and 'date' when a pair can meet and engage in some social activity."

Many would argue that the Internet is, in itself, a social activity. This logic works until you take into consideration that several factors keep the couple from being able to accurately assert each other's "suitability as [a potential] partner." What kind of factors am I talking about? Why, the factors that make up the rest of this list! Let's continue.

4. Impersonal

Unfortunately, even the longest text chat or cam session can not make the Internet that much less impersonal. Arguably the most important part of dating is simply growing closer to the person you are with, and, unfortunately, that is rather difficult through the Internet. When communicating via the Internet, there is almost an invisible filter always present. Take, for example, the ability to re-read and spell check important emails. In a way, we are able to hide our flaws and imperfections with the veil that is technology. What it comes down to is that, on the Internet, other people can only you as you want them to see you.

Perhaps this helps explain why studies have shown that many people choose to break up with their loved ones by way of text messaging now a days. It is simply less painful because its so impersonal.

3. Different goals

Unfortunately, for as many people trying to find their soul mate on the Internet, there are about twice as many trying to find a one night stand. Often times, people (usually women, not to be sexist) tend to confuse lust with love. If the "guy of your dreams" asks to see naked pictures of you, then its time to move on. Its really a no-brainer.

2. Anonymity

The ability to be anonymous is a double edged sword. On the one hand, it give us as individuals the freedom to be ourselves without expectation of judgment. On the other hand, it gives others the ability to be themselves without recoil or punishment. Long story short, you can be a jerk and there is not much anyone can do to stop you. I'd expand on this, but I believe that this girl (who ironically posts anonymously) does a good job of explaining why.

In terms of how this affects online dating, it simply makes trust a bigger issue than it already is. How do you know that this person that you are chatting with is really the dream girl she says she is? Well, you don't. And that can be a problem. Pictures and voices can be fabricated more easily than you'd think.

1. Risky

Internet dating is risky in two ways.

First, it's risky for your heart. Many of those who rely on dating via the Internet tend to be both fickle in their relationships and (lets face it) comparatively immature. If you need companionship and have turned to the Internet, expect to be hurt at least a couple of times. Going back to anonymity, being rude is easier through an email. If you're slightly ugly, people on the Internet will have no problem telling you so. If you're over weight, some jerks might throw that right back at you.

Second, it's risky for you as an individual. With identity theft rates on the rise, perhaps the easiest way to lure information from an individual is by pretending to desire an intimate relationship with him or her -- not to mention all those
scary pedophiles on myspace.

In conclusion...

Online dating might work for some, but if you are going to try it, be smart. Don't get carried away by romantic talk, and don't put yourself in a dangerous position. Love is hard. If it wasn't, it wouldn't be so worth it in the end.

Best wishes finding that special someone!


P.S. All images used where found using Google Images. If you feel your content was stolen or misused, you may contact me by leaving a comment with an appropriate return email address listed. Thanks!