The Virtual (Dating) Scene Or Playing The Virtual Dating Game

October 28, 2014 4:50 PM

The dating scene or game or whatever you want to call it has always been difficult to play, negotiate or be a part of, even before technology became a part of it.

Since the invention of the internet (and as part of the domino effect, the invention of dating sites and social media), as well as the evolution of telephones and mobile phones, the dating scene or game has simultaneously become a lot easier and more difficult.

Telephones and mobile phones, dating and social media websites make it easier to meet new friends and prospective partners. However the online social settings of dating and social media websites and the technology that enables them have also made bad dating behaviour common place and seem to blur the lines of what is acceptable dating etiquette, such as making rejection and breaking up easier or too easy.

Below are the advantages and disadvantages of technological devices, dating and social media websites in the virtual dating scene or game:

Phones1. Landline telephones and mobile phones (pre-Smartphone and iPhone days)

This is really the most obvious. Both landline telephones and pre-Smartphone and iPhone mobile phones enables talking between dates and not to mention texting was a great invention in the dating scene for those who are dating on a budget or have a busy life. 

Advantages:

-You don’t have to wait until the next date or the next time you see or run into each other to be able to talk to each other.

-With texting you can send each other messages and communicate anytime you want and can reply at your convenience. This is especially handy for a busy couple or for those in long-distance relationships.

-Texting is good for your budget as most texts usually don’t cost much.

-If one of you is too sick to come over or go out on a date, you can always talk on the phone. 

Disadvantages:

 -Telephone and mobile phone communication is limited. You can’t see or touch each other and sometimes it feels too impersonal.

-You can end up with a big phone bill if you talk or text too much.

-Telephones and mobile phones make it easier to reject someone you are not interested in as you don’t have to do it in person. Some people choose methods such as ghosting where phone calls and texts have stopped being returned without an explanation or screening calls where one person uses caller ID or lets the calls go to their answering machine to avoid answering the phone. 

Iphone Smartphone2. Smartphones and iPhones 

Smartphones and iPhones gained their popularity and have been regarded as the most popular and most used mobile phones since the mid-to-late 2000s and early 2010s. Smartphones and iPhones expand the previously limited types of communication that came with the telephone and pre-Smartphone and iPhone mobile phones. Smartphones and iPhones enable communication beyond basic texts and phone calls such as multimedia communication, in particular video chats.

Advantages:

-Enables multiple methods of communication beyond basic texts such as video chatting and texting that can include photo, video and map items. These multiple methods of communication can make long-distance as well as general communication easier.

-There are also apps that are purely designed not only for dating, but different types of dating such as for those looking for “The One” or for those looking for more casual arrangements. For example, the Tinder app is well-known as a hot-or-not dating app. Dating websites generally have an app version of their website. 

Disadvantages:

-You could end up with a big phone bill depending on the type of apps you use, the amount of apps you use and whether you are on a plan or not, and if you are on a plan, the type of plan you are on.

-Apps like any other device can have its technical glitches from time to time and can stop working, which can cause communication issues. It can be inconvenient but usually easily fixed. If it can’t be, sometimes you have to perform the inconvenient but inevitable task of calling the phone company.

-You may have to be wary of apps that match you with someone by location. The Tinder app had a security issue when it was revealed that the location of their users was exposed due to a fault in the app’s geo-location tool. It has since been fixed, however this problem could easily happen again with other apps.

Tinder3. Dating and social media websites 

Obviously you access dating sites and social media websites on your computer and if not on your Smartphone and iPhone. The computer has evolved from being a machine that processes documents and keeping online copies of files to being able to access information from all over the world and enabling multiple methods of communication. As I previously stated, the invention of dating and social media websites is the domino effect of the invention of the internet. There use to be a social stigma with “meeting someone online”, now it’s becoming more common places and different types of dating websites have been invented. For example Zoosk is a dating website that combines dating and social media and is known for being accessed by Facebook.

Advantages:

-Dating websites are ideal for those who work a lot, don’t enjoy the clubbing scene, don’t meet a lot of men/women in their lives or are shy. You have the ideal situation of being able to meet people from the comfort of your own home.

-Nearly all dating and social media websites have recognised the need to protect their users/members by having their own anti-harassment and privacy policies in place. This can include but is not limited to blocking and reporting other members, hiding your profile or making your profile accessible to certain members.

-The use of websites can make dating more straight-forward due to the process that dating websites have. RSVP’s system involves sending a kiss to someone to let them know you are interested, sending a kiss back explaining whether you are/are not interested, and sending emails for a certain period of time if the feeling is mutual.

-It is easy to set up your dating profile via your social media profile due to your photos, location and interests already being shown. 

Disadvantages:

-Despite anti-harassment and privacy policies being in place on nearly all dating and social media websites, due to the amount of these websites out there and the easy accessibility of the internet, stalking has become a lot easier. Some suitors, not all of them will try to find a loophole around these policies.

-It is easy to ghost or reject people and hurt their feelings.

-Online dating websites can feel a little impersonal due to the lack of face-to-face interaction.

Missed calls I was inspired to write this article due to a small article I found on how technology is  making rejection and breaking up easier. Interestingly the last sentence of the article  pointed out that one person in a relationship or who has been on a few dates with another person sometimes loses interest. This has happened with every generation and sometimes they don’t tell the person that they have lost interest, rather that they ignore them or ghost them and that technology is not causing the problem, it is another way of this person making it clear that they have lost interest, or rather not telling them at all.

Me personally, I don’t think it’s the nicest thing to do and this bad behaviour, as well as others is unfortunately, always going to exist. If this happens or has happened to you my advice is to let it go and move on, which is also a part of the dating process, virtual dating or otherwise.

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