July 14, 2012
Internet dating: The next generation or lost in space?
The final frontier: internet dating. Once a cultural taboo, now an engrained part of our culture but is it really enhancing our community or simply leading to a generation of the socially inept?
Of course, I do appreciate that it can be it can be a valid tool for LB women. The scene can be very off-putting to those of us past a certain age, usually about 15. Off-scene can often be a guessing game which leads to speculation, embarrassment and disappointment. Friend set ups tend to lead to awkward social situations down the line with those friends that were so convinced you two would get on ‘like a house on fire’. For those of us that lack confidence or have been burned before it can appear like an oasis of choice. Ultimately though, there is no escaping that these sites attract crazies like moths to a flame.
So where does it all go wrong and does it ever really pay off?
Go to internet dating site – check.
Build a profile. (First potential pitfall – to exaggerate, lie or pick a bad photo)- check.
This is like the x-factor auditions; you get a feel of how people perceive themselves versus the reality of the situation. Are they the quietly understated rock star or the misguided circus freak with a trail of cats behind them?
Now to the nitty-gritty, time to build a checklist of likes and dislikes and draw up a list of potential candidates. Then the second potential pitfall emerges: the photographs.
Pictures, pictures, pictures.
What do they truly tell us about someone? I think that there is a common misconception that someone who does not upload their picture is automatically a crazy. Actually I have found the reverse to hold true. Generally these are the more normal of the lot. These are the people that do not want to show their picture to every crazy on the internet. The scene is too small and open to manipulation. By the by, I have also found that anyone that uses a famous person as their profile picture has anxiety issues and anyone that uses a cat should be avoided. Firsthand experience.
Friend 1: Stalked on the scene based on her profile.
There is no getting over the fact that there is no conversational or prescribed method of making first contact. The key is somewhere between conceited, confident and comical and finding a happy medium can be a delicate balance. Be realistic, you will need a contingency or 5. Send out a few lines and see which one catches a fish.
Friend 2: Met her now wife on dating website. The first message she sent was ‘the flower you are holding in your profile photo is my favourite’.
So first contact is checked off the list and you move on to emails and text messages. (Third potential pitfall – so rarely is included at this stage). Speaking to someone is critical, it allows you to test whether you have a natural flow and rhythm with the person. To assess their tone and intonation and whether it is potentially a voice you could listen to for the rest of your life.
Friend 3: Invested two months in this ‘get to know you process’ then met the girl only to find out the girl spoke a hundred miles an hour and rarely took the time to listen. I think she ended up sending her an email to let her know it was not going to work out.
The First Date
Then the big day comes, the first date. If you can check this off the list then you are on the home straight. Inevitably, though, this is where every lie, exaggeration or omission is going to come out. This is where you find out whether the person you have build up in your head can match up with the person that is about to sit across from you.
Friend 4: Met this girl online, they had sent each other a few messages which naturally moved on to text messages. Everything seems to be going well and they appeared to have a real connection. Date night comes and everything is going smoothly, so much so that they had already agreed on their next date. To finish the night off, they headed to a local vegan bar which seemed to unsettle the girl. When questioned what had caused the shift in atmosphere she simply replied ‘well, my grandfather always taught me that ethnic cleansing was necessary to bring Britain back to being great’. And so the date ended. Frightening and hilarious at the same time but more importantly showing how easy it is for the internet can hide a multitude of sins – on this occasion the ‘conservative views’ option on the profile parameters seemed somewhat lacking.
Of course that is not to say that internet dating is always unsuccessful. I know at least two couples that are happily married from meeting online and obviously quite a few of my friends (and I) have used it and lived.
For me, the bottom line is this; more often than not it is not any specific reason why these dates do not work out. There is just a lack of cohesion or ‘ju’ (as I like to call it) that you either have with a person or you don’t. It cannot be manufactured or falsified . It is a combination of body language, mannerisms and attitude that cannot be illustrated in words but only felt in the presence of that person. It is ‘lust at first sight’ and ‘chemistry’ and everything in between. It is not a meeting of minds and really, not your interest in fly fishing that is going to make or break the relationship; though your willingness to lie on a crucial interest might.
Another concern I have always had about internet dating is that, it takes away a social skill that is fundamental to our existence – that of story-telling. An ability to relate to people in a world that is increasingly becoming ‘virtual’, we are losing the ability to build cohesive sentences and relationships with people without smiley faces or abbreviations.
To me internet dating is not an answer, but half way to a solution. So in conclusion, if you are going to do it my advice is meet soon, speak sooner and avoid knowing someone on paper (virtual or otherwise). Oh and expect to kiss a lot of crazy frogs along the way.
Comments are closed.
Are women funny?
We were at Funny Women in Brighton attempting to find out if women are as funny as men.
June 13, 2012