Prior to the advent of Internet and dating sites, we had dating services. If you had a hard time meeting new people in your life, you went to a dating service. There was a stigma with this sort of dating method. It was figured that unattractive people and the “too intelligent” relied on these services because their social skills were lacking. Many of the services offered you the ability to create a little video that introduced yourself to others. They could see what you looked like, what kind of accent you had, and your basic mannerisms. You could then view short videos of other potential dates.
Dating Those We Met In Chat Rooms
Remember way back in the day of AOL and MSN Chat Rooms? Back in the mid to late 90’s, that was how so many of us communicated with each other when we weren’t working or out with real human people. It was also a great place for some online flirting. And let’s face it, a lot of us were doing it back then! But with it came this stigma that meeting someone online was for the desperate or too pathetic. It was the ultimate loser status. It was also the birth of the Internet troll, and the trolls loved to pick on lonely people who just wanted some intimate attention. Occasionally, a spouse suspicious of the other would create a fake identity online just to see what the other was doing. Back then we called it trolling, but now we call it catfishing. Back then, we didn’t think to search for people using an image. I am not sure we could have even done that in the early days. In this day and age, researching who you are talking to prior to a meeting is the way we protect ourselves. We can now search names, images, and even check email addresses to find out more on a person to see if they are tricking us or being truthful.
Eventually, we saw dating sites appear in ads. Match launched in 1995 and has spearheaded the age of online dating. Since then over 2,000 dating sites have launched, many still active including Match. The draw of the dating site is that you can read a bit about what the person likes, doesn’t like, review pictures, and even answer questions to see if you are compatible. Many sites allow for private messaging so that you don’t have to share personal information until you are comfortable doing so. Many dating sites are now catered to specific aspects of life. You can find a dating site for your religious preference, age (50+ anyone?), sexual orientation, gender identity, and even if you are tattooed!
There is an App for That
Today, many people use a dating app from a dating site. With the saturation of smartphones in the mobile market, websites are clamoring to make apps that make their sites easily accessible. And dating is no stranger to that. Being able to check on new prospects and receive messages while on the go is attractive in a society that is constantly on the go. Tinder has cornered the market at offering location-based connections. Imagine being out for drinks with a date that goes sour and having the ability to meet up with someone new in just a few minutes? Tinder can do that for you!
The Future of Dating
What can be on the horizon for dating? Some suggest advances in Biotechnology that can pick out who we will be attracted to based on our DNA. The ability to know what triggers us into the state of attraction and finding that person would be simplified and made incredibly efficient. Another upcoming option would be Virtual Dating. It’s estimated that at the current rate of progression, we can be stimulated virtually. This form of dating would mean we could hold someone’s hand or smell their cologne or perfume in the comfort of our homes. This would be a big bonus for individuals with social anxiety. And while it seems far fetched and a bit too impersonal, let’s remember that at one point in time we did not actually date. Families chose a partner for us. Dating now would look insane to someone from the 19th century!!
Dating has been evolving for centuries and will certainly continue to change as we move forward into a tech heavy society. The best thing we can do is roll with it, always make sure we are safe, research who we are dating so that we aren’t scammed, and enjoy ourselves.
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