The latest and greatest in technology has significantly expanded the dating playing field. We need to ask ourselves whether it’s fundamentally improved the dating game. Let’s explore some pros and cons.
Dating websites, dating apps, and stores of electronic resumes offer today’s singles the opportunity to date from a much broader pool both demographically and geographically. Does this mean that we have more potential marriage partners? Skype, WhatsApp, and Email make it much easier to be in contact with a date. Does that help today’s singles develop better patterns of communication? Facebook, Instagram, and Google give us more information about anybody in the world than was available just a decade ago. Does that allow us to know the person we’re dating more profoundly?
I’m not convinced.
Dating is about understanding who you are, the sort of family you’d like to build, and the exploration of whether another person is the other half of you and your future family. The fundamentals of that profound and personal journey don’t change with technology. The process of that exploration can be enhanced by technology, but it can just as easily be obscured.
Access to a much wider dating pool can lead to surprisingly beautiful matches but it can also gloss over the difficulties of cultural difference in marriage. Ever present communication tools can give us a greater ability to nurture a budding relationship. They can also flood relationships with artificial intensity and stunt the development of direct personal communication. Online research can discover important facts just as easily as it can distort and present information out of context.What are we to do?
For starters, I suggest that you never allow yourself to get swept up in an online romance with someone you’ve never met in person. This is dangerous! Anyone can hide behind a screen and put their best foot forward. It is in non-virtual reality that we can best see the true character of a person. Meet in person as soon as you can. This will weed out creeps and move a healthy relationship forward.
As a rule of thumb, I’d recommend that uncommitted couples should keep texting to a minimum. It’s a poor substitute for true communication. If you’d like to be in touch, speak on the phone or even better, meet for a date. Don’t allow your relationship to be emoji deep.
Although you might find many people through websites, apps, and digital profiles, remember that you need only one — the one that’s right for you. Make sure you know yourself well so that you judge whether a search result is a correct fit for who you are and what your need.
Finally, you might want to apply the principle of “V’ahavta l’reiacha kamocha” (“Love your neighbor as yourself”) to online searches. I’m guessing there’s online content you wish didn’t exist (#highschoolselfie), and you should probably extend that assumption to others.
Modern technology gives us power tools. Power tools can build more quickly and can destroy more quickly. As your parents probably taught you, handle power tools with caution and keep the safety instructions in mind.