Social Question

rabbitheart's avatar

Are dating methods evolving over time, or are they causing human interaction to deteriorate?

Asked by rabbitheart (785points) September 30th, 2009

Modern society has created dozens of convenient, fast ways to meet a possible ‘significant other.’ Dating websites are boasting thousands upon thousands of users, and the numbers are accelerating at a rapid rate. There are various websites for every category of relationships that one can imagine, and can easily be tailored to a specific need within minutes. Looking for a possible match is starting to become less of a human interaction, and more like ordering off of a menu at a restaurant. Do you think we are missing out on friendships or relationships that might have occurred if we hadn’t dismissed them due to something in their profile we wouldn’t have seen if it was a chance meeting? Or are we simply cutting back on broken hearts and failed relationships by pre-screening aspects of possible dates, resulting in a more intelligent method of communication?

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10 Answers

bumwithablackberry's avatar

I like stew
Sorry I can’t leave that as my answer that’s rude to you, you asked a good question. Uh, dating, huh, is that when you trick someone to go somewhere with you in the guise of mutuality with the sole purpose of possibly touching them in places usually hidden. Well, look at the 50’s, that was pretty proper, formal even, then the 60’s wow, it was like one big orgy complete with the stealing of small shiny objects by unwashed trippin on LSD. Fuck the 70’s, 80’s were gay, can’t remember the 90’s because I have amnesia, 2000’s are almost over, 2010’s well, we are going to start this thing called Earth Groove, sponsored by World Party Inc. And throw off the shackles of order, and tradition, and everything else that has got us where we are, and dance, dance like we’ve never danced before, complete with reckless abandon.

Haleth's avatar

I think that things like dating websites and dating services are more needed now, because our society is growing more isolated. In the past people were probably a lot more likely to meet someone through friends or family. I read in Freakonomics that a lot of people on dating websites will publish their preferences to make themselves seem very openminded, but they are more likely to choose someone of their own background. This is a shame, because it shows that people are still very closed-minded, and it allows people to automatically rule out everyone outside their “type.” Meeting someone in person means that you can’t automatically rule them out because of things like age, race, or income.

wundayatta's avatar

I don’t think they are causing human interaction to deteriorate. I think they actually allow far more people to connect to others than otherwise would happen. I think the internet makes it a lot easier for shy and depressed people to reach out to others. It makes it easier to find people like you—who share your same interests and personality quirks.

I do think that there are some weird effects due to the increased amount of choice. In the past, your parents might mate you with someone, or your pool of potential mates would be smaller. You’d meet them at school for the most part, or at church.

With more choice, it seems, it is harder for people to choose. They become more hesitant, and less willing to make a choice, for fear of “buyer’s remorse.” So, while the internet brings more people together (as personals ads did before the internet), I think people are more hesitant to commit than they used to be. This is a deterioration in my opinion. But the net result is positive.

YARNLADY's avatar

I would never take the self-claimed number of participants in dating sites as being an accurate reflection of anything. In the US, boys and girls, men and women date just as they always did, and I do not believe there are vast hordes of people who have stopped getting together at schools, malls, churches, work places and social clubs. These places function as meeting places just as they always have.

Saturated_Brain's avatar

Put it this way: who doesn’t choose their friends? If I met someone and saw that there was something about their character which turns me off completely, I wouldn’t want to get to know them. If I saw that character trait on a dating website profile, I’d actually be glad that I found out about it before I met the person.

Sure, I might have missed out on a wonderful friendship, but think about it… Why would I want to pursue a friendship with somebody on a dating website who’s obviously looking for that special someone? For real friendships I’d fall back on my school/church/job/community centre social group, where we at least have something to talk about.

Furthermore, chances are that if a person dismisses a person based on one single character, the person they perceive to be perfect and hence choose will teach them that there’ll always be something to be displeased about. Nobody’s perfect, and we all have to deal with it in one way or another.

I believe that it’s a more intelligent way of searching for potential partners, as there’s a lower chance of breaking peoples’ hearts when you finally find out that there’s a certain deal breaker. And if your demands and criteria are so technical and closed-minded.. Then.. Well… You probably wouldn’t fare much better without the internet.

Zen's avatar

I think we are becoming lazier as a result.

SmellyBoy's avatar

@Saturated_Brain and @daloon I agree with you two. I think our means of communication and meeting people today through the use of dating sites and things like facebook and myspace really open up a lot of options that we didn’t have until recently. While it may seem like we’re merely ordering off a menu, the human interaction is inevitable. Maybe you’ll meet your happy meal only to realize you want some threeconomics!

As for missing out on friendships or relationships by dismissing them based on something in that person’s profile, I don’t think this really matters when it comes to trying to meet a significant other on a dating website. The whole purpose for such websites is to weed out the stuff you don’t want before getting deep into the relationship. Like Saturated_Brain said, ”For real friendships I’d fall back on my school/church/job/community centre social group.” These are places you grow with people and make real friendships, and I don’t think that will ever change.

The one thing I will say, is that while I think dating sites are great for meeting people, nothing will compare to meeting someone without them. I’ve never used a dating site personally, but I have a feeling that it takes away from that feeling of meeting someone by chance that just rocks your world and makes you feel so good. That’s my take on it, though I do know people who have used these sites and are very happy with the outcome, so maybe I’m just talkin’ out my ass!

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Zen's avatar

I think the pc and internet dating came about just as the issue of secual harassment was reaching a climax. As a result, to elaborate on my note about being lazier, this generation of daters has become more cautious, shall we say.

I think the direction its going in is clear; all you have to do is watch a few sci-fi films from Blade Runner through Demolition Man.

Robots are given AI and human features – the Japanese woman is just the beginning. Right now she is programmed to strike when her breasts are touched; the next edition will welcome you with open arms, I imagine.

Of course, dating isn’t only about sex…

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