In today’s day and age, we have fantastically weird things like dating apps and websites. We’ve all either tried it or thought about trying it in some way or another. Admit it. So, I’m just going to take a brief moment to summarize my time (3 whole days) on Tinder. But first, if you live under a rock and don’t know what Tinder is, its a dating app where you upload some pictures of yourself, write a short vague profile, and then swipe left if you like someone’s picture or swipe right to reject them. Its all about first impressions and snap decisions. Its also full of guys armored with bad puns and sexual innuendos looking for their Tinderella. To say the least, I talked to some pretty interesting guys through Tinder, but I won’t be re-activating my account any time soon. However, it did make for an interesting and hilarious three days for my best friend because I would screenshot all of the weird conversations I had and send them to her via text message (see exhibits A and B below).
Putting Tinder and its ridiculousness aside, digital relationships are something that is very present in today’s world and in the way we develop relationships with one another. According to Pew Research Center, “Online dating has lost much of its stigma. A majority of Americans now say online dating is good way to meet people, when that hasn’t always been the case”. Which, if you think about it, makes a lot of sense because our faces are constantly pushed into a screen of some sort anyway, right? I believe that Psychology Today puts it best by saying, “Communication through computers is lacking some of the information provided in face-to-face interaction. As a result, it is harder to evaluate a potential match online. Also, some of the cues and features that build attraction (like touching) cannot be accomplished through a computer. So, such computer-mediated communication may have an artificial and unemotional quality”. However, websites like eHarmony has claimed over and over again that they helped tie the knot for 600,000 couples and counting. I don’t know about you, but statements like that make me wonder if traditional dating is even relevant anymore. If you can honestly and truthfully answer a bunch of questions about yourself, upload a few decent photos, and have some patience, then why should we stick with waiting for Mr or Mrs “Right” to fall into our laps one day? We could find them today if we wanted to with just a few clicks!
Digital relationships don’t have to be specifically about finding a soulmate though. It can be about keeping your soulmate. Relationships aren’t perfect by any means, and if you think yours is just a perfectly wonderful fairytale, then you’re definitely lying to yourself. Sometimes relationships have to take place at far distances and the digital world can help us maintain those relationships. With Skype or FaceTime, the person we love who is really hundreds or thousands of miles away is now right in front of us. Our Digital Age has developed ways for us to be together without physically being there. Our digital relationships are something that should be celebrated, even the ridiculous and hilarious Tinder interactions.