Are You Off or On?

Going digital changes everything in our lives. It allows us to be connected to someone or someplace or billions of some things in an instant. With it being so quick, things move at rapid speeds. With that availability, we’d be silly to pass that up especially as someone who isn’t in a relationship—wouldn’t we? Those who have taken up online dating and have found an instant connection with a significant other would say you are not to try it!

As a technology user, I’m going to set the record straight and clear that I have not been a member of any online dating service like Farmers Only. On the top of my list of things to do currently is graduating college. I do know family friends and I have a boss who have blissful marriages thanks to online dating, but I can guarantee they weren’t quick to the idea to date online, to begin with. I wouldn’t say I’d use it, but I wouldn’t bash the idea.

USA Today had an online article interviewing author Dan Slater and he expresses that ‘an element of commitment is based on the availability of alternatives. Online dating has made a lot more people feel as though they are part of a larger mating pool than they were used to.” When dating offline, people typically tend to not take risks and we stay where we are safe. Dating online allows for freedom to explore more than what we are drawn to.

As the reader, Slater made a good point when he said: “People tend to move from one relationship to the next a lot faster than they seemed to before online dating existed.” Online dating hopefully has people slowing down and tread cautiously for many reasons—bewaring of liers, cheaters, and bullies. Another reason to tread cautiously is that it can“allows singles time to learn about themselves and define what the real need is in a long-term relationship.

Unfortunately, with everything being online there aren’t always pros, but sadly there are cons. It’s fair to say that people have learned that even if we have everything instantly, as it comes across as being, it can become overwhelming for many singles. They read endless strings of articles saying “Dating is Dead”, and “Being Single Stinks”. Then on top of that, when they put themselves out there and don’t find results they are looking for, they’re disappointed. According to a CNN article, “Online dating creates a shopping mentality which isn’t what you want when looking for a mate. It may be efficient online, but when carried into face-to-face interactions it can make daters overly critical and discouraged.”

In an online article on Upworthy.com, recent studies of technology’s effects on dating and relationships reveal some promising things such as “Relationships that  start online do just as well, if not better, than ones that start “in real life”, “The internet is not killing marriage”, and lastly, “Hookup culture” is not a new thing created by online dating”. Yes, we are in a new age of technology where dating online isn’t traditional, but just because it’s new doesn’t mean it’s entirely bad. Everyone is their own person with their own experiences and has the freedom to test the water such as online dating.

I think this all comes down to having patience no matter how you go about dating. I believe in God’s perfect timing—allowing Him to do His work. Online or offline, God is in control if we allow Him to be. For me and my life, He is and if my dad were to insert a piece of advice it would be: “There’s nothing wrong with being friends with people!” Lamentations 3:25-26 says: “The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.”