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YES!!!… well, no… not really…. I dunno… kinda?
With the rise of technology well underway and the digital frontier becoming ever more present within our culture, there has arisen countless opportunities for human connection via a digital link. Common worries, however, are that these opportunities are changing what it means to be ‘dating’, as well as the personal risks one takes when pursuing such a relationship via internet. With such a synthetic tie between two people, who may or may not ever met face-t0-face, it’s not uncommon for emotional scams or ‘catfishing’ to take place among the newer wave of digital relationships. (As defined by Urban Dictionary, a Catfish is someone who pretends to be someone they’re not using Facebook or other social media to create false identities, particularly to pursue deceptive online romances).
Catfishing is such a common occurrence in today’s world that there is an entire running television show with four complete seasons revolving around debunking possible online fake identities, and a whole feature length documentary chronicling the experience of the same guy who made the series (Yaniv Schulman). Also, no big deal, but EHARMONY EVEN PUT OUT TIPS TO AVOID THIS SITUATION!!! (I feel like this horse can only be beat for so long, but no reason to stop until it’s dead). This guide can actually be used universally in accordance with any social or dating website and is just a great guide to follow in any digital relationship building situation, be it romantic, casual, or business.
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Another point to be made about dating websites like eharmony and apps like tinder (more of like a booty-call app than an actual dating app, but it works), is that it puts a certain degree of manageability in the hands of the user. Manageability in terms of relationship org – what I’m trying to say is that its easier to have relations with more people, there. When you have a visual list of people in front of you that you’ve recently ‘matched’ with, it’s just human tendency to strike up conversations with all of them simultaneously. Not to say this is a new thing at all, this is just talking to people at this stage, getting your feelers out and seeing who is interested in pursuing the same kind of relationship(s) you’re looking for.
DISCLAIMER: In this stage of the article, I have to point out that, although I go to a Christian school and I’m writing for a Christian blog, I myself am not a Christian. And so, my views on relationships do not directly reflect those of the school that I attend.
As conversations develop, you maybe have a handful of people that you agree with in terms of what you are looking for, or maybe not, I don’t judge. Now here is a stage that, I’m sure a lot of my fellow Greenville College students will have different views on. Is there anything wrong with ‘dating around’? That’s basically what you’re going to be doing at this stage, developing deeper connections and seeing who fits your bill the most. But is that wrong? I tend to think not. Especially if you set clear expectations early on. If you’re looking for a solely physical relationship, or an emotional one, or a combination of the two, just say so. That way both parties are on the same page and nobody gets hurt. But that’s just a little bit of common sense anyways, even without the digital aspect of dating. A little bit of dating etiquette, if you will.
Technology isn’t killing the dating scene, it’s just changing the way we interact with each other. (I feel like a cog in a giant record player that’s just been playing a broken record for the past ten years).
TLDR: Be careful of Catfishing scams and set clear expectations upfront when you start a digital relationship.