Today when I logged into Facebook, I had two notifications. The first said, "You are missing out on flirts because your date card is incomplete. Click here to complete your date card." The second said, "Here are new men for you to meet on SpeedDate..." and proceeded to list the guys who recently joined. Now, I don't even recall signing up for either of these applications (ahem), but that's beside the point. It's the fact that with all of our new age technology, dating isn't what it used to be.
What ever happened to the days of old fashion courting rituals? A guy would see a girl he liked. He'd catch her eye. They'd do a little long distance flirting. And then he'd approach her. I don't remember the last time I was physically approached by a guy. I'm not talking about a Facebook message or any other type of e-holla. I'm talking face to face. It's been a lonnnnnge time.
About a month ago I went to a lecture on campus called, "It's Not You, It's Me: Reflections on Commitment Phobia in the Late Modern Era," given by the author Eva Illouz. In it she proposed that the reason why dating is so complicated in this day and age is because of the way we go about doing it.
She opened with this analogy. In her home back in Germany, there is a larger Jewel-like supermarket she sometimes goes to. She said that she hates the store though, because it is large and crowded with so many brands of the exact same product, that she can never decide on what to buy. So, she prefers to shop at a quaint, private owned supermarket. Even though the prices are higher, she likes that she doesn't have to spend a year trying to decide what type of butter to buy.
What it ultimately comes down to is options. In this technological age, we have everything at our fingertips, including people. So, Illouz's point was that, because we have so many options of who we want to date with the aid of the Internet, it's harder for us to make any actual commitments. Before the Internet Age, people had to actually get to know each other individually. They had to put time into courting each other. But now, we're picky, impatient, and insatiable. We look through online profiles like we're walking through an aisle at the Walmart Supercenter, reading label after label and moving on to the next until we find the perfect product. We spend hours and hours in the bread aisle looking for the perfect loaf, but we never find it.
The point is, because we're living in this fast paced world of instant gratification and infinite options, old fashion dating rituals are obsolete. First there was dating. Then came speed dating. Then there was the Internet dating. And now there's Internet speed dating??? Have we really gotten that lazy?
Ugh, I hate the Internet. It's numbing and obscuring our humanity.