The Internet has changed all our lives dramatically over the last twenty years. Every aspect of our lives has been made quicker, better, more secure and easier than ever before. Romance and dating has been affected more than most with the increasing popularity of online dating, Facebook and mobile phones.
Unless you worked in a big city, had lots of friends or participated in other activities in the evenings or weekends, finding someone special to share your life with was always going to be difficult. The usual methods of going to pubs or clubs were, and still are, fraught with difficulties. The Internet has enabled potential mate seekers to advertise themselves to the world and wait to see what responses they get. For years this was always thought to be a method for sad people with no social skills and was often ridiculed. However the basic premise was sound. The Internet provided the missing ingredient that many love seekers were missing from their search, scope. Suddenly they weren’t limited to their circle of friends and work colleagues. Now they were promoting themselves 24 hours a day to thousands of like-minded potential romantic partners. Not everything was improved with the advent of online dating. Just like any other system, online dating was prone to misuse from less than genuine individuals with exaggerated or simply false profiles and profile images. This has been improved in recent years with the increase in popularity of social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram.
A common use for Facebook when dating is to gather some useful information on your prospective date. This could be used to ensure the person you think you are meeting is genuine and is who they say they are. Social media leaves a trail so anybody can find out important information regarding a potential date. The main benefit here is regarding safety. If you can confirm the person is genuine it makes meeting them less risky. Another advantage of using Facebook, Twitter or other social media site to get a feel for a potential date is that it can give you some useful subjects to talk about. First dates are tricky but with a handful of topics you know your date has an interest in will make the whole process a lot easier.
Once in a relationship, technology has also had a major impact on how we chat, flirt and generally keep in touch with your partner. Twenty years ago, the landline was the only way to communicate with a loved one when not together. The way we live has changed. Now we are always available with the use of mobile phones and tablets. The use of SMS texting has had a massive impact on our day-to-day lives. Invented primarily to send short, informative messages they now form the bulk of communication between romantic partners when not in each other’s company. The advantages of text messaging are that they are quick and convenient and can be answered at your leisure. A major drawback is that written text does not allow for any inflection or emotion to be added so messages can be mis-interpreted. Also, there is the dreaded predictive text mixup where the phone replaces what you are writing with what it thinks you meant to write. This can have disastrous effects but also provides a few laughs. Some people even use SMS to break up with their partner.
Technology has enhanced the way we find love and communicate with our loved ones but has also distanced us from our loved ones with our over reliance of quick and easy ways to say how we feel. Nothing can replace face-to-face contact and conversation but hopefully technology can help us to fill in the gaps when we’re apart.