Thursday, 13 June 2013

Think about it – how did you meet your boyfriend, or your ex… through a friend, maybe at a party, or possibly on Facebook? Maybe the majority of the time you spent tuning and talking in the beginning, when they found out you’re downright fabulous, was through Facebook?

We resent the idea of ‘internet dating’. We stereotype the concept as sites for forty year olds or divorcees that can’t get laid, to find someone equally as lonely.

But hypocritically, in our modern social media world of Instagram and Facebook, it’s so easy to forget that it’s pretty much the same thing.

We still hope we’ll be at the shops or at school, doing something obviously unimportant, when we meet the man of our dreams (or lady). The moment where things begin to move in slow motion and butterflies attack your abdomen.  

Or we even daydream that we’ll just meet a guy at a party, start to chat and realise he’s something different – then it all goes ahead from there.

Realistically? This doesn’t happen too often anymore – it seems to be a struggle to ‘stumble’ across the ideal male.

But why? Because when everyone’s out and about now, it’s simply a different environment.

Have you ever run into someone you know, say hey then forget their name, only recalling their Instagram username? Well this is awkward.

Or maybe you see a bit of a looker, but shy away from manning up to say hello, so instead you follow him the next day and slyly like his pictures, in hope that he’ll follow you back and return the favour.

I’ll be honest; I’m a culprit. But I don’t think I’m alone on this one.

I think as a society we’ve become lazy in the game of love, relying on our smartphones to do the hard work for us.

We pay our bills through our bank app, Snapchat to keep in contact, have our emails in instant access, and now – it’s an easy way to ‘tune’.

In extremes, you get some guys that like all of a girl’s photos, use Kik to seal the deal, without bothering to initially ask for her number.

Or what about single girls that are click-happy on unavailable guys’ pictures, just because they can.  And then noone likes the jealous girlfriend who makes a big deal of Instagram likes, right?

As my saga of a rant draws to a close, I’ve come to some sort of a conclusion - I believe we’ve blurred the boundaries between internet dating, that we too often laugh at, and our contemporary attempts to find potential girlfriends/boyfriends.

And sadly, I don’t really see a solution, as smartphones continue to consume our lives. When we’re sitting in class, on a bus, or waiting for an appointment, conversations with strangers has become a social taboo. Our smartphone is our saviour from any awkward situation.

It may cost a lot of internet data Instagramming and Snapchatting, and we may go over our phone bill from time to time, but as a generation we seem to have decided it’s worth it - to save those awkward extra hours of face-to-face effort over coffee and eating in public.

Written by Natalie Lane


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