Thu10172019

Last updateWed, 16 Oct 2019 12pm

Features

Love Bytes: Meeting the People Behind the Profile

Since it’s creation, the Internet has had an unbelievably large impact on the every day lives of millions of people. In more recent years, the invention of the Internet has also provided us with a handful of different ways to interact with other people from all over the world, all from behind the screen of a computer.

Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter allow men and women of all ages to connect with one another through the sharing of pictures, text posts and direct messages. Other websites like match.com and eHarmony were created for interaction purposes as well, but on a much different level.

According to CBS, dating websites started appearing in the mid-90s with the launch of Match.com, but didn’t gain a whole lot of momentum until the 2000’s. Now, in 2013, there are over 5000 online dating sites in existence according to Online Dating Magazine. They’re all basically the same: create a profile, post photos of yourself, answer a handful of questions regarding your interests, goals and hobbies and then the website does the rest of the work for you.

And now that much of the United States’ population have started using smartphones, there are countless apps for both iPhone and android devices that work the same as these online dating websites.

These websites and smartphone applications have changed the face of dating over the years, but it is still difficult for many people to understand why others put these technology driven resources to use when it comes to starting relationships. Dr. Gary Lewandowski, the Department Chair of Psychology at the University, said, “It is primarily a matter of convenience. It seems that many of the things we had previously done in person have migrated to websites and apps, and it seems that dating isn’t any different.”

There are plenty of other reasons why people decide to use these websites and apps to meet their potential significant other, however. For one, the nature of these resources is far less intimidating than real life situations. Starting a conversation online or via text message is much easier than walking up to someone in person and engaging in small talk.

Lewandowski explained, “I think it is much easier to put yourself ‘out there’ on a website or dating app than it is in real life. For those who are less confident, this is a major benefit.” Not only do those who are not very confident benefit for this reason, but men and women who are too confident also benefit, for facing rejection in these situations is not as difficult. Being turned down on the Internet is not nearly as humiliating as it is in a face-to-face situation.

Even though there are a number of great reasons to use the Internet as a dating tool, there are some things to be aware of when putting yourself out there. The number one thing that most people seem to be concerned about is how genuine a person’s profile is. Because all communication is happening behind the screen of a computer, it is almost impossible to know whether or not someone is being their true self. Not only that, but the person’s entire profile could be a complete lie. Today’s new dating technology makes it very easy for practically anyone to create different personalities to hide behind.

Regardless of the dangers involved in these dating websites and applications, millions of men and women, both young and old, use these resources to meet new people. Some are more serious than others, but nonetheless, these technologies have had a huge impact on our society.

For the sake of their anonymity, the names of the students in this article have been changed.

For example, Mollie, a freshman, and Dan, a junior, both use an iPhone application called Tinder that, according to its description in the Apple App Store, “Anonymously finds out who likes you nearby, and connects you with them if you’re also interested.”

This particular app seems to be popular among the younger crowd, mostly college students like Mollie and Dan. Although neither of them plan on meeting up with anyone they match with on Tinder, they both continue to use it. “It was flattering to know that guys ‘liked’ me, and I got a good laugh out of some of the things that they would message me,” Mollie explained. Dan enjoyed it for the same reason, “It’s fun to find people that like you back,” he said.

Although Tinder is a lot simpler than most other dating applications and websites, it still puts a strange twist on relationships. According to Mollie, “I think everyone perceives these apps and websites differently, depending on how serious they take them.” Many of those who are registered users of specific websites of apps may only be using them for entertainment reasons while others may actually be looking for someone to get to know. It all depends on the person, and the dating service, as well.

Lewandowski said, “The ones that have the most potential benefits are the ones that emphasize getting to know the other person first. The ones that emphasize more superficial features are much less helpful.” Those who are not as serious will use an application like Tinder, and those who are seriously interested in starting a relationship may create a profile on eHarmony.

Overall, dating websites and smartphone apps are usually criticized for their services, but as long as you’re careful of what you post and what you believe about other people, there really is nothing wrong with using them. If it helps you find the love of your life, there should be no shame in using one.

IMAGE TAKEN from whatsfab.ca

Contact Information

CAMPUS LOCATION
The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication
and Instructional Technology (CCIT)
Room 260, 2nd floor

MAILING ADDRESS
The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey
07764

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151
Email: outlook@monmouth.edu