Many researchers such as Lara Hallam, who has a PhD in Department of Communication Studies at University of Antwerp, where she works in relationship studies states that: “people have always used to used intermediaries such as mothers, friends, priests or tribe members to find a suitable partner”. Digital dating is defined as the use of technologies such as texting, video calls, social media networking and dating websites to find a suitable partner or relationship. With the evolution of digital multimedia that brought digital dating, more and more people use the online dating to find their soulmate. At the same time, many people are concerned by this new form of dating where all we need to make to meet somebody is a gadget such as a cellphone, tablet or a laptop to be able to communicate.
Those in favor of digital dating sees it as a necessity. In their view, it expands the social circle by meeting new people without going anywhere which also gives more opportunity to meet someone who may be your soulmate. For example, those dating websites organize events and activities for people to meet and develop a friendship. This kind of dating comparing to the traditional dating, increases the marriage rate because more people are connected to those dating websites; therefore, there is more chance to find your partner. Digital dating, they say improve dating skills. It helps to know how to talk to a women or man before to meet in person by practicing many times with different person online.
On the other hand, critics of digital dating attest that digital dating is for pathetic and older people; and also, it is dangerous. They say it is for older people because only an older person will hide himself behind a screen to connect with another person. The identification of the pathetic and dangerous aspect of the digital dating is the fact people have to hide themselves behind a screen instead of confronting the persons they would like to meet in person. For example, male or female who fall in love of somebody that they have never met before and start a virtual relationship before deciding to meet; it is insane and sad. People get their heart broken.
They even worry that it may lead to a digital dating abuse which is the use of technologies to be abused, stalked, intimidated, scammed, bullied or harassed. It is more often an emotional or verbal abuse that happened online.
Remarkably, those both sides of this exchange of view agree that digital dating does not replace the traditional dating. It is a dating without the use of technology; all is done in person or by a third parties such as priest, family or friend. Digital dating and traditional dating are complementary because digital dating starts online and ends in person as traditional dating. A digital dating becomes a desperation when people do not want to step into out of the screen zone life to meet the person they met in real life; but they prefer to hide themselves behind the screen. They are very complexed and underestimate themselves. However, it is a necessity for those who explore anther ways of dating in order to find their soulmate; and are not afraid to meet the person in the real life. It is just an ordinary way to meet people for them.
I agree that we should not categorize the digital dating as a bad idea because of finding love. In contrary, we should accept it as one of the efficient ways to meet people because the place occupied by the technology today in the world. We should not underestimate this kind of dating because Everything is now via internet either for friendship, love or even business partnership. It is stress free and easy.
The main point of this discussion, I think, is to know that despite his advantages and inconvenient, digital dating is not harmful to anybody. It is up to people to be careful in what they are doing online. She mentions: “Just be cautious. Be smart and careful about what information you post, who you give your personal contact information to, and where and when you meet someone for the first time”. There is nothing to lose by trying the digital dating. No one knows where he will find his soulmate; so, it is better to try instead of condemned it.
I am fortunate to know many people who have been using the digital dating; and who at the end found love. There are married and have their family. There are even some Christian dating websites as well. I am certain that I would not eliminate digital dating as a way to find a soulmate because we never know where we will find love.
If we agree that love can be found anywhere, then we can find a way to reconcile the two points of view on this subject. Digital dating should not be seen as for pathetic, older or even for desperate people. We must forget the fact that digital dating as a positive aspect; people find love and live happy.
- Merkle, Erich R., and Rhonda A. Richardson. “Digital Dating and Virtual Relating: Conceptualizing Computer Mediated Romantic Relationships.” Family Relations, vol. 49, no. 2, 2000, pp. 187–192. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/585815.
- Hobbs, Mitchell, et al. “Liquid Love? Dating Apps, Sex, Relationships and the Digital Transformation of Intimacy.” Journal of Sociology, vol. 53, no. 2, June 2017, pp. 271–284, doi:10.1177/1440783316662718.