Dating: Rise of the Machines

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First Posted: 6/10/2014

Thinking back to my childhood, there was still music on MTV, the Internet didn’t exist, and people put effort into getting to know each other. My parents met over a CB radio in the ‘80s, and as a young woman, I spent hours on the phone talking to my friends about trips to the mall and cute boys in Tiger Beat magazine.

Times have changed drastically. My phone rarely rings these days. When it does, it’s generally Sallie Mae reminding me that my student loan is past due. The changes in technology have also impacted the world of dating. Tinder, texting, and Facebook have taken the fun out of actually getting to know someone.

Facebook, for example, will show you everyone’s highlight reel. People post their best pictures, their friends, family, pets, even dinners and gym schedules. You can generally get to know a lot about a person without ever having to say hello. This advancement has taken much of the guesswork out of dating when it comes to seeing what you may have in common with someone.

Most girls I know will check out a guy’s Facebook before deciding if he is dating material or not. I wondered if changes in technology have also impacted how men approach dating. As a single girl on the scene, I needed to find out. I collaborated with Russ Hryvnak, friend and local blogger, to get his opinion on how technology has changed the dating game for guys.

“Technology has no doubt impacted the way we work, communicate, and even the way we live,” he said. “E-mail has replaced letters. Texting and Snapchats have replaced the old-fashioned phone conversation, and the sum of your popularity is now boiled down to likes and ‘favorites.’ Dating has also changed. Relationships move as fast as information travels. Sex, which was once regarded as the highest form of passion to share with a person, has now become something that is casual and almost expected.”

He pitched the question, and I want it answered: Whatever happened to the thrill of the chase?

Hryvnak said that just because you meet someone online, it doesn’t mean you have to move any faster than any other relationship. Regardless of society’s pressures, you ultimately do what works for you. If you meet someone online and over time you see it works, go for it. Don’t be surprised, however, if you rush into things and it doesn’t work out (online or not).

We also see eye to eye on this, so maybe the genders aren’t so different after all.

Times are changing and relationships are much the same. You grow with a person, sometimes closer, sometimes further apart. At its core, according to Russ, a relationship will always come down to one thing – whether or not you can put up with the other person for the rest of your life.

As a girl, I hope to someday find someone who not only “puts up” with me, but someday will love me. So I am left to conclude that men and women alike are evolving and rolling with the times. The dating world has changed – it’s up to you to decide if it is for better or worse.