It’s 2016. There’s no need for cliché openings – we all know how much technology has changed our lives. The truth is, there are a lot of people out there who can live without a partner for the rest of their lives, but only few who can survive an hour without their smartphones. So does technology help us build relationships, or does it replace human relationships with artificial ones?
Remember the saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover”? Well, let me introduce you to Tinder, which is essentially an app that asks you to do the exact opposite of that – judge people based on their appearances. Tinder lets you see profiles of other male and female users in your area, where you get to see a few pictures and a short biodata. If you’re interested, you swipe right. If you’re not, you swipe left. The app then matches people that swiped right for each other and allows them to chat. The success of Tinder has simplified and intensified the hook-up culture that was already prominent in Western countries such as the USA. More widely used as a search tool for quick, no-strings-attached hook-ups rather than a platform to grow deep, meaningful relationships, Tinder portrays how superficial the world can be. The trend of online dating also brought forth another concern: The risk of being catfished. Being catfished is when you’re lured into a relationship with someone you know from social media, who are not who they claimed they are. As online dating becomes more ubiquitous, we see more and more cases of young men and women being catfished, eventually left with a broken heart.
Another app that has taken the world by storm is Snapchat, a texting app that allows you to send and share pictures that will only be available for a brief period of time. What has Snapchat got to do with the dating scene, you ask? Well, I believe two college students from University of Wisconsin-Madison can answer your question. Long story short – Girl confesses love for a hot stranger on the University’s Snapchat Story -> Guy sees it, asks girl out -> Girl misses invitation -> Whole campus freaks out and uses Snapchat to try and unite the two -> Girl finally meets guy. Now isn’t that just a wonderful modern love story? We don’t know if the relationship will eventually blossom into a long-term one, but it’s undeniable that in this case, technology is definitely the number 1 wingman! (For the whole story, read here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3568394/Two-students-University-Wisconsin-try-Snapchat-videos-school-goes-wild-egging-on.html )
Undoubtedly, technology has brought about large changes to the dating scene. As with other things in life, this has its pros and cons. Better connectivity brings people closer, but they are also driving people further apart. When you see a couple out on a date at a restaurant, what are the odds that one or both of them are engrossed in their phones rather than their partner? I’d say a good 90%. It’s worrying, and it can’t truly be solved, until we figure out which one we’d rather be in a relationship with – a real person, or our smartphones.