Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Is technology ruining relationships? – Part IV

For my final section of this series, I decided to try online dating. It’s a growing trend for the dating scene, so it only felt right to include it. There’s still a stigma for online dating these days; even I was skeptical before going on OKCupid.  Anytime I told a fellow classmate about my online dating, I could feel judgment radiating off them, though anyone older that I told thought it was a good idea. Funnily enough, after the initial judgment, a lot were very curious about trying it and some even did. I also found a surprising number of UMass students on it; a few times I was matched up with people I know (even once with someone I already dated).

I was interested in finding out why there is such a stigma for online dating, because I found it to be a useful dating tool. In person, you might meet someone who only wants to hook up, that still hits on you despite knowing that’s not what you’re looking for. Online, no one really wastes their time with that because there are so many options. However, whenever we hear about online dating, it’s normally about how someone was “catfished” or online predators. To be honest, I found it’s not that hard to detect the unwanted. You could tell someone was genuine by the specific details and anecdotes included; those who put up a front typically had standard-issue profiles and few photos with backgrounds that I was unable to detect. Also, you can tell someone’s intentions just by their first message. If you receive a message only acknowledging your looks, they only want sex. If you receive one asking about you, then they want to date. Online dating isn’t hard to navigate once you figure out the tricks.

The other issue that perpetuates the stigma: people feeling ashamed to say they met online. Why? People feel like they’re missing out on a “cute meeting story”. However that doesn’t always happen, as some people create a more interesting story. I’m not saying that every meeting is embellished (though a lot are), it’s just that you have to include more of what happened. My best-friend’s story of how she met her boyfriend is filled with sly glances, coy flirting, and “love at first sight.” You want to know how they met without the fluffy details? At a play. It sounds pretty generic when that’s all you say, yet they have a wonderful tale to tell.

Now, let me dress up a personal story:

I was matched with a boy that instantly caught my attention; we’ll call him Science Guy. I was intrigued, so I uncharacteristically messaged him first. We talked and found we had a lot in common and after some time he asked me out. We met up for lunch where I kept discovering more reasons to like him. I was giddy and “I Think I Like You” by Donora played on repeat in my head all day. Despite making a fool of myself, Science Guy asked me out again. When we met up for our second date, I was far more nervous now that I actually liked him. But the nerves at this stage almost made the date.  Every glance and touch is filled with exciting tension, and it all built up to a wonderful surprise kiss snuck in before we left the bar that left me grinning like an idiot. So, needless to say, the dates kept coming. And kept getting better.

See? All you need to be is a good story teller.

While my previous accounts found drawbacks of technology, I forgot the most important and positive aspect: technology allows for interactions to happen with ease. While there are many rules to follow, I realize rules will be present whether technology is or not. I mean, do you guys know how crazy courtship rules were in earlier centuries? At least with technology I can flirt while being lazy in bed. So, while sometimes integrating technology into the dating world is a pain, it’s worth it in the end.

Kate Casler can be reached at [email protected].

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    Borat SaddiyevNov 15, 2013 at 5:06 pm

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    sueJul 3, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    the issue with online dating is people tend to big themselves up way to much and actually you find that they arent quite the same as the real person they are day to day