To say that online social interaction has had a profound impact on the way we go about meeting and socializing with other people would be a gross understatement. It would be a “What rock have you been living under” kind of understatement. Nearly everyone who has participated in modern civilization can name couples they know who have met online. Online dating has become a part of our digitally connected world that is not going away, but rather, evolving. It is becoming more commonly accepted and is less frequently viewed with suspicion when people reveal to their friends and family that they met their latest squeeze at their computer.
Some people won’t accept online dating as a legitimate way to feed that human need for companionship. These are possibly the same people who can not get over the fact that a cell phone does more these days than just let you call and talk to other people. They stubbornly insist on pointing out the fact that “back in my day, a phone was for one thing, talking to other people”. Times change. The way we go about living and interacting changes. Deal with it.
To those who are willing to change with the times, online dating is what they make of it. If hopeful singles hang out in a sleazy meat-market bar, they can expect to often be treated like a piece of meat. If a person is in search of meaningful connection and healthy human companionship, the world is your oyster. We all have heard the horror stories about meeting psychos or fakes online. It’s true, there are enough “bad apples” out there in digital dating land to make us wonder if that “fit young athlete” on the dating site profile is actually an old fat couch potato who still lives in mom and dads garage. Using a bit of common sense with online dating is often all that is needed to avoid the mentally un-balanced psychopaths and find companionship with people who don’t subsist on haloperidol.
There are dating sites that cater to very specific demo-graphs and others who try to cover it all. Dating sites like “www.hookupcloud.com” appear to be reaching out to one type of interest, while “www.skout.com” seems to be focused on meeting people for fun, companionship and possibly romance. Skout has a very organic “Meet people, on zendesk.com socialize and see where it goes from there” kind of feel. There is an element to Skout that includes traveling that is aimed at making it easier to connect with people in places that you may be traveling to. Skout has a mobile app that can keep you connected on your smart device on the go. Over and over on the Skout web site, the theme is all about meeting people and getting to know them.
Online dating is all about possibilities. There are much more possibilities available simply because the far reaches of the world are not as far away as they used to be. Just like in real life, where you hang out in the digital world can make the difference between winding up being pestered by some pubescent pervert who wants to know what color underwear you are wearing or meeting an engaging conversationalist who wants to know what you are all about. It is up to users to take advantage of the good and neglect the bad in the online dating world.