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Internet dating has become a huge phenomenon in our contemporary, technology-based society. It is very interesting to say the least, and after speaking to a few colleagues and friends, it also seems to be a very controversial subject as well. Many important questions arise when thinking about this new concept. EG: "Is this process simply a result of a changing lifestyle that limits the amount of free time and social interaction that modern people have? Is it like 'blind dating' or does the many ways of communicating and amount of information that comes with a prospective dater's profile make it more personal? Is this the next natural step in a world that is growing closer together through collaboration on the Internet? Is it a less human way of meeting someone than the traditional way of meeting through everyday social interaction, such as school, work, or extracurricular activities? Or, could this finally be a process to search and find, judge and rate, finding your true soul mate in a way that could never have been possible before.
There are over 30 million links on www.Google.com when you do a search for 'on-line dating'. Check out http://www.mydatingsites.com/ and you can see heaps of different types of websites created for bringing people together. A multitude of sites come up ranging from very basic sites like www.americansingles.com/ (USA), and www.rsvp.com.au (for people in Australia), to specific sites like http://professionalsingles.com/ who cater for a select group with certain career-based criteria. Sites even exist for certain nationalities and religions like http://www.frumster.com/ for Jewish people, and http://www.interracialdatingcentral.com/ for people who want to date people of different cultures than their own. There are also prospective matrimonial sites like www.shaadi.com. This is a site for Indian people that one of the 'web helpers' here at www.m6.net said is very popular in her home country.
There is also speed dating like at http://www.25dates.com/ where this organization organizes for you to meet 25 possible dates in one night at a 'cool' venue out on the town. You sit down for 3 minutes at a time with each person and see if there is any chemistry happening, then rate each person and the site tells you if you have any matches. You then go out on proper dates with as many people as you liked and who liked you. This is a world away from our tribal roots where we already knew everyone in the village, but hey, the village has grown. We now have individual cities with over 30 million people and many think that this is just a natural progression.
The sites are pretty simple to interact with. You can usually go and browse a site's galleries so you can see some of the faces and biographies of people that fall into your search categories. Many are free to join, which means that you can put your profile online for free. People can often contact you for free, but many sites charge if you want to contact others although this depends on the site. There are numerous ways that you can get to know another human soul on the Internet, with the advent of audio/video instant messaging, video profiles, private or anonymous email, online chatting (some with webcams), exchange of photographs, as well as message boards and the ability to see which site members are online when you are.
So back to the important questions, what do you think of this new concept for intimate human interaction? I'd like to hear some of your comments, which you can post on our blog at www.blog.m6.net where this article will be posted. Like all things in life I think that the philosophy of paradox plays a role when people make their opinions about any given subject. The middle path (sitting on the fence) is often the safest one to take when judging various elements of human existence. Personally, I would like to see humanity reconstruct our future society in a way where we make a lot more time for personal (in person) interaction with family, friends, and the wider community. Work and time could be managed in a way where we get only what we truly need (consume less), do our jobs more efficiently (work less), and have a relationship with the Earth that is much more sustainable.
However, I do also see the possibilities that exist here for our current construct of reality. Technology has helped us to improve many aspects of our lives, so why couldn't it help us to meet and share our most intimate love with others who are also searching for a connection? The key to the tool of the Internet is collaboration of individuals, and this more controlled perspective on the meeting of people could mean we truly do get to find the 'one' we always dreamed of.
About the author:
Jesse S. Somer
Jesse S. Somer is a sometimes poet who like all poets wonders about the meaning of love. Could the Internet cause more love to grow in our world?
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