In a world where everything has OD’d on HD in 3D, it should come as no surprise that the way we meet people has gone the way of the pixel too. That is especially apparent in today’s hi-tech society which requires every citizen and mammal with at least one limb to have the latest cell phone, which has a current life cycle of about 45 minutes before it’s outdated.
Not having one is considered punishable by law. The sentence being forced to watch a 75-hour marathon of teenage vampire movies. Taking a page from California’s book, you will also be fined for actually using the same device in dangerous situations such as driving, walking or placing a phone call.
Don’t go getting the wrong idea though, I enjoy technology. I still possess the male gene that forces me to upgrade everything I own with a microchip every three days – just to make sure I have all of the latest cutting edge features that I will never use in fear of them becoming obsolete before I get to my car door.
Unfortunately, even on that quick upgrade cycle, I still find myself falling behind the rapid advance of technology, which seems to quadruple at a rate faster than the rise and fall of an average Hollywood marriage.
As with anything in life, the brisk evolution of technology has its advantages and pitfalls. This can be witnessed with the new movement of broadcasting live sports on mini-LCDs at men’s restroom urinals. Arguably, it’s the rare instance you don’t want your team to score – the consequences of I which learned mid-stream. In similar fashion, our new high-tech world has brought changes to the dating world as well. I have hand picked a few of the more interesting (read: easy to make fun of) forms of communication and provided a look at the pros and cons of each below.
PRO – In general, this can be kind of a nice transition from emailing online to actually talking on the phone. It’s a convenient enough transmittal service for sending two-word messages (Ex: Get lost, lose this number, Idiot!) It will also allow your optometrist to maintain his second home in Hawaii since you will end up staring blankly at a device with a four-inch screen 24 hours a day.
CON – Due to tiny phone keyboards – on and off screen – plus a limited number of characters per text, it has become almost mandatory to keep a decoder ring on oneself at all times to decipher messages that would give Stephen Hawking a migraine. (Ex: BTW, r u goin 2 c Show 2nite @ 7? FYI wil b 5min L8. PS, use ur spL-chek, I h8 typos.)
PRO – It contains the word sex.
CON – It does not involve ‘actual’ sex.
PRO: While I have yet to see the movie, there is no doubt that social networks such as Facebook and Google+ have brought us all closer together and caused us to all click on even more ads “we really didn’t mean to”. Being that the crux of these networks are that they allow people to put their entire lives online, it could be viewed as an ideal place to learn more about someone versus the limited (aka non-incriminating) info they post on their dating profile.
CON: Of course this only works if both parties either agree to allow access to each other’s page, or one person is unknowingly sharing their entire profile, including the photos of them partaking in the Macarena while naked and trying to balance an empty bottle of Captain Morgan on their head. The latter can be avoided as long as you have a Ph.D in Nuclear Physics and can figure out how to edit Facebook’s settings to allow only your friends and family to view them while simultaneously blocking your boss and parole officer.
Skype and Video Chatting
PRO – If you find that the person on the other end is attractive but hard to listen to on an audio level, you can mute the sound of the chat and continue listening to your music. (For males, there is also the slim 0.000001% chance in a horse’s patoot that the video chat could provide some nude visuals minus the credit card fee.)
CON – Unless both parties are on a solid Wi-Fi connection or a fiber optic 1000GB data-connection, odds are both parties are going to look pixelated and sound garbled. (Ironically, the same effect can be simulated after both individuals partaking in a few adult beverages at their local bar.)
Location Check-In & Tracking:
PRO: The latest craze these days seems to be letting everyone this side of the Milky Way in on your exact GPS coordinates on the planet via special map applications. Apps – currently the new hip word for ‘overpriced programs you will only use once’ – now provide the ability to see all of the single people within as close of a four-inch vicinity of your immediate area.
This is accomplished by “checking-in” to your current location or allowing random singles to track your location via your phone with the hope other singles without a thought to self-preservation will do so as well.
CON: Even a caveman can understand the inherent safety dangers of letting people you never knew 30 seconds ago in on your current whereabouts. Am I the only one that finds it slightly disturbing that some random person could walk up to you while trying to pick out a new nose trimmer and ask you out on a date? Call me crazy, but if the new pickup line becomes, “Hey baby, my iPhone told me you were single and ready to mingle”, then the self-destruction of society is well underway… for which I’m told there is also an app.
Whenever people ask me if all this new-fangled technology is a good thing for the dating world, I usually answer, “What’s fangled?” Once I realized it’s not the name of the latest app I need to download along with the other 103,000 apps on my phone going unused, I provide a more in-depth answer. For a list of the latest mobile dating apps, check out this recent Today.com article, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.
My thoughts are, if technology can be used for good in a supplemental You’ve Got Mail-movie kind of way – then call me Tom Hanks. However, if we are talking about a Terminator-style takeover of our love lives, then I might consider downgrading my current super smartphone for two recyclable paper cups and a string. Unless of course we are talking about female-looking replacements, from the likes of Terminator 3 and the Sarah Connor Chronicles – only then might I be willing to tolerate a little death and destruction with my eggs in the morning.
All of the major technological developments listed above, for better or worse, have significantly changed the face of dating and meeting singles permanently… for at least the next three days.