25th July 2017

The Game That We Call ‘Dating’ – Under the Curse of the Digital Era

“I don’t mind the digital age. It has gotten us connected with the rest of the world, more aware, more enlightened. Extremes exist in every case. A connection is but a connection. Regardless of the platform over which it was initiated. If anything, you might end up finding the truest love of your life miles away; whereas in the past it would only happen among people around due to lack of this many options.” Begged to differ one such “virtual connection” when I shared my not-so- hunky-dory take on dating in the crux of the digital era.

While I may like to believe that across the globe, one out of five relationships start online today, ranging from Facebook, Twitter, various dating mobile apps and online dating sites for that matter, and however optimistic to the point of foolishness I (in)famously am, I still see it all as more of a curse than a bliss.

In my view, what the digital era is more so encouraging to surface is quantity over quality of the “Leads”, I (not so) endearingly refer to the prospective love matches you pick online as; the digital marketer by profession that I am. With it comes the side effect. Countless layers of presumable equations struck between the sexes from casually dating to being “exclusively yours” – a lot happens between and around that.

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In a scenario where being single, you may actively be looking to form a romantic commitment and in the said attempt find yourself bogged down with too much traffic coming your way via multiple social mediums & apps to cater to which you willfully  may’ve signed up for, due to the demands & norms of the times. It feels like an all-out job in itself and calls for you to be organized, once the initial thrill and spontaneity of luckily stumbling upon some impressive leads gives way to literally copy/pasting the entire course of events and finding yourself in a repetitive loop.

It’s a crowded digital marketplace and can be an exhausting experience to put oneself through the rut of hitting a conversation every now & then with new leads and keeping up with the ones short-listed so far, leaving us with no room to undividedly focus on that one lead and make something concrete out of that instead of numerous half-baked associations. We find ourselves incessantly indulging in mere small talks with multiple prospects at the same time, not getting to know (forget feel for) any of them enough for the acquaintanceship to graduate to a long-term, devoted bond.

As much of fun and action as it may sound like, no one I personally know is really handling it all too well. It’s a mess – a cobweb of too many strings that ironically do not even get to being attached to begin with. Tangled and overlapping  for everyone “in the game” – these online interactions desperately call for a decent level of maturity and emotional intelligence on our part to be filtered, derived from & interpreted aptly.

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Keeping the element of needless quantity of leads aside, the side effect as mentioned earlier is even graver of a threat to singles as for them these are lunatic/cartoonic/demonic times in the horizons of dating. Since there are so many hot leads (or so you may like to view them as) and all too alluring to let go off and rather safely linger on to just in case Plan B, C or D fails and you need backup, what do you do? You departmentalize; conveniently forgetting you yourself are being departmentalized too by the other party under leagues like friend-zoned, girlfriend/boyfriend material, strictly physical or even more strictly not physical at times but kept around for ego boost purposes.

So now even if you have finally managed to cut-through the haze of the crowd and picked the one for you to date on a long-term basis, you now need to decipher the coding that is running in their head as for them this stage where you are at may be stage # 19 under category # 6. By stage I mean the seriousness they associate with their lead #11 (you that is), and the category can be anything from codependent, independent and rebound to open relationship, to friends with benefits and no strings attached, so on, so fourth; could be the good old traditional committed relationship too, but seldom. And even if it is, I bet if not them, then YOU would walk out not having weighed them as profoundly as that, and suddenly your lead #9 would come across as a better investment of your time & efforts as again, you are assuming they’re on the same page as you. After all, you’re quite the product of the dreaded e-times too 😉

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Unlike back in the days where someone dear of the opposite sex was either a treasured friend OR the lover, to-be-life partner later on. Not saying that is the end all – be all for each of us, but for those who yearn for that One True Love to one day unite with them, may I dare utter how “Love” is actually as OBSOLETE & IRRELEVANT as a pager would be in today’s fast-moving, hi-tech, complicated, selfishly convenient world – us being very much a part of it.

Committed relationships are out of fashion per say. The scariest phenomenon of today’s daters is the term “Exclusive Relationship”, more than any terror attack. No exaggeration there. It doesn’t suit our temperaments anymore wherein our priority is anything and everything else but making, building, nurturing and maintaining the demands one such meaningful strong, bond calls for, to be kept and valued and find peace in.

It’s the ease of mindless/emotionless  “befriending” in the digital space that is altering and even bastardizing the actual essence & goodness  relationships were made of, back in simpler, better times. We are all chatting and commenting, but are we ever really communicating? For some it is even an unhealthy addiction – always looking for and moving on to the next pretty face online boasting of a sexier educational/professional/social  profile, despite you having invested enough of your precious time & efforts,  disclosing personal information on to them and exchanging future promises .

Then there are folks trapped in the dimensions/limitations of the virtual sphere – who never bring about themselves to really meeting their leads offline (in person).  As I always say – beware of the Digital Pen-Pal Syndrome!!!

Nevertheless, HAPPY DATING to all the singles out there who mean business.

 

Disclaimer: I am not claiming to be right either on factual or moral basis. I have merely shared my personal views and experience(s). The readers have all the right to fully disagree or partially agree (or completely agree AND disagree) with me.

About Fatma Khalil 10 Articles
Made of faith, spirituality, madness, humour.

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