online dating ruining your life

Online dating and dating apps have become more and more popular over the years. These days almost everyone has access to the internet 24/7 right in the palm of their hands. What was once seen as a way for recluses and introverts to find love is now a day-to-day thing for people all over the world. But besides the obvious of meeting a serial killer, how else is using online dating ruining your life and ability to form healthy relationships?

Too much choice

Dating websites and apps are like a human marketplace, full of thousands of different choices all lining up waiting to be picked. You can browse the catalog, then pick out the one you like the look of and make an offer. It’s almost the same process as buying a new couch. Society is becoming lazy. Now you can just flick, flick, flick through the options without any real thought as to who these people may be and whether or not you really might want to get to know them.

Each person just becomes a number in a sea of faces. Imagine how many different profiles you could browse in just one day, then try and remember which ones you like the best, or which people you think you’d have the most in common with. Certain apps create a more shallow approach in which almost all of the people on it and using it base their choices solely on looks. How can it be possible to know whether or not you would like someone just by looking at one single photograph of them?

Using messaging apps to get to know someone is a lot more difficult than meeting people in real life. There’s no way you’ll ever get to know someone as in-depth through texting as you would speak to them in person. It’s difficult enough sending the first opening message, but just as difficult keeping conversation flowing with someone you’ve never even met. Probably just as difficult as opening an inbox full of hundreds of almost identical messages, then trying to decide which ones to reply to.

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There’s no initial attraction

With online dating, you never get the opportunity of a first impression. Even if you do end up meeting up with someone you have been chatting to, it is still somewhat skewed due to the fact you have already at least seen pictures of this person. You probably already know a lot about them before even seeing them in the flesh.

One of the best parts of meeting someone you’re attracted to for the first time, is the initial spark; you know within the first few minutes of speaking to them whether or not there’s something there. Online dating destroys that feeling of satisfaction you get when someone chooses you out of the entire room of people to interact with. With online dating, you can send multiple messages to multiple different people, meaning in some circumstances you weren’t necessarily the only person in the virtual ‘room’ that they wanted to speak to. You could have just been the only one to reply. It’s a hell of a lot easier to make an impact when you are the only person speaking to someone face to face than it is to try and grab the attention of someone scrolling through an inbox 1000 deep.

It wastes your time

There’s no doubt a lot of dating apps and websites were probably created to save people time when looking for potential suitors. A lot of people in this day and age have hectic and busy lifestyles, making it difficult to get out and meet people the old-fashioned way. While this seems like an appropriate and sensible solution to that, there are many ways in which online dating actually wastes a lot of time and ultimately is ruining your life.

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In the past, dating was much simpler: you meet someone, go on a date, go on another date and decide if you like them are not. Simple. However with the Internet, it’s more like: find a profile you like, message them, wait for a reply, speak to them for 3 weeks before one of you decides to ask the other out, go on date, never speak again.

The sheer amount of effort it takes to actually get from the first message to the actual date, in most cases, is a long and grueling process. Sometimes, you could ask someone out within the first few messages and actually get things moving speedily. But most people online are skeptical about meeting strangers off the internet and aren’t willing to do so until they have a clear image of this person painted in their heads.

Online dating especially wastes time for men. What seems to be one of the unwritten rules of an online courtship is that it’s customary for the man to send the first message. While in some scenarios this isn’t the case, a lot of the time men could message tons of girls, and not even receive one reply. Then once they have a reply, they’re then anonymously fighting against all the other people who have messaged the same girl. It also creates a sense of false hope. You could speak to someone for weeks, then go on a date and realize they’re not the person you had imagined. When all you have to go off is a few photographs and texts, it’s hard to formulate an accurate view of somebody.

It makes it hard to form real relationships

One of the worst ways online dating affects society is the effect it has on people being able to form real, natural relationships with others. Of course, we all hear stories of how your best friend’s sister’s cousin’s brother met a girl on Tinder and now they’re married. Sometimes, online dating can work out, however, it is having a negative effect on (especially young) people being able to socialize and create real bonds with others. The more someone uses online dating apps, websites, and even social media, the harder it will become for them to cope in real-life social situations. When you become reliant on messaging online as your only way of communication, it can damage your behavior in the real world.

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As these apps become more popular, their value decreases, therefore, like anything, the novelty will wear off. Many people now turn to online dating apps as a way of boosting their egos, as the cost of diminishing somebody else’s. Receiving tons of messages will only inflate one’s ego, in the same way, that sending out thousands of messages and receiving no replies can be damaging to somebody’s self-worth. What was once used as an alternative way of finding love is now being abused by people who want to reap the benefits but have no real intention of replying.

Whilst online dating is still a fairly new concept in terms of the Earth’s history, it’s difficult to tell how it could change as time goes on. Imagine the number of messages you can send in one lifetime, and imagine how many conversations you could have with strangers who you’ll never even meet. In some situations, you could be getting to know somebody for weeks, then for whatever reason never meet up. It’s a lot easier to cut all the ties with someone you’ve never met without even feeling bad about it, or feeling you’ve in any way lost a friend or partner. You could message thousands and thousands of people in a lifetime, receiving hundreds of replies which then turn into conversations that last however long, but if nothing ever becomes of it, the majority of online bonds you form become pointless.

Olivia is a freelance writer residing in the North of England. She enjoys the outdoors and nature documentaries, especially ones about marine biology. Although she loves writing about dating, her main passion lies within scriptwriting.

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