It was said a few decades ago that the internet age was going to be one of remarkable leaps and bounds in the journey towards higher society. An age in which communication would be revolutionized. It has not only met this prediction, but surpassed it altogether. From philosophy and politics, all the way to dating and hooking up, the internet has not revolutionized communication, it’s helped communication transcend all expectation.
In last 5 years, an unforeseen yet completely predictable phenomenon has occurred: Online dating. Not just for serious romantic endeavors, but for the kind of sport that used to be almost exclusive to the nightlife scene. Individuals of the younger generation have taken to the internet in it’s many mediums to procure a supply of what one would deem their primal instincts, the need to stick it in.
We see many sites and apps dedicated to such activities; phone apps such as OKCupid, POF, and Tinder serve as an almost customizable experience where one can seek out another who has similar interests for purposes of a relationship or a one night adventure. A menu of everyone from the proverbial hot chick and jock types, to the white trash best kept secret and fedora “ninja” exists in these realms for many different reasons. This is a medium that I myself have delved into out of boredom and have seen mixed results; I got the self important single mom, the party girl who only wants your booze, the catfish who appeared to have developed an affinity for drug use since her pictures were taken, and eventually did meet someone not only worth dating and who I am currently seeing, but has (much like the internet) surpassed expectation. Advanced droid and iPhone apps aren’t where it started however, there was a precursor to this buffet of bad decisions.
Craigslist, the online classified adds, sometimes the gross yet entertaining underbelly of what one could very loosely (pun intended) call a social rallying point. That’s right, I’m of course referring to the “personals” section. Categories such as “Missed connections”, “Strictly platonic” (yeah…Sure), and “Casual encounters” exist in a sort of strange symbiosis of hair raising hedonism. It’s as if our base human instincts of procreation had daddy issues, then proceeded to breed with the modern technology.
If you find yourself wondering if I’ve researched the subject above, I have, and even in my completely data driven research (yes, I must emphasize this, you judgmental bastards), I feel gross…seriously…it’s not worth it man. Just 10 minutes on this page gave me all the data I needed (or wanted for that matter). Along with the many bots encountered that now flood my secondary email inbox, I have also received a litany of requests for “flowers”, which, unknown to me, is code for payment. Payment expected for certain services rendered. There was even an add in which a young woman was hoping to find a next day husband to elope with. The things we do for our readers…
When all is said and done, you find that most people (bots notwithstanding) who frequent these hubs of social misgivings fall more or less into one of three categories: 1) They’re hookers 2) They’re otherwise undesirable 3) They have busy lives and find it hard to meet others. If you fall into the third category, congratulations, you’re not alone. In our modern society that expects perfection in the face of huge burden, it’s easy to get caught up in the rat race of financial gain and forget why we work hard in the first place. At the root of all that we do is a drive to be in the company of another, or to feel wanted in some way. This manifests itself in many different ways, some seek easy hook ups, some seek a deeper connection. So is it so unimaginable that places like this would exist? Is it so unheard of that humans would take a seemingly unrelated invention and use it to find a connection (be that an emotional connection or a peepee touch). As the old adage goes, judge not.
What other people fill their lives with is none of our business. The conservative in me wants to weep for Western Civilization, but the Libertarian in me realizes that personal culpability and the right of an individual to do with themselves what they see fit is a necessary liberty in the ascendance of our culture. As a good parent teaches their children, you learn from your mistakes. If you’re someone who wants the easy lay, have at it. If you’re someone that wants a deeper connection, then the only “roses” we’ll be giving are the kind that come from the flower shop. Just remember, we only get one shot at greatness, make yourself proud.