Profiling Friend or Foe

By Megan Finnerty

I’m lying on what I can only describe as the most beautiful beach I’ve ever experienced. I sit here, laptop firmly placed on lap, and think ‘how could anyone even consider being wrapped up in any sort of modern technology in such an amazing place?’ As I made my way down to my current spot, I counted 7 other people doing the same thing I was setting out do. I’m sure a few were students with deadlines, such as myself, a few business people maybe, but then I started to recall our talk last Friday with Jacqueline Schoemaker-Holmes; how many of the people I passed were using their computers to socialize or date? Jacqueline claimed that our lives have been extremely altered by technology, and therefore so had the dating process. I agree whole-heartedly as long as dating through the internet doesn’t replace the idea of conventional dating entirely.

With so many people having such busy lives in this day and age, the internet gives us the privilege of dating from the comfort of our home, letting us to move to physical locations if we so choose. While that is certainly a positive element of online dating, there are some negative ones as well. The worst part that has been expressed to me, through personal friends as well as Jacqueline’s study, is the idea of deception. Because people can interact with others online without physically being in the same place, it has become that much easier to lie about what we look like. It is simple to imply other forms of deception as well. While many people are honest about who they are and what they do, without a face-to-face encounter, it becomes much easier to lie about aspects of their lives or themselves if they choose to do so. These deceptions can also emotional reactions to direct questions. Without the instant transfer of emotion and personality through speech and body language, we cannot truly know if the reacting individual is being honest.

I know several couples that have had great experiences meeting people online; some have even got married. However, I also know a few that have had some horrible experiences. While some of the elements of what Jacqueline Schoemaker-Holmes refers to as ”remediated dating” might have some negative connotations, I believe that the idea of it is fairly positive. As we live in a time where it is becoming harder to slow down and make time for personal interactions, online dating will become more common as long as its convenience outweighs its drawbacks.

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