Online dating — then and now

November 17, 2011 at 7:34 am | Posted in Relationship Woes | 7 Comments
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Long before match.com, Plenty of Fish, eharmony, and okcupid, there was this little thing called AOL.  You would click on the icon, and dial up a connection, and hear the male electronic voice say the magic words: “Welcome! You’ve got mail!”  This is what we considered the Internet.  You had a profile, and you could search thousands of profiles and meet people online from all over the country.

I was 13 when I got America Online.  I made up a username that went along with my personality and interests in many ways.  This was also around the time Romeo and Juliet came out, around the time when my hormones were doing something crazy, and I wanted to experience love or romance, or whatever the hell Romeo and Juliet had.  So I met boys online.  Back then, most perpetrators hadn’t yet figured out this great tool for creating a persona, so the people you met were typically exactly who they said they were.  Over the years, I met two boys online who I talked to regularly.  Of course, nothing would ever come of it, but it was fun while it lasted.

So this whole online dating phenomenon has really peaked my interest.  I haven’t been single for 8 years (holy crap, 8 freakin’ years) so I have never had the pleasure of exploring this new form of courting.  But I am fascinated by it.  I have seen a lot of people meet online and even get into relationships, even get married.  But I hear a lot of mixed messages about it.  Some people are all about it, some people are just as frustrated with it as they are with trying to meet people in person however else people meet.  But I just find it funny that this online dating thing has taken on a life of its own from such early roots.

And another thing that’s funny about dating today.  The whole, “when should we be friends on Facebook?”  Oh boy.  I know I deal with this when I get requests from clients or people somehow related to me through work (separate from colleagues).  For me, this is the group of people I do not need prying into the pieces of my life that make it to Facebook (that’s what Linkedin’s for, silly).  Because our Facebook profiles are not what our AOL profiles used to be.  Sure you have your basic info about who you are and your interests.  But you also have comments from your friends and photos that probably shouldn’t have been posted publicly.  How much of that are you willing to share with a possible love interest you just met, or virtually met?

I love hearing people’s dating stories. Because I can only imagine how tough it is to meet someone.  I mean, there are like, so many people in the world, and in New York, you barely can raise a hand without hitting someone sometimes, but somehow there is a safety in meeting someone electronically rather than at arms length.  Interesting, indeed.

So tell me a story. I want to hear your online dating stories because I don’t plan on having any and need more people to live vicariously through. 😛

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