Thursday Thought: Is the Internet Changing the Way We Love?

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IT’S NO SECRET THAT PEOPLE ARE QUICK TO ARGUE THAT TECHNOLOGY HAS CHANGED THE WAY WE LOVE. HOW CAN WE POSSIBLY FIND TRUE LOVE IN A WORLD OF DATING APPS, TEXT CONVERSATIONS AND FREEDOM TO STALK WHOEVER WE PLEASE VIA THEIR SOCIAL MEDIA PROFILES?

That old-school concept of falling in love, waiting in between dates to talk to each other again (the one we now only ever see in the movies) has been replaced with the need for constant conversation.

What we have now is half-relationships, ghosting and a queue of people to choose from when we have decided to move on (all with the left swipe of a finger).

Or, do we still have something more?

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Helen Fisher – Technology hasn’t changed love.

Helen Fisher, Chief Scientific Advisor for popular dating site Match.com has completely turned this thought upside down in this insightful TED talk.

Rather than view the Internet as offering us a world of people that we would never have met without it, she simply labels it to be a different kind of

‘meeting place’.

You know that fantasy you have every time you are sitting in a coffee shop, the one where a guy/girl with quirky glasses reading a book catches your eye and the rest is history? Well, the Internet is essentially that coffee shop. It gives you the introduction to the potential love of your life and just like how you imagine it to be in a physical meeting place, the rest is history.

Okay, so maybe when romance is found on the Internet it isn’t exactly like that.

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The internet has given us a lot of dating options

Firstly, no matter how many coffees you order in search of it, the likelihood of you having multiple potential matches to choose from in a coffee shop is pretty slim. It’s true that there is far more of a chance finding someone on the Internet, but what isn’t necessarily true is that an online match is not as valuable as a ‘bump into someone’ kind of meeting.

What Fisher brings to light is that

the way we fall in love is still the same, whether we fall in love over a screen or face-to-face.

Your ‘type’ won’t suddenly change; the science of falling in love is still the same as it has always been. The principles behind your emotions will not necessarily be different, but the way we approach them might… and that’s where the Internet comes in.

We now have a desire to know everything there is to know about a person, simply because we can.

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The internet offers more about a potential partner

Does anybody ever go on a date with someone without an extensive stalk of the person’s Facebook profile first? It’s unlikely. With a chance to find out the traditional 5th date information before we have even had the first, we are far more critical when it comes to whom we might fall in love with.

There’s so much to know about a person and with that information comes a million reasons to doubt them. We are cautious beings, afraid of commitment because we feel as though we are missing out on a world of information and opportunities (there’s no doubt that there’s an awful lot of both). The result?

The perception of marriage has gone from being considered the beginning of a relationship to now being thought of as the ‘finale’.

So, how we fall in love and whom we fall in love with is the same.

But is it the way we fall in love that’s different? Do we abide by relationship rules that didn’t exist before? Do we take far longer to consider loving someone due to the size of the playing field? Or, is the only difference simply that we meet potential matches through their Facebook profiles instead of mysteriously bumping into them in a quirky coffee shop.