Living each day much muchier

Drops in the ocean

Internet dating has made people more disposable.
Dan Slater


Scene 1: Take 1:

A woman in her early 30s walks along a busy, urban street. The camera focuses on the men in turn and a profile box appears above each head.

Right4U, 34, 6’2”, within 10km of North Melbourne. Likes hanging out with friends, keeping fit, traveling with the right person, nights out on the town or cuddled on the couch with red wine and a DVD.

ItalianMade, 40, 5’9”, within 25km of North Melbourne. Likes being social, going to the gym, travel, walks on the beach, cooking for two.

The woman shakes her head.

Cue opening credits.

They’re not real profiles by the way, but a great many of them read like that.

I signed up to an internet dating site a week ago.  It was partly a step of courage to put myself in the path of love and the rest was pure curiosity.

Suddenly, I was getting contacted left, right and centre.  Most of them were men playing the numbers game. We had nothing in common. I said ‘thanks but no’ to nearly 100 free flirts.

I feel like a chip tossed among the seagulls. It’s a form of despair, like being thirsty in the middle of the ocean.

You might think I’m not really serious if I’m saying no so much, but I’m being cautious with their money.  It costs to make real contact.

Granted, it’s the same cost as shouting a sparkly girl a sparkly cocktail at a club (coincidence?) but I expect they’d rather spend it on a promising prospect.

It’s not as dire as I make it out to be.  There are warm and fascinating gentlemen on there who I hope are like that in real life.

Still, the ‘no’ count raises the question – does internet dating make people more disposable?

The idea is based on market surplus driving down value.  Why make the effort when there are so many just like him and it’s so easy to brand switch?

It assumes people became a commodity when the act of searching and contacting them was commodified.

Is choosing between chats and photos really the same thing as choosing from a shelf display of toothpaste?

If we must use economics to describe internet dating, I think the opposite is true.

It’s a story of scarcity. If you find someone different and interesting, someone you connect with, then you’ve found a needle in the haystack.

You found fresh water in the ocean and they are all the more valuable for their uniqueness.

Internet dating makes people more accessible but never, never disposable.

3 comments on “Drops in the ocean

  1. jainormosone
    October 28, 2013

    If only you were on there when I attempted the whole internet dating thing sometime around 2005. OK, you were probably married and wouldn’t have looked twice at me but a bloke has to dream 🙂

    I used to detest the thought of internet dating and wrote it off as a means for the “attractive people” to obtain another score while those who were genuinely looking would be treated like lepers and mugs.

    I intentionally left my photo off my profile in order to prove a point at the time – and proved it, I did, with little doubt.

    The idea of no pic was to locate those who would make the effort to read the details about the person – get to know them – and then determine if they were the “decent & kind-hearted” type that they claimed to want.

    Every one of them that took a chance after reading my description would engage in conversation and would talk freely in email. Some would be more vocal than others while all wanted a pic to see what I looked like – even after I explained why.

    Every, single, one of them disappeared with no further replies as soon as they saw the pic – even after having some excellent conversations.

    I wish you luck on your endeavours and that you find someone worthy.

    • livingwithmuchness
      October 28, 2013

      To be honest, I never thought I’d do anything so common as internet dating. I love to love, so I’m a serial monogamist, not a ‘dater’. In today’s world, that means I’ve got a serious skill gap. I don’t have hilarious bad date stories to share over late night dumplings. I have nice stories about nice men that I held on to (until it all went awry).

      It means I don’t know whether to be forward or coy, to chase or allow pursuit. No doubt I’ll become a few people’s late night dumpling story until I savvy up.

      As for pictures, I personally think it’s idealistic to say looks should play no part and unfair to assume people are shallow for wanting to see a picture. A decently framed picture of even the most homely fellow (which despite your self-depreciation, you are not) goes a long way.

      My first impression of people who withhold photos or upload low res pixelated ones is that they feel the need to hide and they’re defensive. That’s a bigger turnoff than whatever it is they look like.

      On the flip side, men that post shirtless photos, gym or selfies in the mirror showing their biceps will get an instant ‘no thanks’. I don’t care if they’re Adonis, I WILL assume they’re a tosser.

  2. jainormosone
    October 30, 2013

    You certainly speak some good sense and, as I’ve said before, I wish you all the best. I hope that the tossers stay away while the kind & genuine types start forming a line to the left 🙂

    You are correct in saying that I am idealistic (one of my many failings) but I will say that I do things like that to see what kind of reactions I can get along the way.
    You never saw the beard I had for 8 years. It was a truly wonderful way of testing people to see if they were the judgemental type or if they did like they said and accepted people for who they were.

    Just another of the problems I create for myself in trying to be a junior-league psychologist 🙂

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This entry was posted on October 28, 2013 by in Global citizenship, Relationships and tagged , , , , , , , , .
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Department of Words

Department of Words

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