Our weekend post comes from Badoo.com (combining social networking and online dating):
SINGLETONS! It’s time to come out of the cupboards, shimmy out of the shadows, dance out of the darkness and make yourself known to the world at large. If it wasn’t already, we want to declare it official; online dating has finally shaken off the stigma! Your mom uses it, your grandpa uses it, half of your co-workers and all your single college buddies are signed up. It’s in the mainstream press, on the TV, all over the NASDAQ and built in to your cellphone. The age of digital love has finally arrived.
It’s true that the journey has been a long one, fraught with danger for all those who first explored this uncharted territory. Back in the early 80s, prehistoric companies like CompuServe marketed chat through a computer and modem as a ‘CB simulator’, appealing to all those wannabe truckers who were still clinging on to the CB radio craze of the mid-1970s. It just goes to show that, even before the miracle of the Internet, lonely hearts still turned to technology as a way to small-talk with anonymous strangers in a weird language that their parents didn’t understand.
NERD IS THE WORD
Unfortunately, my previous sentence pretty much sums up the mainstream attitude towards Internet chat from its conception in the mid-80s through the enormous rise in chat room activity during the late 90s and even up to very recent times. The assumption was that if you met people online then you simply weren’t capable of ‘normal’ face-to-face social interaction and had no hope of ever forming a fulfilling relationship with anybody. With that sort of backward, close-minded attitude, how on Earth did mankind ever invent something as open and full of glimmering potential as the World Wide Web?
Fast forward to the last quarter of 2012 and it seems we have created a Bizarro world; a sort of parallel universe which, if visited by someone from fifteen years ago, would seem on the surface to be not much different. War in the Middle East, check; global recession, no surprise there…but wait…online dating is ACCEPTABLE now?! It might seem hard to believe to our time-travelling counterpart but if you look at the evidence it is shocking that we ever doubted the power of the Internet to meet someone special.
MEANT TO BE
Long distance relationships are by no means a modern invention; in ye days of olde couples would be torn apart by the need to work, escape poverty and disease or even by war. Tradition dictated that lovers would marry at a tender age and some spent the majority of their marriage apart; it’s safe to say that they would have killed to have AOL instant messenger for even one day. Another popular tradition was arranged marriage, and if your local farmer had ugly daughters then there was no way out for you. In this age of worldwide commerce, dad has a lot more scope to choose a business partner with good genetics.
It’s no secret that some relationships can fall apart when they climb those all-important stairs to the bedroom. When you get comfortable enough to reveal that kinkier-than-thou, don’t-tell-mother fetish to your one and only, the sad truth is that they might run a mile. However in today’s society you can hold your head up high, walk straight into the online community that suits your naughty fantasy best and meet like-minded people with whom sex may well be worth moving cross-country for. If it’s not, there are a load more fish byting in the digital sea.
If you’re reading this, you may have been an early adopter who has loved and lost on eHarmony and lived to tell the tale, or perhaps you were a one-time naysayer who saw the light, took the plunge and now doesn’t leave home without your Badoo mobile app. Either way, tastes have changed worldwide and what was a fringe endeavour is now a mainstream way of life because of constant improvement driven by you; the user. So keep chatting, keep flirting and keep on making the online dating scene an exciting movement to be a part of. After all, to the incumbent generation a world without online dating is simply history.
This article was written by Barry Cooke. Barry is a respected usability consultant who has been working in the Internet market for over 15 years in a number of different sectors. He is also a social media expert and a passionate user of social networks such as Twitter and Badoo.