How do we come to terms with the fact that the world is being pulled in a direction that to some of us feels almost alien, (especially those of us over the age of fifty)… The world is becoming more and more technologically driven. Devices like iPad Air 2, the iMac and the iPhone six are increasingly being used by the younger generation. Children now have these gadgets, which in the recent past graduates would have received as gifts!
Dating which is a custom as old as time itself, appears to be adapting to these new technologies. Take for example Tinder, which is an on-line dating app. When it first arrived on the scene it was used more as a hook-up/casual sex app because it finds you potential matches based on their proximity to you. New research shows that there are now fifty million active users on Tinder, who check their accounts eleven times per day and spend an average of ninety minutes per day on the app. Tinder is mostly used by young people.
Dating sites rely heavily on profiles, they are often over hyped and embellished, (not always the case, as I know several people, including myself, who have met long term partners on traditional dating sites). For younger people however, instant gratification appears to be the answer to their short term problems, namely their desire to have as much sex as possible
Lack of the traditional and the customary way to meet other people is worrying. If you look at Japan as an example; what the Japanese government is finding, is that their under 40s appear to be losing interest in conventional relationships. Millions are not even dating; the government call it the “celibacy syndrome”, and it is thought to be part of a looming catastrophe as Japan already has one of the lowest birthdates in the world.
A variety of complex issues contribute to the overall problem, one of which is easy or instant gratification, this in the form of casual sex; short term trysts; and the usual technological suspects, such as online porn; virtual-reality girlfriends; anime cartoons and so on. Others are opting out altogether and replacing love and sex with urban pastimes.
One of the reasons young people use Tinder is because it is quick, you can be up and running in no time at all. If you think about it, if you were in a bar and looked at someone and found them attractive, there is a chance you will “hook up”, Tinder has captured this moment and promises thousands of opportunists to see it through. It isn’t complicated to use, the app is designed for mobile users. Only someone that you have liked, can message you, unlike traditional dating sites where anyone can send you a message. It is said to be addictive and users can be fickle. It’ a game, unlike any that has come before it.
Let’s hope our young people simply tire of meeting people in this way, and find a more traditional route to relationships. If not, in the not too distant future we could be looking at similar problems that Japanese are currently having.