Can love be calculated?
I realize that I was born in the midst of the internet age, and I have been genetically programmed to understand all things technological in literally every sense of the word, but I have just enough "old school" coursing through my veins to harbor the desire of meeting someone, in the flesh (hopefully in some sinfully adorable Hollywood situation), falling in love and living happily ever after.
No technological interference necessary, thank you. When I think of dating websites, there are two extremes that reflexively pop in my head, the first an image of a "special" fellow with thick black glasses, a receding hair line, who proudly plays Dungeons and Dragons, lives in his mothers basement and is desperately searching for a wife to keep up with societal norms.
The second: a serial killer, specializing in ignorant girls. To be honest, I am not sure which one is more terrifying.
I have always thought, to go onto one of these websites is to declare yourself "romantically challenged." So when my friends and I all created accounts on plentyoffish.com it started out as joke, and as time went on...it turned into an even bigger joke, but then rather suddenly it was not so funny anymore. Something we never expected to happen, did. Each one of us slowly but surely found a guy.
We also found that these guys were not creepy in the slightest and, to our surprise, not a single one of them were secretly planning to kill us... weird. Is our generation so socially impaired by technology that we no longer know how to find our soul mates without filling out a survey and letting a computer program do all the work for us? Or have we simply discovered how to calculate love?
In all honesty, I think it is neither, people join these websites for a variety of reasons. Some have created an account to meet a friend, others to meet a soul mate. Some join for a laugh, and some just for the hell of it. Whatever the reason, technology does not act alone. I sincerely believe that fate plays a role in all things, even something as trivial as online dating.
Sometimes we just have to put our faith in someone, against the odds, to find something worthwhile. You have to face your fear, let the walls drop and wear who you are right there on your sleeve. It may turn into something life altering, and if it does not? Well, it was one night of your entire life, I think you'll get over the loss.
I lucked out and met someone pretty awesome. As it turned out, internet dating was not the cause of my untimely death. But that does not mean you should not take the same safety precautions you would with any blind date.
Make sure you meet at a public place and stay in the public eye throughout the evening, but still have fun! Do not worry so much.
Always let people know where you are going to be and what your plan is. And if worst comes to worst, and you get too nervous, you can always cancel hours before your date and use some completely believable excuse like having to baby-sit your niece...
So at the end of the day, online dating is not an entirely undesirable outlet. It may even be an untapped resource for college students to get the opportunity to go out of their comfort zone and meet somebody that they would not, under normal circumstances, get the chance to meet. Put yourself out there, because you never know what you will find.
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