Mid-Life Romance

A growing number of adults have become more familiar with the online dating world. In today’s society, there are currently 30.8 million single adults between the ages of 40 and 64. Because of the technology available, it is easier than ever to find that special someone.

Because of online technology and a less restrictive environment, today’s single adults have more options and opportunities to meet each other than ever before. According to statistic brain.com, 22% of people between the ages of 45-54 have used online dating websites; only 12% of people within the ages of 55-64 have used an online dating website. An estimated 40 million American adults have tried some form of online dating which stands to show the growing popularity of finding love online.

Many authors and love dating experts find that love is possible at any age but only comes to those who are ready to embrace it. Online dating is so popular amongst middle aged adults because they have accepted their life for what it is and are ready for commitment.

It was found that the key to a successful relationship online consists of embracing technology with a combination of old-fashioned romance. The internet enables them to have a larger pool of applicants and allows for a convenient way to meet people. Although dating online is more likely among young and middle-aged adults, older adults are more likely to go online and search for a potential life partner. Even though there is research proving that older adults engage in more interest in online dating websites, there is no evidence proving how they present themselves on their profiles.

A factor that is associated with successful online dating within the middle-aged adults remains connected to three standards held by their dating peers: low probability of disease or illness, actively functioning physical and mental abilities, and active engagement with life and social activities. This theory created by J. W. Rowe and R. L. Kahn often receives much criticism because it is thought to be narrow and unrealistic. It is also thought to be a negative theory since many middle-aged adults are very content with their life and are very optimistic about getting older. Many older adults find a balance of peace and harmony by aging with grace within the body and internal notion of love.

Many reasons why the three standards were chosen are related to the basis of expressing one’s interest. Participation in physical and cognitive activities are related to high levels of functioning. It is never too late to find love, and technology and online dating sites make it very accessible to enjoy life with someone that shares common interests and attraction.

 

Resources:

“Dating Website and App Use Statistics.” Statistic Brain, 20 July 2016, www.statisticbrain.com/dating-website-and-app-use-statistics/.

Rowe, J. W., & Kahn, R. L. (1997). Successful aging. The Gerontol- ogist, 37(4), 433–440. doi:10.1093/geront/37.4.433.

Tinder vs. Online Dating Agencies

What is Tinder? Tinder is a social media app that is associated with the phrase “swipe right.” After downloading the free app, one will make an account and upload a profile with interesting facts and characteristics about themselves along with their residence area. The profile consists of many pictures of oneself, mainly focusing on looks and a catchy paragraph in the “about me” section. This sections will be one of the first things that a person will see when looking at the profile along with the selected profile pictures.

The main idea of the app is to show the plethora of people within the same area as the finder. People within the same region as the user will automatically pop up in their recent feed and there their profiles can be viewed. The main aspect of the app is based off of first impressions and looks; if one finds the person attractive, they simply swipe right. If they are respectively not the one, they swipe left. When someone swipes right on a profile, the person will receive a notification and the chance to direct message the person. In this matter, it makes it very easy to create casual hookups with people that are found attractive and close by.

Because Tinder has 50 million users, an average user will swipe approximately 1.6 billion times per day. The app gradually gained popularity and other companies quickly noticed; Tinder started making money by selling subscriptions and running ad campaigns within the app.

There has often been communication around controversy and stereotypes associated with the users’ (Tinder and online dating websites) characteristics . For example, people often associated with eHarmony usually carry emotional baggage along with them. Today, experts still have not yet examined the individual characteristic associated with Tinder.

For every social media site and online dating website, every person differs within three categories: sociability, self-esteem, and sexual permissiveness. Within recent studies, there has not been shown any differences between the three categories differing within dating agencies or social media sites. One difference that is known for a fact results in Tinder users being younger than online dating agency users; the app is commonly known for casual hookups associated within the category of sexual permissiveness.

Overall, Tinder and online dating websites do not differ from the general population. Tinder does have an extensive amount of younger users, but there is no underlining common characteristic of the users to ultimately differentiate them from dating website members.

 

Resources:

Gatter, Karoline, and Kathleen Hodkinson. “Directory of Open Access Journals.” Cogent Psychology, Cogent OA, 1 Dec. 2016, doaj.org/article/f5b39477c2804630b31e0cadc42fd275.

Johnson, L. (2015, Nov 30). Tinder. Adweek, 56, 44. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.umw.edu/login?url=https://search.proquest.com/docview/1748583071?accountid=12299

Speed Dating & Online Dating

In the 1990s, speed dating became very popular and defined a whole new meaning of love, relationships, and technology. Because people’s lives are so busy nowadays, speed dating was created to minimize the old-school courtships and the time put forth into creating a relationship (Tonder). The idea remains that first impressions are everything, so why go through the troubles of letters and prolonged phone calls? Scientists say that within 3 seconds, a person already has their mind made up on whether they like or dislike that particular someone (Tonder).  After doing further research, love became a complicated topic when categorized with technology, pornography, gossip, and fashion.

The birth of speed dating, at the time, was a very popular and hot topic everyone was talking about; many people that could not find love wanted to try this new phenomenon. The short and mainly pointless conversations created within those scarce 3-8 minutes created gossip within the communities. The most fascinating part that I find throughout research of speed dating is that people are so easily affected by others within that short amount of time; if you are truly looking for love, you will do anything to find it.

Speed dating can sometimes be a “Debby-downer,” meaning it is a hard realization to find out someone is not interested in you within a matter of seconds. Although it may be a self-confidence crusher, it does make it easier to pick out the qualities you find attractive in a person as well as the many turn-offs that are bound to be brought to one’s attention.

With the advanced technology that is available today, speed dating is no longer popular; online dating is much more efficient and easily accessible. The internet is such a large portion of our every day lives and finding your soulmate online makes sense, right? Because many young adults are so focused on being successful, it becomes hard for one to simply hang out in a bar and physically put forth the effort and time to introduce yourself to someone you find attractive (Knudson). With online dating, there is the possibility of being “cat-fished,” meaning people put forth the person they want to be known as.

On the other hand, online dating is a place to meet like-minded people. It offers a sense of anonymity which causes people to feel emotionally safer (Knudson). By taking the dating process literally step by step, it becomes a great tool to step out of your social bubble and take a whack at love at your own pace. Online dating also reduces the chance of rejection allowing you to respond after you think about what you want to say.

 

Resources:

Tonder, Lars. Love, Technology, and Dating. 2008, muse-jhu-edu.ezproxy.umw.edu/article/249207. Accessed 1 Oct. 2017.

Knudson, Pamela. “Online dating: New technology transforms age-Old, sometimes frustrating search for dates or mates.” ProQuest, Tribune Content Agency LLC, ezproxy.umw.edu/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy.umw.edu/docview/1508149944?accountid=12299. Accessed 1 Oct. 2017.

Should We Quit?

Part of my daily routine includes waking up, checking my Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and Facebook notifications, and then continuing to get ready for the day. Throughout lunch or during the awkward silence before class starts I find myself checking my social media feed just because it is something to do. I like to be entertained constantly and social media on my phone is the most convenient way. I know I do not need social media, but I keep my profiles and continue to stay updated to everyone’s business for the sole purpose of “because I can.”

So, should we quit social media all together? I mean it is pointless; it simply is a popularity contest on who can get a higher amount of likes or considered a stalker website to see what your second cousin is doing with their Tuesday night. Many people are in the same situation that I am in, they just use it for the monotonous enjoyment of not sitting in awkward silence.

With that in mind, the constant never-ending streams of tweets, new pictures, and status updates can be very overwhelming. When I see a notification pop up on my phone, I feel obligated to see what it is and to make the notification disappear from my screen. I would like to quit social media because I know I spend an unhealthy amount of time on them, but so does everyone else that is considered normal in the world.

Would quitting cold turkey make me happier, or would I have anxiety because I don’t have the reassurance of what my friends and family are doing 24/7? Happiness is a very grey term; different things make different people happy. I don’t know if social media makes me happy… I will have to do a trial and error experiment to find out for myself.

Love on Instagram

This week I have been questioning how love is defined in our society. With many thoughts and examples running through my mind, I have come to realize that social media plays a big role in how we judge and model relationships.

At lunch today I caught myself scrolling through my Instagram timeline and thinking to myself “awe, they are a cute couple.” Why did I think that? What made me lust upon their relationship through a few pictures on social media?

I often have to tell myself that social media is a form of popularity and “your best self.” If seems as if the couples that post about their relationship on social media for the world to see are more in love, but that may not be the case. As some jealously make spark from those who see the post or for those who it was secretly posted for (out of vengeance), social media does make it easier to communicate and create that initial interest.

In a way, I feel as if Instagram is an online dating mechanism  that is good for our generation; it is something that we can all relate to and share common interests on. All is well until someone brings up the fact that the one-on-one personal interaction is lost. You may not get to fully know or understand the person when you are dm-ing them instead of casually talking over dinner.

I only use Instagram to see what my friends and family are up to… it might not be the best possible system since it’s not really who they are, or the person I know. Of course I love to see pictures of my friends and their significant others, but is that really them?