Online dating: A replacement for old dating norms

Thursday July 23 2020

 

By Bradford Kamuntu

Dating in today’s world is different, it is something not many of us acknowledge but all of us see. As recently as 10 years ago, people met “organically” through mutual friends, at work, at school and some generic place such as the library.

Fast forward to current times where almost everything happens online, we shop, we work, and we worship and communicate over the internet. So, some clever minds came up with the idea to create platforms where those that are single and looking for love can come and give brief descriptions of themselves in hopes of matching with the right one.

Over time, like all other forms of technology this has evolved. It has become less about looking for the one and more about looking for what can I get right now, can we go on a date tonight, do you want to get married or are you here solely for a sexual experiment/experience?

I feel like the younger generation (particularly millennial’s) are very intentional with how they date and who they choose to date. This could be because of mistakes we have witnessed our parents and their generation make or possibly because we have been in the dating game long enough to have made several mistakes and know what does not work for us going forward.

This is why online dating is extremely appealing to us, we have the ability to open an app and specifically tell the person reading what we like, what we dislike, our expectations, and pet peeves.

You name it, you have the freedom to express it and send it along with a picture or two of yourself and in turn the other party has a decision to make. Has your “autobiography” appealed to them enough to want to make contact or are you completely wrong and they would rather keep looking?

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Now, I am well aware that people are not always going to represent themselves in the most accurate manner so do not turn the page yet thinking I am spewing utter rubbish.

Of course there is always that person that misrepresents themselves, that spruces their profile to make themselves seem more interesting than they actually are, or write about their hobbies and activities in the most colourful manner and have you thinking you are the dullest person on earth.
Yes, those people do exist on these online dating apps and websites.

But would it not be refreshing to read a profile and find the description of a human being similar to that you have been wishing on a star (or whatever else you believe in) for? Yes, these people are around us but no one walks around with banners stating “I love dogs” “has commitment issues” “loves to travel” and the only way you would find these out is by initiating conversation, which is easier said than done.

I feel like dating apps and websites create opportunity for these conversations to happen. Also, a person has access to far more potential partners online than they would at the work place, in their neighbourhood and circle of friends (If you are dating in Kampala you know this rings true).

So, why not try it? Why not open that app and swipe right and left and go on as many dates as possible and experience and learn new things about people and quite possibly about yourself as opposed to living that very limiting life you are living now.

I know, particularly in Kampala dating apps come with a lot of stigma. What if my family hears about it? What if my friends see me on it? And then of course there are the people calling you out to judge you for your choice to try and meet people online because they think it is low and beneath them, ignore them anyway and download it.

Unlike those friends and acquaintances you are not destined for a life of repetitive dating mistakes, settling for wrong matches or arranged unions, so get out there and live. Chat those people up and arrange to meet, at the very least you will come out of it with a new friend and there is absolutely no harm in that.

Of course, take all the necessary precautions such as doing a social media inspection, insisting on meeting in a public and vibrant place (unless your plans require otherwise) and just be aware of your surroundings but go forth and enjoy dating in the new normal.

bradkamuntu@gmail.com

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