In a society that is driven by gadgets, money and social networking sites, it is no wonder that Facebook has become a part of everyday life. The ability to share news and photographs at the click of a button from the comfort of your own home is certainly appealing. Sure, Facebook makes communicating easy and sure, Facebook allows you to stay in touch with people you would otherwise never see, but using these sites to date over the internet? Is that really what the world has come to? Gone are the days where one had to actually drive to someone’s house and knock on their front door if they wanted to see them.
Technology, including Facebook, has made us lazy and stolen our social skills. It is so easy to make a flippant request over the net when you’re not talking to someone face-to-face; heaven forbid if we actually had to pick up a landline phone to ask someone to the movies so that they could hear the sincerity, or lack of it, in our voice. Social networking sites such as Facebook have made it too easy to organise dates with people that we know, and people we don’t. Honestly, how well can you know someone that you meet over the internet? So what if they’ve made a couple of jokes, made you laugh and seem genuinely nice? A lecherous old man could be sitting behind the computer screen!
What we also need to realise is that the internet gives people fake courage. Some people might be able to ask their monitor out for dinner, but if it came to asking you out to your face, they would most probably flee. As a seventeen year-old female, I can honestly say I’ve seen my fair share of dates organised through technology. Sadly, the majority of these dates end the same way. Through an e-mail, an SMS, or simply a line on your Facebook wall where it is visible to everyone.
The teenagers of today have become cowardly, and when I say teenagers, I mean both male and females. People who wouldn’t normally talk are communicating online, and what good is it doing? Does this mean the relationship will remain solely online or via mobile phones? If you’ve never spoken a word to their face before, what happens when you see them down the street? They might be you’re number one friend online, but what do you say when you actually see them? To me, these unexpected, casual meetings in real life will be, at the minimum, extremely awkward.
And no, I’m not being naÃ¯ve or narrow-minded. I’ve heard the love stories where the average, single girl meets her prince charming online and they live happily ever after. I’ve heard the people who claim they would never have met their soul mates had Facebook not been created. I know their stories, but how often does this actually happen? We all know the answer. Not much. Not much at all. Out of all the Facebook members and people who have a social networking account, these fairytales occur maybe one in a million cases, maybe less. Either way, the badly ended relationships far outweigh these magic, romantic stories.
Facebook is a great way to communicate; I honestly believe that. But when dating is involved, a little, old-fashioned bravery in terms of face-to-face communication would not go astray. I mean, really, how can you honestly know who you are talking to online? You can’t truly know a person simply from interacting with them online, not even in this day and age. We’re all waiting for our fairytale. We all want our very own happy ending. But Prince Charming, if you really are out there, please just give me a call. I’d rather hear you’re voice.