Has the Digital Dating Landscape Turned Everyone Into Sniveling Cowards?

This goes for both men and women, by the way.

I'm aware that we live in an era where online dating is the norm. We're well beyond the likes of Match, as various "hook-up apps" are popping up everywhere and a few of them are insanely popular. Now, this has its benefits, especially for the logistically challenged (i.e., those who sort of live in the middle of nowhere), and there's safety in anonymity, provided everyone takes the proper precautions.

I'm all for that. However, it also seems as if digital "flirting" and dating has generated a younger generation of people who are just terrified of regular face-to-face interaction. You know, being humans. I mean, the entire reason for "Ghosting" is cowardice; there's no other explanation for simply going silent. You just can't face a confrontation and because you lack a spine, you simply run and hide like a six-year-old. Generally, we have now accepted that silence is the equivalent of a rejection, which is why so many frustrated singles live in this seemingly permanent haze of non-interaction. If someone isn't interested, they won't click your profile, won't respond to your message or text, etc.

The worst part is that these people take to the internet and bitch and moan. And if they're not bitching and moaning, they're whining about how hard everything is; how dating is heavily skewed in favor of females, or how all the douchebag men get the women, or how no matter what they do or how hard they try, they're left under this blanket of silence. That's cowardice on both sides: The guys or girls who refuse to put themselves on the line in a real social setting, and the other group who doesn't have the gumption to actually say "no" and instead lets silence do the "talking."

Then there's the exceedingly weird element that has wormed its way into digital dating culture: The frightening importance people are placing on this faux interaction. Okay, so a complete stranger rejected you...now your life is over? The person in question is evil? Your self-image is completely shattered? How could anyone possibly care what a perfect stranger said - or, in the case of silence, didn't say - online? You don't know this person. They don't know you. The latter fact is critical because it means their rejection of you is essentially meaningless; they're likely only basing it on a few personal sentences and your pictures. So?

Now, it almost seems like everyone is paralyzed with fear over the entire process. Their already amazingly frail self-esteems are perpetually on the verge of falling into oblivion, they seem to have the most bizarre problems when they finally meet the person (problems that, to those of us who grew up TALKING TO PEOPLE, just seem insane), and they overreact to absolutely everything. It's almost as if the distance we've placed between ourselves with our screens has actually generated more fear, more self-consciousness, and more issues overall, especially in regards to romantic relationships.

Either that, or the pervading hostility of the internet just seeps into absolutely every corner of the virtual space. Which I suppose is a distinct possibility. ;) My point is that becoming "involved" with someone online first may seem like a good idea; it's easier and less challenging overall. But in the end, it tends to stunt social growth and ability and perhaps creates more problems than it solves. My recommendation would be to interact more, with real people outside your door, while you're searching for that special someone online. And if you do find someone special, please don't think it's life and death, and don't spend the first two months doing nothing but text.

By the way, the last picture above scares the shit out of me. I see it a lot when I go out and it's just goddamn terrifying. If you don't understand why, that's your cue to get the hell outside and start acting human.


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What Girls Said 11

  • 10d

    Oh yes, yes it has.

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  • 11d

    It honestly can hurt to be rejected online since you were talking ti a real person... hopefully. I think that you don't need a lot of interaction to get over this though. I think that people just need to let go of their anxiety. But being really social IRL doesn't mean you know how to find good relationships, let alone drama and rejection free right? So I think that you're not stunted if you go online since face to face... people can lie and just be dishonest or weird anyway. I haven't done online dating too much but I just think that IRL people don't act any better or real.

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    • 11d

      I also think you don't have to be frail if you go online. lol you can have insult wars with people and debate wars and do so much. Plus IRL, I think people can be much more frail than they'd admit. Including older people. One thing that helped me with talking to people was realizing that I can say anything... and most people won't show anger if they think you'll attack back.

      They'll argue if we're already established like family or close friends, but IRL if you're like IDGAF to strangers most won't say anything and as long as you don't insult directly you can get away with acting... like a jerk lol

      But online people can be mean as hell since they know we won't be face to face. So in my experience people can be much more mean online a lot of the time.

      I don't think expressing less emotion is necessarily tough. You're just hiding the hurt.

    • 11d

      So hiding your emotions doesn't mean you aren't as sensitive. I think older people just follow the social norms they grew up with... doesn't mean they're truly more capable or tough inside emotionally.

    • 11d

      But face to face... how muvh can you really know another person? Everyone has secrets and masks... how do you really know anything? They can lie to your face just as easily as if they were online. If anything online makes them have a record...

  • 12d

    I think you're on the money, especially with what you said at the end.
    I think we are all fucked in the future.
    Seriously, I was watching a TV special about Australia past 2020, and the future looks so heavily technology-orientated and requires minimal real life communication... it's sad. We're all gonna become insociable, blubbering idiots who lose all sense of common courtesy. (Okay, so mb I'm catastrophizing a *tad* bit, but I'm really frustrated at it all). It looks like really awesome, mindblowing technology, but we're literally going to become the real life versions of the fat people in WallE. So yeah, we're fucked. Did I mention that?

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  • 13d

    I just saw that last picture three times tonight at a restaurant. Scary, people are not only loosing touch with reality, but are becoming unable to verbally communicate. It is scary that these people are even in the working world, let alone relationships. Great MY TAKE

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    • 12d

      It is... everywhere. I rode New York subways, free and relaxed as could be. ALL passengers glued to their phones. On the plus side, a**hole New Yorkers are silent now. You wouldn't recognize this New York from twenty years ago.

  • 1d

    yeah it did

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  • 2d

    good shaare

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  • 6d

    Eh. I don't think all that extremely different than previous generations. I think it's a different way for a different day. Remember 'Dear John' letters?

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    • 6d

      Not really. Nobody I knew ever sent or received any such thing. If you wanted to break up with someone, you sort of had to do it. Silence or cowardly letters weren't really an option for most people.

    • 6d

      I don't know, I feel like I've overcome a lot of anxiety because of the internet instead of the other way around. I've become more bold and honest on AND off the internet. Now I'm no one to be cruel, don't get me wrong here... I've just come to value honest across the board. What I'm saying is... not that people aren't cowards... nor that the internet hasn't definitively had at least some role in it... but that I don't think that the internet is RESPONSIBLE for it because I think it already really existed in most people's psyches... and society as a whole.

  • 11d

    I am terrified of this same thing. I think people doesn't even approach each other face to face anymore. They just go and find them online. I have made myself dating profiles and iT feels just wrong. I need the real interaction to get interested and most guys doesn't even bother to ask you out even if you have been talking for months. It is boring but the easiesy way to get to know new people.

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  • 12d

    I understand this. I talk to people more in person than online, but I do talk to guys online too. I met my crush in person before and then he messaged me complimenting me on my acting job when I starred in the musical. He said it was so good he went to both shows. He happened to get my number from the conversation and turns out he liked me.

    That is a good way to do it, but I still over think when texting. Sometimes he responds dry, and its hard to tell what someone's saying online or in text without body language so its easy to take things the wrong way. Sometimes he ignores me and I feel anxious and I overexaggeratr to myself then I realize he was busy or wasn't happy for the entire day.

    Just like anything, I guess it can be both beneficial and negative.

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  • 12d

    I, for one, think I would've been a sniveling coward regardless of internet dating.

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  • 12d

    After hearing so many crazy stories like that. Yeah, I really do believe that that online dating or digital dating of any kind is doing that to people. All this texting doesn't help either when they start handing out numbers. Plus people foster up too much false expectations and expect to get what they think they see, compared to the reality. Dating back in the day was better, more meaningful, and people did not do everything we are today.

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What Guys Said 24

  • 11d

    Perhaps this lack of experience with real world rejection and disappointment also explains why college students need cry rooms, free hugs, coloring books, play doh, and aromatherapy to get over the results of the recent election.

    Excellent analysis!

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  • 12d

    interesting. But what really ruined us is the electronic dog leash that's attached to us. If you dont like someone you meet, you have your friend text you or show up to the date and be like "something is wrong with your ___"

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  • 12d

    I noticed you have this highly negative opinion of shy/reclusive people. What have they done to you?

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    • 12d

      I don't have a negative opinion of them. This is just an example of certain people being far more sensitive about a particular topic, when all I'm really pointing out is the unbelievable lack of esteem, image, and confidence in today's youth. It's obvious and depressing.

      I'm inherently shy myself but the thing is, I grew up. Part of maturity is social interaction, which too many people absorbed in their screens just aren't getting and thus, we end up with 40-year-olds with the social skills of teenagers.

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    • 11d

      Well intentioned ideals but they won't get any thing done at this moment.

    • 11d

      Probably not. But it's a message mental health professionals and doctors need to be trying to instill in young parents, so our future isn't quite so bleak.

  • 12d

    Excellent MyTake. As an educator of teenagers, I see this phenomenon of "technology addiction" happening over and over.

    Many middle school and high school students can't even concentrate on a basic class assignment, because the urge to play with their cell-phone is "too strong"... then they end up taking selfies and looking at social media feeds instead of working.

    Raising a teen in this era must be maddening!

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    • 12d

      ... then these teens turn into adults, and this cycle will get worse and worse.

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    • 12d

      3) Most schools in the USA have a "bring at your own risk" policy when it comes to electronics, but are not allowed to be used in class. As a substitute teacher (grades 6-12), I can tell you right now that many of these teens are ADDICTED to their smartphone, and at the first sign of boredom or the first instance of adversity with their classwork, they will take it out and start taking selfies with Snapchat filters or checking social media feeds. If I wrote a referral for every student who even took out their phone, I'd be writing paper and being on the phone all day and wouldn't be able to teach!

      However, I will write referrals and send them out of class for repeated offenses with cell phones, but I refuse to confiscate a student's phone. Then I have to keep track of it, and i'm responsible if it gets stolen from the teacher's desk or behind the board when my back is turned, and have to remember whose phone is whose. Not worth the hassle and unnecessary liability.

    • 12d

      I see. I still say there's zero reason for them to have these things on school grounds. And if parents need to get kids messages, they can go through the school same as always. What's stopping a parent from giving a kid answers to a test at recess, or something? And really, how often does a parent need to interact with a kid in school?

      We never had any such issue when I was younger, that's for damn sure. :P

  • 12d

    I'd say yes for the most part, I've learned not to take that stuff as personally cause I find the people usually calling others fake are actually fake themselves, they are using a self defense mechanism by projecting their short Cummings onto others.
    I am not like that though I only have twitter and I only have that to chat sometimes with my fans from my channel. I purposely not say anything to people I knew in real life so then I can say right to their face in real life. Also tech has turned us into zombies as well.

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  • 6d

    Sadly the dynamics of online dating has disenfranchised men, 80/20 rule 80% of women online dating only rate 20% of men average or good looking. my example 1st messages are 1 in 20 in my example

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  • 7d

    Yup! I see exactly why that picture scares the hell out of you! That's why I simply refuse to respond to text messages from the people who I work with. I tell them to either call me and talk to me or don't bother me at all...

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  • 11d

    you are probably a sniveling coward too because of the way you write. oh dont worry i know about you.
    and i know what kind of person you are
    behind this post and other things u wrote is very probably fear.

    on list of 4 levels you are most likely the 3rd lowest in competition mostly with the 2 levels one above and one below you.
    the 4th level being disempowered victims.
    you are probably an empowered victim.
    you might not feel like avictim or you might be successful etc that wouldtake time to explain. but you are clearly
    3/4
    1/4 being the top level.

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  • 11d

    Nope. how you approach people is a make or break in your early childhood. Blame your parents.

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  • 11d

    I don't bother with online dating anymore. Full of fake profiles, even more who simply dont take it seriously. Then you got men who fill womens message box with nothing but nasty shit, making it damn near impossible to be taken seriously. I try to message women that have the most in common, near my age, near where I live etc and I've never been messaged back. Not upset about it, just perplexed why most people even put their profile up there if they're not interested in trying. I don't know, i think its a monumental waste of time, I would much rather meet face 2 face. The digital age, coupled with the age of paranoia are destroying more personal aspects of life. I also have a phone but I TALK to people with it. Everyone's enslaved by their technology. Terminators aren't scary robot death machines, they're smartphones lol

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  • 11d

    I like you're message. Its hard language but I understand your intentions. Its a concern I think we all share. It's value cannot be overlooked. I was called a coward and an idiot today by an older gentlemen for not sitting next to the girls at an early Thanksgiving employee dinner. He was trying to help my sorry ass. I have no reason to be afraid of spending time with girls, but I am and I think its because of the isolation I am experiencing through modern communication. Which also in less efficient. Emojis can never replace the human face and all of the communication that we once had through facial expressions is now lost. the result of removing the human image is troubling. We release dopamine in our brain everytime we receive a text message. We've been conditioned to love it and crave it like a drug because we are so desperate for human interaction. Our environment has become a place of destitution. We live in fear of our own freedoms. restriction in its might. and lost the ability to express ourselves imitating ony what we hear and see. you don't need a smart phone yet. yet we choose to own one because everyone else has one. Perhaps the most damaging statement people are using these days is "get with the times". If people started jumping off bridges because it was a trend would you do it too? Probably.

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  • 11d

    There are far to many options for women basically because men are less choosy when it comes to sex.
    It goes back to that Harvard study. 100 guys and 100 gals. The girls ranked 15% of the guys as above average attractive. The guys ranked almost exactly 50% of the women as above average.
    That 15% of guys can be very selective when it comes to choosing a life mate. But that leaves a lot of girls not selected. But they can't understand why as they were still able to have sex with those guys.

    Women have no incentive to improve. When they are in the dating get (made even worse by online dating) they can choose to only date that top 15% of men. But as mentioned by someone else, in the end their unrealistic standards only hurts themselves.
    Women always have the chance to date someone with what ever characteristic she currently values. She never learns to accept both the good and bad.

    Outside of that top 15% men are willing to take both the good and bad. Inside that top 15% and most of them see women as a bunch of vapid immature creatures with no real loyalty.
    I guess with today's dating scene everyone is a winner!

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    • 11d

      I like the point about saying women have no incentive to improve because men aren't selective enough because they are just looking for a pretty face.

  • 11d

    Luci92 is right. All this social apps, sites and etc are killing the verbal communication. I can't understand my friends at the bar, restaurant their staring at their smartphones. All they look at is Facebook. They are all brainwashed. I think that this high tech is going to turn us from social beings to emotionless braindead half living meat bags. I wouldn't be surprised if people stop looking for love and start using only some stupid app or match calculator thats -90% accurate, but becase it said so and because its the future theyll think it makes perfect maches. And so if we turn into those from Wall-E - well thats looking at it on the bright side.

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  • 12d

    Same could be said of blocking. I give girls a pass though, guys who block might as well sever their balls.

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  • 12d

    Yup, annoys me as a guy because in society I'm expected to be the confident one

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  • 12d

    Online dating is the worst. It is very impersonal. A lot of people catch feelings when talking to the variety of narcissist and manipulators. Its a crap shoot. Maybe a small amount of men and women are actally telling the truth. Numerous men and women catfishing with fake pictures. Only to be disappointed by a person who lied about who they actaully are and what they are about. The real people are about.5% You get lots of looks. Sent read emails into an abyss of feelgood. com with no reply back. I find in person and the old fashioned way the best way. That way you know from the start.

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  • 12d

    The truth really is, most people who have horrible real live dating skills choose the dating sites, and even on the dating sites they aren't quite good at dating either. The guys are usually just goofy types or hornies waiting to catch a new profile (because they have already searched the whole site). More than often dating sites are giant sausage fests with a couple of girls or some fake profiles online. Don't get me wrong I've used 3 dating sites (those had free messaging, though I donated to one of them) and I had pretty good success with them. Got some great online friendships and one relationship. Great memories. But going to the city in the night or join some social place is definitely the best option.

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  • 12d

    I think internet dating is making men think women are all heartless, gold digging whores, who would cheat on you for any guy with a bigger dick, nicer car, etc..

    I think it's making women think men don't give a shit about them and only want a wet place to stick their penis.

    I also think it gives a false sense of unlimited options and sorta disconnects people from reality and what matters in a partner.

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  • 12d

    I think one of the biggest pitfalls of online dating is the fact that people have so many options. That goes for both men and women.

    I feel like a lot of times you could have a good date and then look for the next best thing aka "the grass is greener on the side" or you could have an amazing date with someone you do like then they ghost after a date or few or after you have sex.

    I've met tons of women on there but never gottten a relationship from there. Only women that did I either wasn't into (catfishes) or they ended up being really clingy and crazy.

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  • 12d

    It didn't turn anyone into anything, the cowards existed before the advent of online dating they just were never given a chance at the dating game.
    The online dating did give them a chance, but this is the kind of results that doing so would have.

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