My recent travels in the online dating world have become a bit stagnant due to my hesitation to meet people in real life. I lack interest and it sounds a bit scary, even with the seemingly friendliest of people.
Conflict 1: Too pragmatic
I thought about John Lee's sociological theory of "love styles" (1973, 1988) while perusing through profiles because I began to feel that online dating, in general, would work best for an individual with what is called a pragmatic lovestyle. It's a lovestyle driven more by the head, rather than the heart. The personality assessment that accompanies online dating is meant to be an efficient way of filtering out people whose lifestyles do not suit yours; however, your match % could never account for the chemistry that you may feel with another person. Opposites may attract, but they're hard to come by on okCupid, especially when differing personality traits are displayed as "enemy %".
Being compatible with someone may avoid conflict, but do they compliment you?
Conflict 2: It's the internet.
This is an issue that relates to the Ross' theories on the internet and sexuality, in that the interwebz has become a "new niche" that fills a particular role in people's lives. In my situation, it filled the role of entertainment and virtual company during my moments of boredom in between lectures, while waiting for friends irl, etc. It works well because interactions online feels like so much less of a social transgression than real-life interactions. Consequently, people can choose not only to be genuine and friendly, but also as creepy or rude as they please without having to take responsibility for the things that were said. So okCupid is a good testing ground for all of your pick-up lines (or raps, which I've also encountered) and you don't have to be embarrassed if you mess up a little bit--just move onto the next one.
Of course, my point here is not to victimize myself. I, too, have enjoyed the lack of commitment to the things I say to strangers on the site. But as a result, when anyone offers to actually meet in person, the thought of actually attaching a physical body to their online username seems odd, and I am left a bit hesitant to share my real-life self in return.
That's my analysis thus far (:
Wishing everyone a fantastic weekend!