Family is the fundamental institution of our society that cultivates its further evolution. This sort of relations between people was established at the dawn of civilization and acquired numerous features which shaped this concept and provided us with the idea how an ideal family should function. However, like any other social institution, the appearance of new tendencies or shifts in peoples mentalities stipulate drastic changes in the character of relationships and alter traditional perspectives on family issues. For instance, the coherent globalized society provides numerous opportunities for an individual to engage in online dating. Therefore, the impact of this phenomenon on the quality of relations and family remains doubtful.
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For instance, one of the apparent advantages of online dating is the lack of awkwardness peculiar to face-to-face communication, especially during first meetings. The majority of men admit the fact that the necessity to look for appropriate conversation fodders or amuse their partners scares them and results in the appearance of uncertainty about following dates (McWilliams & Barrett, 2012). McWilliams and Barrett (2012) state that it could be one of the main reasons for failures in relations.
At the same time, engaging in online dating, individuals do not have to feel ashamed because of their awkward behavior or other factors that might push away a potential partner. In accordance with the latest research, the majority of people who use online dating have a negative experience of real dating (McWilliams & Barrett, 2012). Under these conditions, this practice becomes an essential alternative for them.
Therefore, another advantage of online dating is individuals ability to make a selection from a wide variety of candidates. Mortensen (2013) in her article admits that the decision to flirt is made regarding personal preferences and requirements that a potential candidate should meet. For this reason, online dating services provide an outstanding opportunity to find critical information about an individual, his/her preferences, lifestyle, etc. Starting a communication, people already have some common issue to discuss, and it becomes easier for them to hold a conversation and avoid stress or other problematic moments peculiar to a real face-to-face talk or flirting.
At the same time, the factors mentioned above could be considered a great disadvantage of online dating. McGloin and Denes (2016) admit that the absence of physical contact has a pernicious impact on people, their would-be relations, and socialization. In fact, sexual attractiveness is formed by a combination of numerous factors that might include shame, awkwardness, behavior in unusual situations, etc.(McGloin & Denes, 2016).
Using mediated means of communication partners are not able to evaluate all these aspects and create false concepts which might result in disappointment or the lack of desire to start a new search. Moreover, by the research, partners who used online services to form a couple experience more hardships than people adhering to traditional ways to communicate and flirt (McGloin & Denes, 2016). It could also be explained by the lack of trust.
Under these conditions, online dating might have diverse effects on individuals. On the one hand, it helps people not to feel embarrassed or ashamed when starting a conversation with persons they like. Moreover, using this tool, men and women can collect more data needed to decide whether to flirt or not. On the other hand, online dating deprives people of an opportunity to enjoy real contacts and determine the level of attractiveness which is critical for the modern digitalized society. That is why more research is needed to conduct the in-depth investigation of the issue and make a conclusion.
McGloin, R., & Denes, A. (2016). Too hot to trust: Examining the relationship between attractiveness, trustworthiness, and desire to date in online dating. New Media & Society. Web.
McWilliams, S., & Barrett, A. (2012). Online dating in middle and later life: Gendered expectations and experiences. Journal of Family Issues, 35(3), 411-436. Web.
Mortensen, K. (2013). Flirting in online dating: Giving empirical grounds to flirtatious implicitness. Discourse Studies, 19(5), 581-597. Web.