The first commercial dating sites were straightforward platforms that encouraged singles to connect with like-minded individuals. In the 25 or so years since, they have evolved into an industry with a multi-billion dollar turnover, with thousands of outlets attracting millions of members across the globe. What’s more, they have branched off from offering ‘vanilla dating’ options, to cover a dizzying array of topics, catering to every conceivable type of relationship. Here we examine the many ways this online dating revolution has impacted society.
Providing Unlimited Choice
The available technology for creating dating outlets has evolved to become so much more straightforward. Previously heavily reliant on developers with coding expertise, the widespread availability of templates has removed much of the mystique. In short, entrepreneurs can cobble together a site relatively easily, and this has led to a proliferation of dating outlets, capable of satisfying every possible demand.
Trends Towards Non-Mainstream Encounters
Individuals with tastes that might have once have been considered outwith what has generally been accepted in society, such as polyamory, can now find services offering their preferences, free of judgment. Monogamy may be ingrained as the ‘default’ setting for relationships in Western Society, but this hasn’t prevented singles from exploring new avenues – humans can often be highly inquisitive creatures! Whether you’ve long harbored a desire to be involved in romantic attachments involving multiple consenting adults, or you’re poly-curious and want to test the waters, you can easily sign up to a polyamorous dating site. After completing the straightforward registration process – which is generally free – you can start getting to know other polyamorous people. One thing that can virtually be guaranteed is that the existing site uses will be only too happy to welcome newcomers on board. These sites will contain chat rooms where you can find out all about the different categories of poly dating.
This has proved to be extremely beneficial for many other singles in what might be termed the ‘fringe’ areas of online dating. The LGBT community, traditionally facing far fewer socializing options than their straight counterparts, is enjoying a renaissance of matchmaking possibilities. Trans people are increasingly relying on digital outlets where they can interact, these sites proving to be a haven, where they can feel confident mixing with kindred spirits.
While the Internet has always been driven by tech innovations, nowhere is this more obvious than online dating. People signing up for a digital matching service have access to so many ways of touching base with their fellow site members. They can text, email, join WhatsApp groups, make mobile phone calls, or engage in video chatting. More and more sites are even offering the latest in virtual reality (VR) hardware and software to present an ultra-realistic method of interacting, even when the subjects are at opposite ends of a computer connection.
By donning appropriate VR headsets, they can arrange a liaison via their screens, then hooking up with a 3-dimensional avatar version of themselves. Although it might seem like a scenario lifted straight from a science fiction film, this type of remote connection has already been pioneered by the gaming industry for some time (not to mention the US military, who see this form of intense interplay as a valuable method of boosting morale among servicemen and women separated from their loved ones).