#UmjolowithAzola: The new age of dating in a digital world

Dating sites have a lurking competitor dormant yet very active that is a monopoly on Twitter and growing at a rapid rate. We have become digital citizens and the traditional means of randomly picking a counterpart on the streets has become dearth and millennials have become comfortable hiding behind their portable gadget first before allowing a face to face interaction with a potential compatible mate.

In an era where the digital divide is at an all-time high, meeting a significant other has become significantly more difficult. As times are constantly evolving, multigenerational groups have jobs which require overtime and late night shifts, and occasionally do not have time to themselves to physically go out and find their partner. Most individuals are focused on accomplishing goals set for their careers that they barely use their spare time to seek love. Nowadays, dating sites have become extremely popular and more convenient in a sense that dating in real time can be rather costly with reference to constantly having to meet for dates or just constantly visiting a significant other that may live far.

The mechanic works in a way where you would have to post the ‘best two pictures”, which is subjective to what one would define as good looking and only hope that your potential partner shares the sentiment. These images must adhere to a social code of conduct that is no spoken of nor penned down. Direct messages must be opened to allow people(potentials) to seamless slide into the DM’s from this extensive conversation commence and only after a level of trust and liking has been build can the two parties meet.

There is also a digital perception of dating where people feel that the use of dating sites are an efficient empowering tool with added benefits such as meeting new people, finding the perfect match and even giving hope to those struggling to find love. The chances of finding love on a night out with friends at a bar consisting of people indulging in heavy drinking is probably unlikely. Online audiences stand a better chance of finding the perfect match through similar interests mechanised on the site as opposed to meeting a partner through friends, at work and outings and having higher chance of being disappointed through high expectations that were set prior to the meeting. Modern day dating sites are also utilised to close up the gap of psychological defences that may trigger people from excelling in finding true love.

Psychological defences are one of the primary barriers preventing people from taking risks in love based on past experiences and past dynamics, resulting in them picking a less than romantic candidate. In a nutshell, picking someone with similar character traits from a previous relationship, based on psychological triggers, could lure them back to terrible decisions. These defences consist of not wanting to be in competition with fighting for a position for ones love, being comfortable with being stuck in a bubble or just settling for the need to have a soul mate just to avoid being alone.

Thanks to dating sites, all those psychological defences may be avoided, allowing dating apps to empower users to create connections that are more than unlikely in a real-time situation. The most intriguing part about this is the fact that success story and what we call receipts (proof of the interactions prior to the final product before our eyes) are provided to show that this actually works and it takes the brave to venture into this avenue if they are serious about finding love.

About the author

Khanya Mali is a marketing and brand communications enthusiast with a penchant for building brands on both client and advertising agencies and a “creative” in his own right. “Insights are the bark to every wondering creative work”