Saturday, April 01, 2006

Online Dating Isn't Weird Anymore

It just isn't. That's it really. The books and the magazines and the papers can make out it's new and weird and stuff, but it isn't.

Even old people think it's normal, but that's because they think the whole of the online is weird. So for them, internet dating just another bit of weirdness in an already weird thing, and old people, once they're old, are past caring if something's weird or not anyway. They're also really good at being plucky and learning new things, so they're just really proud that they've mastered the technology. They make their grandchildren do silent gagging gestures when they tell them they're meeting Frank (68) for a G&T at the Old Hind's Head on the High Street at the weekend and that they're really excited about it. When they show their grandchildren Frank's profile, the grandchildren actually do throw up, to cries of 'Oh GRAN!'.

Young people as young as 8 have BlackBerries, communicate by texting videos of themselves to each other when they're sitting next to each other in the back of Chemistry on Wednesday afternoons, and get all their course work off the online from a bloke in Utah for a small fee, so they don't care either. In fact the idea of meeting someone and actually talking to them just seems odd.

The people who are still a bit confused are the people in the middle who can remember when email was a thing that people in the Chemistry department at university used to send messages to people in the Physics department. When they started work in 1991, people still wrote memos and were proud to have regular access to a fax machine. They probably didn't get email until they were about 26, so are still, 10 years later, a bit impressed by the super-magic of the internationalsuperhighwaynet. These ones grit their teeth a bit when they admit to doing online dating, but if you ask me it's more the admission that they've got a job, a flat, a car, a 12" Powerbook and loads of friends who aren't weird, but haven't managed to get themselves shacked up, not the fact they're using the internet to do it. Or that's what I tell myself, anyway.


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