The legacy of dating spans back several centuries. There have been considerable changes in this institution over time, across demographics and cultures, but none so great as in recent years. We are currently witnessing drastic changes in dating, due to the widespread adoption of the internet. Now, the mobile revolution and social networking has given thrust to this intimate yet popular practice of choosing an ideal partner. Add to this the rise of new technology such as VR, and the impact in the future could be disruptive.
The Evolution of Dating
Rapidly developing technology has played a huge role in the shift of dating trends. New communication technology, such as mobile, internet and text messaging, has enabled dates to be arranged before you’ve even met in person.
The concept of online dating has progressed significantly from the anonymous chatrooms of the 1990s to the internet and mobile platforms of today. The first big wave of online dating sites, like OkCupid, Match.com, and eHarmony, required users to spend lots of time on the website answering questions and messaging back and forth. However, the more recent wave of dating apps focus on getting couples offline as quickly as possible.
The future of online dating isn’t necessarily going to be totally offline or online. But online dating today has become smarter and more sophisticated, adding new dimensions to meeting fellow singletons thanks to innovations in technology.
Using complex algorithms to match couples has always been the focus of online dating sites such as Match.com and OkCupid. Newer mobile dating sites like Hinge and Tinder, on the other hand, offer a quicker, more efficient sign-up process. In doing so, they have been moving away from questionnaire-fuelled algorithms. But we may not give up on using algorithms altogether. We just have better sources of information.
The User Experience
We can gauge the popularity of online dating from the stats. One in ten Americans have used an online dating site or mobile dating app; 66% of these users have gone on a date with someone they met through a dating site or app. 23% have met a spouse or long-term partner through these sites.
It is believed that the future of online dating will be mobile. A study by online dating website eHarmony found that more than half of their subscribers already use smartphones to access the service. Mobile dating or location-based apps, such as OkCupid or Tinder, have seen their user figures rise exponentially.
One in ten Americans have used an online dating site or mobile dating app; 66% of these users have gone on a date with someone they met through a dating site or app, and 23% have met a spouse or long term partner through these sites.
Technology will advance in leaps and bounds in the coming years, beyond our imagination. Virtual reality not only evokes images and rekindles memories; it can also create new connections and experiences, no matter what our physical status is in real life. In this respect, VR is rapidly improving, and it’s going to transform the most intimate areas of our lives. While VR may arguably isolate us from people who are physically near us, it opens the possibility of being deeply social with anyone, anywhere on the planet.
Virtual reality is all about experiences and generating emotions. As we think about dating, we are really talking about social relationships; virtual reality will deliver those beyond our expectations. VR Chat allows you to chat with users around the world, whilst feeling like they are in the same room. If one is looking for a simple and intuitive virtual chat space, with some good voice audio, then VR Chat is an attractive option. It can also form the setting for a safe and interactive ‘first date’.
With VR we add a new layer to reality, one where our physical limits fall away. It could help bridge the gap that both elderly men and women face in being closed off from interaction with people their own age, and with younger ages. Wide-angle VR could allow someone to experience new things such as paragliding, as well as reliving memories. As such, it could tie the present fantasy with past reality together, and connect users with others using VR.
As new innovations in technology, such as AI and technologies that convert touch, we have the potential to extend this communication to the most intimate gestures like a hug, kiss and even teledildonics in the not-so-distant future. These may revolutionise relationships, but it’s also worth noting that they could raise moral and psychological issues, by making the most intimate relationships impersonal.
Societies have a regression model where they find a least resistant and self-correcting path, by taking maximum advantage of the tech revolutions. Let’s hope VR-assisted mobile dating provides a more personalised dating experience, without taking away from its intimacy.