We live in a world where social media takes over face-to-face communication. A society where we would rather Facebook message someone instead of call them. An age where we prefer to find our potential mate by “swiping right” rather than going out in public to meet someone new. Sure, technology keeps progressing more and more as time goes on, but if we’re always hiding behind it, are we, ourselves, actually progressing?

A lot of people would say that social media makes their lives a lot easier, and I can see why. Sometimes communicating online with someone saves time because it’s more efficient than the old fashioned way of calling someone up on a telephone. But when it comes to dating, is it really beneficial to use the Internet as a a starting guide?

There are so many dating apps and websites in existence today, that I couldn’t even name all of them if I tried. Some of the popular ones include Tinder, OkCupid, eHarmony, and Match. While Tinder provides you a match with a simple “swipe”, some of these other apps and sites have you complete a questionnaire so they can match you with someone who is similar to you. I’m not sure if there’s an exact science behind this, but it seems like a lengthy process just to find your “perfect match”.

I have some understanding as to why online dating is so popular nowadays. People get so busy wrapped up in their daily lives, that sometimes it’s hard for them to make time to go out and meet people. They use the Internet as a simple and easy way to explore the possibilities of potential mates, spend time chatting with them, and a lot of the time, eventually meet them in person. Online dating is also a helpful solution for those who struggle to meet new people.

These beneficial factors aside, there are many issues that derive from online dating. For one, it can be unsafe to meet someone on the Internet. There are a lot of people out there who lie about themselves online because it’s easier to make yourself seem like a better person when you don’t have to talk to someone face-to-face. If you’ve ever watched MTV’s show “Catfish”, you can see that a lot of people do in fact lie, and it can sometimes result in a dangerous situation. Another problem that arises is the sole fact that there is a lack of raw, natural communication. People type slightly differently than they speak, and they also have more time to think about what they want to say. Getting to know someone online isn’t as satisfying as getting to know someone in person, because it can be harder to get a sense of true personality.

What happened to the old fashioned ways of dating? When people actually met in person and had meaningful conversations, with eye contact, and nervous laughter. Yes, it can be scary to go out and strike up a conversation with a stranger, but that’s what life is all about. Humans survive on communication, and all this online activity is changing our brains. It’s making us believe that we would be totally fine not speaking to each other as long as we are still texting each other. But truthfully, we wouldn’t be fine. We cannot honestly connect just by connecting with each other online.

I’m not saying to completely stop being an online dater, but I’m attempting to show you how great the world outside the Internet can be. We have the power to save society from this deep spiraling of communication loss. So even if you just take one small step, and go talk to your friend in person instead of on Facebook, it can make all the difference. Us humans have to realize that we control technology, it shouldn’t control us.