“Date Now, Meet Later”–Romance Meets Skype
Are you a Montreal-based Raelian who “gets tested in medical experiments for a living” and believes that aliens are among us, but–somehow, inexplicably–you still can’t find love domestically? The good news is that there’s likely a lovely 42-year-old Guatemalan nail technician out there for you, and you can use a combo of online dating and Skype to date her without ever meeting her. You can even watch each other sleep using Web cameras. [brief pause for creepy shudder]
Or maybe you’re a “5.5 or 6″ on a scale of looks. No reason you shouldn’t get yourself someone who could be a model. (This coulda-model was apparently under 5 feet tall, but still.) Or maybe you’re a dude from Michigan who falls in love with a Cairo girl. Forge a relationship that’s true, and maybe her parents will like you so much that they’ll let you stay with them in Cairo instead of relegating you to a hostel.
These are today’s hopes of modern romance, informeth the L.A. Times, with an interesting piece about the role that digital phones have in revolutionizing the way people date online. Sort of. ["Harvey, would you roll those soundbites about creepy phone sex and people who reek? Thanks..."]
Skype Me, which invites strangers to contact one another, [...] has a seedier side as well. Some female users complain that signing onto Skype Me mode invites a barrage of men looking for phone sex who send vulgar pictures or messages. One user complained on an online forum: “I’m sure that at least half of the people who Skyped me could probably be considered clinically insane.”
Some psychologists say a relationship created and sustained by Net phone can be incomplete. Net phone contact is “simultaneously allowing people to become more intimate and yet have less patience with real life and real-time human fumbles and foibles,” said Linda Young, a psychologist at Seattle University who has counseled many students who have sustained or developed relationships over Skype. Not having to deal with another person’s bad temper or foul-smelling habits makes the Internet pal seem more perfect than he or she actually is, Young said.
Maybe it’s easier to stick with Craigslist after all, no matter what an endeavor like that brings…Â