Love has no boundaries, nor can it be defined as one thing. It was never something that was supposed to be tangible; it is a feeling that has been felt for centuries. Now, all love requires is a right swipe or a click of a button, almost as if there is no meaning left to it. When online dating came into fashion, love started disappearing into the depths of darkness as people began desperately craving affection through a screen for potential mates they have never met. In reality, love can be found anywhere, regardless of whether it is virtual or in person; it all depends on what you believe love is.
According to Pew Research Center, 29 percent of people in 2005 thought online dating was a desperate way to find love, but by 2013, only 21 percent thought that same thing. As the years go by, more people subscribe to the idea that love can be found online. Online dating has become more popular in the past few years, due to dating apps such as Tinder and OkCupid, but the question still stands: Can true love actually be found online?
"Love is a warm feeling, an attachment, enthusiasm, devotion, or passion for something or someone," said Danica Zielinski, a second year Masters of Secondary and Special Education student. "It's those little butterflies you get when a person you care about does something nice, or you just did something you love and you have that warm and fuzzy feeling that lingers long after that. It's seeing your pets run to greet you at the end of a long day and the feeling of warm laundry. It's making people you care about smile and it's them cheering you up and being there for you when you need it the most."
Seeing that love is based off feelings and attachment, it seems rather foolish that we as humans would get attached to a person we have never met, but that is a key component of online dating.
"I think there are pros and cons to technology with love in mind," said Zielinski. "On the one hand, you get to find people you would never meet in your normal day to day life, but also, with some apps, they focus so much on their pictures and how they look with the idea of swiping to the right if you like them. It kills the idea of 'it matters more on the inside than the outside."
When it comes to creating a dating app, it all goes back to one key thing that we all look for in a significant other, whether we would like to admit it or not: attraction. Apps, such as Tinder, are focused on viewing images of another person. The way the app is set up is sort of like a phone game itself. You swipe right on someone you like and swipe left on someone you don't like. The more you swipe, the more addictive it gets — which makes you wonder: are they treating love as a game rather than as something we all are searching for?
Love has always been complex in terms of how it changes throughout the years. In recent years, slang words or phrases such as "bae" and "Netflix and chill" have been thrown into the equation, polluting the sweet aspect of love and making it more sexual in nature. "If I invite someone over to watch Netflix, chances are, I'm in my sweatpants and baking cookies," Zielinski said. "When I invite people over, I expect to watch a movie with them. Now, [with] the whole idea of 'Netflix and chill,' people assume that it means something sexual, when in my world it's the opposite."
How can someone claim that love cannot be found through online dating? Online dating is relatively new in the era of love, but in this world of technology, love was bound to be found in cyberspace, regardless of peoples' beliefs. Even celebrities such as Hilary Duff, who admitted to using Tinder in her "Sparks" music video, have dabbled a bit in the online dating world, showing that it may not be such a strange way to find love after all.
Romeo calls Juliet down from her tower by swiping right and matching with her.
"Love is all different kinds of forms. I have a different love for my family than I do for my friends. There are different kinds of love: family, friends, pets, passion, interests and even yourself. All of these cannot be loved in the same ways," Zielinski said. Just as there are different varieties of love, there must be different ways to find love.
Now, is finding love virtually a bad thing? Not really, because as the world changes with technology, Romeo calls down Juliet from her tower by swiping right and matching with her. Online dating isn't the ideal or perfect way to find love to many, but to others, it allows them to meet amazing people they would never have met before. Take it from me, a former believer that online dating is never a logical way to find love, who has now been shown that online dating can let you meet some pretty cool people. Love has no boundaries, even in the online world; because in the end, we all are potential Taylor Swift songs.
...because in the end, we all are potential Taylor Swift songs.