Internet dating and online hook up sites such as Plenty of Fish and Tinder have now become the norm in our romantic pursuit of that significant other. Gone are the days when you got mouldy drunk and went in for the kill in a packed boozer. There was something more natural about teenagers out on a Saturday night drunk, awkwardly trying to navigate the minefield of young love. But now as with everything; its all done on, or by computers. Where are the spontaneity police? Why is society becoming so boring?

There is no doubt that internet dating works for some people and there have been plenty of success stories. It is especially useful for the shyer members of our society who would find it difficult to go up to someone and ask them out. Besides seeming a little sterile, is internet dating any safer or easier than traditional dating methods? In my own limited experience, it seemed like a lot of hard work for very little gain. First of all you have to build a profile and basically big yourself up. Then potential partners trawl through your CV and pick holes in it. Since when did getting a date become like sitting for a job interview?

The fact that people have profiles does not necessarily make the dating experience any safer. For a dating site such as Plenty of Fish all an individual has to do is set up a separate Email for their profile and give false information. While the majority of people are just looking for a date; there are sexual predators trying to lure potential victims. Last October there was a woman drugged and gang raped by her Tinder date and his friends in Sydney. A Dublin woman was abducted and raped after a tinder date in the city last September.

Tinder connects to a persons Facebook profile and can use someone’s GPS to connect to potential matches in their area. Again there is nothing stopping someone setting up a separate Facebook profile to hide their true identity. Of course you can meet dangerous people at any time but generally if you are out and about, you are most likely with family and friends; you are not going out to meet a complete stranger on your own.

But over and beyond the potential dangers; dating  is a numbers game no matter what way you approach it. Would you not have better odds playing the numbers game by going out and also enjoying yourself at the same time? Most people could find it far more useful to meet  potential mates in a physically interactive setting where they can be observed in there natural surroundings.

Anyone meeting someone for the first time where the pretext of a date has already been set has absolutely no chance of observing the natural behaviour of their potential mate.  There’s the old fashioned way of going to the pub, going to a dance class or joining some type of club where you can meet people. Surely, if you meet someone in a more natural setting first; you will have a far better idea of whether you want to go out on a date with them or not.

Then there are the serial daters who just love the date. They are like serial gamblers for whom the gamble is everything and winning and loosing becomes somewhat irrelevant. The internet is increasingly being used for all its sites and apps by people who are just interested in surfing the net. Again these are another set of people who may be on dating sites and apps who aren’t genuinely interested in the sites themselves but are just on them for the craic.

While internet dating may be giving you more numbers to play with, you’d probably need a serious program to work out the true value and variance of the potential dating power of these numbers. Yet again we are relying to much on computers and data. There is no doubt that internet dating has its place but what ever happened to instant physical attraction, intuition or spontaneity? What could be more exhilarating than going up to someone and asking them out because you find them attractive? If they say no, they say no! There’s too much playing it safe with computers, numbers and playing the percentages. Let’s get real and live once again in the human world!