As author of the book Fast Food Dating, Your 2 Cents I learned a lot about the world of Internet dating.
I learned not only how time consuming it can be, but also how highly addictive that it can become too many. I was told by more than one person, “Once you start, you can’t stop!” Hmmm… Why is that? I asked. Simple…it becomes a whole new social world for many, where they get instant gratification by way of attention and potential dates, as well as…sex! Okay there, I said the “sex” word!
Dating in the palm of your hand
Text messaging and Internet dating literally go hand in hand these days–ah, dating in the palm of your hand! Okay, for those with their minds in the gutter, I am sure some are using their other free hand for something else that goes with the “sexting”. As a matter of fact, when my co-author Dr. Debra Laino (sex therapist) and I were researching/writing our book The Madonna Complex: Why Men Are Wired To Cheat, some men were not only addicted to the “sexting” but also the autoerotic stimulating “sexing” of themselves so we were told. That is another blog all together!
Internet dating can turn into an addicition.
Most people go into the world of Internet dating with the goal of finding that special someone, or at least some to befriend, that they can trust. In the beginning, for many I was told can not only be very fun because it is a novel experience, but also very overwhelming. Most become bombarded with opportunities to chat and meet people–it becomes a job within itself. Hey, wasn’t Internet dating suppose to make things easier and remove most of the guess work? Some believe it is like placing an order and waiting for their match to just show up. Ah, cyber kismet! From this point forward, many learn that it is not quite as easy as they thought. Some theorists say that it takes 21-28 days to become habituated to a vice or addiction if you do it every day in that period. If you are doing the Internet dating thing in that period, guess what? You’re probably hooked,
Before if you wanted to play the Internet dating game, you had to do so at your desk, or at least a laptop while sitting in your favorite cafe. Now with the World Wide Web in the palm of your hand, you can cyber date anytime and anywhere…even while driving, boating, flying, bathing or sitting on the toilet? Okay, not so pretty image! I think you get the point…text message dating in itself becomes addictive for some.
It’s all about attention
I interviewed both men and women who text date/lap top date (which is now considered old school) to give me the root cause why they do it in one sentence or less. I was able to sum it up in one word actually: ATTENTION! Most people love the attention they get–someone is thinking about them, communicating with them, flirting with them, making them feel special or…is being intimate with them through sexting. And to follow up “attention”, many stated that this venue for dating works so well because you don’t have to put too much effort into it. Conversely, some did say it is very costly in terms of wasting time or being distracted from what they should be doing (work) because they are addicted to their text dating.
In the end, we are social creatures needing acceptance, love and feeling the need to be desired by someone, especially if we are single. Since text messaging is anonymous and even secretive for the most part, some people push the envelope a little too far, too fast to get the attention they desire from others. And just as text messaging causes miscommunication and short-comings to understanding, “sexting” leaves many confused, bewildered, insulted and even unfulfilled! It’s the last point which gets many into trouble as they become desensitized and need to take things to a new, non-cyber level. And this is when the next set of games begins!
Peter Andre Sacco is a contributing blogger for JenningsWire.