In recent years there has been a sharp increase in online dating services which rise in tandem with global craving for technology. I guess this can be used as a prime example of cybercuture.

Recently I have been reading about cyborgs and the concept of human-machine hybrids achieving far more than the traditional, organic human – at least from a physical perspective. This, however, prompted me to think about the influence that machine (and indeed technology) has on the mental state of the human form.

The music video embedded within this post is a light hearted sketch of an unpopular, middle aged man exaggerating his physical attributes to attract the opposite sex in online dating environments.

I suddenly remembered studying the concept of presence during my first semester on MSc Digital Education whilst enrolled on Introduction to Digital Environments. Back then I considered digital personas and opportunities that online environments afforded people to change their characteristics to create an idealistic version of themselves. I did not, however, consider the influence this practice has on a wider scale – in particular its contribution to cyberculture.

Technology affords us the opportunity for change. Is that change necessarily always for the better? Does it remove barriers and expectations that are placed upon us in the physical world and in everyday society?

I think that there is a misconception that with technology comes progress. Sure, we may become faster, smarter and more efficient. But what about the qualities that make us who we are? Kindness, honest. Love?

Is online dating better and more advanced than the traditional method? I’m not so sure.

One Reply to “Cybercultures”

  1. There are lots of interesting things you allude to in this post Stuart.

    Online dating or even online friendships highlight how much importance society places on physical attributes. I have wondered whether there might one day be a computer programme that can ‘read’ our hearts and our heads and take all the fun out of meeting people by just saying, “Yes, boom! You’ll get along and find each other attractive. Match!” I doubt this with come into being because I think that part of our humanity, as well as our ability to love, be kind and honest, is our fickleness!

    What I think is really interesting is how these practices have changed the way in which we socialise. In the nineties, when we were only plugged into our Diskmans, we looked up on the bus maybe caught someone’s eye, smiled and started up a conversation. I think of doing the same thing today and it doesn’t seem plausible. Everyone is looking at their phones, and if someone looks up smiling at you with their phone in their hand I’m more likely to think they are taking an unauthorised picture than think they’d be interested in having a chat.

    Dating, in general, is pretty hideous! The way dating app developers have made human emotion into a game is even worse but unfortunately I don’t think that ‘traditional’ dating behaviours are likely to be adopted ever again. Which begs the question… how much worse can it get?

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