When you see the term Computer Love, not only do you think of Roger Troutman’s musical genius that decades later gave birth to the crap we now know as autotune, but I think of the new generation of singles that are finding love in the place that they spend most of their time.  The Internet!  Ever since my green Hero, Al Gore, created the internet in the early 90’s it has given birth to some of the greatest conveniences the world has ever seen.  The Daily essentials for the most reliable information like Google, Wikipedia, and YouTube.  The main stay of the American consumer diet…TMZ.  The must have updates on the most important current events.  ESPN.com. And maybe the most popular of them all…..free pornography!  (Billion dollar industry that none of us seem to support in any way….yeah…ok)  But just as important to today’s society is the online dating world.  This flourishing industry estimates a yearly intake of 4 billion dollars world-wide.  And even though we all know someone who has done online dating, many people fail to embrace it as a practical way to meet the love of your life.

According the The Harris Interactive Poll that was released in Dec of 2009, the average net surfer spends on average, 13 hours online a week.  That is definitely more time than I spend being “social” in a weeks time.  Like most professional people with tiring jobs, a home to maintain and family to stay in contact with, I have become more attached to my computer than I am to the outside social world.  I find myself going into nightspots or lounges and really just enjoying watching the people and seeing what they are doing, and wearing and what new trends I have missed out on since I am not a regular “club hopper“.  On average I would estimate that I spend 6 hours a week, on a good week, hanging out.  And while I might not be the norm, I doubt that the average DC single hangs out twice as much as I do weekly.  So if we double my social hours to 12 hours a week then that still does not equal as much time as the average person spends on internet.  So unless you are going to marry a coworker, the mailman, a neighbor or your landscapers, people have at least just as much of a chance to meet someone online as they do while out “being social“.  So why such a huge social stigma? 

Seems like the practical thing to do.  We buy groceries online.  We order food online.  We shop for clothes, cars, plan vacations and pay bills electronically.  Why such a big deal to meet a mate online?!  Part of the brush back for everyone has to do with some cultural factors but for me as a man, I believe that for a lot of men it makes them feel as though they are admitting to either being lonely or desperate.  Bottom line.  We view it as being the less than macho thing to do.  We feel like going online to find a companion speaks to a lack of charm or “game” when we are in front of a beautiful woman.  And the truth of the matter is that most of us just simply have no game.  I know I don’t!  I have always felt super phony by making up a bunch of BS small talk in front of women who I barely know.  Telling her how much I like her eyes and smile, when I can hardly see her in this dark nightclub.  Or commenting on how familiar she looks, even though I have never seen her or anyone like her before in my life.  As a matter of fact, the fact that I have no game is my game.  If that makes any sense…….  So for guys there is a certain prideful sense that makes us smirk at the idea of going to Match.com.  But here is the thing.  Of the 20 million subscribers to Match.com, the site boasts a ratio of 49/51 percent of men to women.  That’s right!  Just under 10 million men are on Match.com.  Almost identical ratio’s are advertised for both eHarmony.com and PlentyofFish.com.  In short….guys are lying!  They are all over the dating sites despite the cocky, “I can pick up a girl on the street anytime I want“, routine that they put on.

And while a lot of women are much more open and vocal about being willing to try online romances, you still have a pocket of women who talk like they are still one of the cool kids in highschool when they make comments like, “Ewww..I don’t want to meet some computer pervert!”  Well I got news for you sweetie!  My uncle met his wife online and he’s a handsome, well-traveled doctor who has held down a successful private practice for years.  So he is far from what I would consider a computer pervert.  “Online dating is for weirdos”…….NO!  You want to talk about weird?  Have you seen the way some women look when they go to night clubs and bars wearing clothes tight enough to make them pass out from poor blood circulation and enough make-up to attend a masquerade party without a mask?  That’s what I call weird. 

Now I don’t mean to sound like an infomercial for dating sites but I do think that people need to loosen up and give them a try.  I still believe that with all the crazies in the world, that women are well served to meet people through friends and mutual acquaintances.  But instead of people hounding their friends unmercifully about introducing you to that hot friend  that you saw them with last week, use the internet to weed out some possible prospects.  Look at it like this.  It is much easier to say no to someone’s advances through the computer screen than it is in person.  Plus, most sites have measures in place to allow you to move forward cautiously and at your own pace.  And if someone  is online searching for love then they are usually gonna be sort of serious.  Especially if they are coughing up a small fee.  And most importantly, online dating builds up the suspense and anticipation that many people lose over time.  You remember that butterfly feeling you got when you met someone cute in jr highschool.  Getting to know someone through the computer for a week or two before a date pushes your butterfly meter through the roof.

I don’t know……maybe if I wasn’t so suave with the ladies and had them beating down my door, I would consider registering online.  Who knows.  I mean not that I have tried it before, but a good friend told me that they have a 10 day free trial with a special low rate for the next 6 months…..not that I’ve ever tried it.  I’m just sayin………….

Jackson.Bracey@gmail.com

@jacksonBracey

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