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  1. Let’s explore how technology has changed dating
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  4. Love in the time of AI: meet the people falling for scripted robots

Though these additions to our lives have their benefits, it also means we are exposed to thousands of people we would not have known otherwise. Maybe you view this as a positive and maybe you view it as a negative, but regardless, technology has added a lot more people into our lives.


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Though it is a debatable fact, it sure seems like our attention spans are shorter these days. Most of us are pretty addicted to our smartphones, whether we like to admit it or not. Though some may view this as a way to bond with their partner, it can also be detrimental to focus on your phone rather than your relationship. Another big change that technology has brought into our dating lives and beyond is the need to be constantly in touch with one another. Though it can be nice—to always be able to speak with your mother, for instance—it can add unnecessary strain to a relationship as well.

Do you always need to know exactly what your partner is doing? We are all familiar with the feeling that a long-unanswered text message leaves us with. Technology has introduced us to fantastic ways to keep in touch with each other—though constant contact is not always positive. It has been reported often in recent years that technology, and the access to social media, has helped our relationships move to the next level much quicker than pre-Facebook days.

The fact that we have such quick and easy and frequent access to Facebook messages, Twitter direct messages, Instagram messages, and text messages means that we have the ability to connect with strangers, our partners, our family, etcetera without thinking twice about it.

Let’s explore how technology has changed dating

Dating apps like Tinder and dating sites like OK Cupid and Match allow you to build an entire relationship with someone before you have ever met them in person. Even if you are not seeking out a relationship, connecting with people on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or any other social site can often lead to a romantic relationship.


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Personally, I connect with many people on Twitter and a few of them have been romantic interests. I met a young man in person after talking to him via Twitter and eventually text message for multiple years. Though it leads to a sweet story sometimes, it is definitely a backwards approach in getting to know a person. When using an app like Tinder or signing up for a dating website, we are literally taught to swipe left or right depending on how attractive a person is. Of course this is not an entirely new process.

Maybe you're too young to remember when people went on dates and actually talked to each-other, without the intrusion of technology. Maybe you can't remember a time when people just hung out together and connected.

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Love in the time of AI: meet the people falling for scripted robots | Technology | The Guardian

I can, and I have to say, I miss those days. It used to be that people could really get to know each-other by spending time together. We'd talk about all sorts of things — our hopes, dreams and fears — until we began to feel that ineffable thing known as a "connection. Today, technology is ubiquitous. We bring our phones everywhere and look at them dozens, if not hundreds, of times a day.

HOW DOES TECHNOLOGY CHANGE LOVE?

We spend more time interacting with our technology than we do with the people in our lives. And all the time we spend with technology is making it harder to connect with others.

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Recent studies bear out this notion. An NBC poll from showed that more than 70 per cent of Americans believe technology is making our relationships weaker, and a study in the journal Psychology of Popular Media Culture found "people who were more dependent on their smartphones reported being less certain about their partnerships," and, "People who felt that their partners were overly dependent on their devices said they were less satisfied in their relationship.

Everywhere you go, you can see how technology has changed the way people interact. I was out last New Year's Eve, having dinner in a nice restaurant. Across from us, a young couple sat with their faces buried in their phones.

Love in the time of AI: meet the people falling for scripted robots

I felt so sad for these youngsters who were missing out on the fun and fulfillment of human connection because their priority was to focus on their phones. Last May, I was interviewed by Jason Osler of CBC Radio about how some coffee shops have stopped providing WiFi, in the hopes that their patrons would begin talking to one-another again. Wouldn't it be nice if we were given phone-locking pouches whenever we entered a restaurant? Each dining establishment could have a landline to take emergency calls, but otherwise, guests would be forced to interact with one-another, as opposed to spending their meal engaged primarily with their technology.

For daters, this would be ideal, as they'd have no other option than to get to know the person sitting across from them. They wouldn't be able to avoid any potentially uncomfortable human contact by keeping their noses stuck in their phones.


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