Electronic machines have changed loving relationships, from instant messaging to swipe-based romance, from remote kissing to immersive pornographic experiences. It will only be a matter of time before we will find our significant other through virtual reality. At this year’s edition of CES in Las Vegas, leading dating app Tinder unveiled a feature that does exactly that. Introducing Tinder VR: dating technology from the future.
Let’s start by saying this product is a hoax. However, it does raise some concerns about the future of intimacy. In her book Alone Together, US psychologist Sherry Turkle examines how we expect more from our technology, but less from each other. She writes: “Technology proposes itself as the architect of our intimacies”. In the United States over 40 million people are using online dating services, which sums up about 40% of the single population in the US. However, the social rules for dating are changing over time, causing a boost in emerging dating technologies and a newly adopted “hook-up” culture (casual sex).
If dating in past generations was local and linear, dating in the future will be globally connected and beyond control. This makes us wonder, is technology causing us to behave more sexually? Or are we sexual people and is the technology only there to cater to our needs? Our sexual nature changes along with us. Happy Valentine’s Day!