I’m sure there are some of you out there who still remember using online dating sites in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. I certainly do. Back then there were only about a handful of Jewish online dating sites, if that many. Online dating was relatively new and yes, exciting.
Ok, it was always fun and there were plenty of frustrating experiences, but there was something very exciting about getting a message from someone new (at least until you checked out their profile). It was even better when you got a response to your initial message.
In many ways the “thrill is gone”. These days you’re lucky if the message you so carefully craft ever even gets read. Why? Because we’re so digitally overdosed that we might either never see the email or just not care enough to open it.
Thanks to the inundation of spam mail, most online dating site messages go straight to your junk folder. If you’re lucky they might end up in your Gmail promotions folder among the hundreds of daily deals and discount offers you don’t even bother reading anymore.
Back in the day there was just a heck of a lot less email to deal with. You had one email box which you could pretty easily manage without any form of technical assistance. So when you saw that dating message, you opened it. And read it.
Facebook and Twitter weren’t around yet. Think about how much time you spend on social media. Now imagine what you could do with all of that time. Before social media there just wasn’t that much to do on the internet. You read your emails and responded.
Without a smartphone by your side 24/7 you weren’t always “connected”. So when you actually did sit down at your computer in the evening, you focused on the job at hand. If it was online dating, you gave it your undivided attention.
Well, things are different today. Our attention span has shrunk dramatically. The little we have left is scattered among a multitude of sites, apps, blogs and of course social media. There are hundreds of online dating sites and apps to overwhelm you. You get a daily dose of hundreds of emails, texts, IM’s, What’s Apps which no human being can possibly hope to read, let alone respond to.
What’s the solution?
No, it’s not to dump it all and go back in time.
But…what about cutting back a bit?
Why not limit your social media presence to just 1 or 2 outlets, and a predetermined time limit?
You don’t need to be on dozens of online dating sites. You might think that you’re expanding your chances, but you might just be diluting your focus.
Instead of giving a bit of your attention to a ton of different things, give ALL of your attention to a few specific things that matter most.
There’s a famous Talmudic teaching that says, “If you try to grab too much, you end up with nothing.”
Get back to basics and start focusing again.