I was recently asked to give my thoughts on dating sites and whether I believe from what I have seen in company's that the sites are helping steer those that might harass away from the workplace because they can engage with women online.
I have no scientific analysis of this idea, but I do have a lot of feedback from women and men that I know that are on dating sites. And here is my thought. I think that dating sites and even technology have dehumanized dating in many ways.
I know, you are going to tell me that a third of all relationships start these days online. I am not going to disagree that many people find each other in this way. But I also have seen among my friends a surge in being dropped/ignored- ghosted. If you aren't familiar, being ghosted is the equivalent of being stood up, but through technology. You are texting, snapping, communicating with a person that you met on a site or even in person and suddenly they stop responding to anything you say. Completely. If you were sitting with someone or talking on the phone, I do not think you would just suddenly stop talking with no explanation. But with smart phones, it's easy. You don't have to see or hear that you have hurt someone because you can just delete them.
Dating sites allow you to "swipe" or like or poke people simply based on a few lines and a picture or two. This means you like them. Or you liked them in the moment. Much like shopping online. You pick the items you want based on pictures. Dating sites have become like shopping apps. Which dehumanizes that participants to each other. If you met someone out, you might decline an invitation or even chat and then decide not to continue,but you would do it based on more than a picture.
I don't think that technology created harassment, but I don't think it's helping. I think when we have to look someone in the eye and speak to them we are kinder and not as quick to judge. We use manners and hopefully grace. With an app and a phone we use emoticons and short hand. And we forget the people we interacted with as quickly as a key stroke.
Interacting and getting to know one another over time is a much better way of building relationships built on mutual respect. And if you disagree - swipe left.
Workplace ethics, etiquette and education