This past summer a friend and I, dissatisfied with the selection of bachelors in our somewhat sprawling suburban town, decided out of curiosity to sign up for match.com. I thought it would be a fun social experiment. We had plans of a book and movie, however these shortly fizzled. At first it was exciting, deciding which picture to use, what to put in our profile, and seeing who else utilized the service. It became immediately clear that what was a “fun social experiment” for us, was a way of life for a large population (at least on this site). Messages were received daily by people that wanted to “chat” or even meet in person. I removed myself from the site after a “business man” over the age of 50 from my own hometown wanted to get together. It is amazing to me how dating has become such a large business not only in this country, but around the world. When googling the words dating service over 63,200,000 hits come up. There is match.com, e-harmony, j-date, lovecompass, plentyoffish.com, etc. Sites offering Russian brides, those for specific religious affiliations, for those over 40, on and on. There are also services such as “It’s Just Lunch” which is designed for business professionals, too busy for the dating scene. This service organizes lunch dates based on user profiles. Speed dating is another face to face form of dating. Companies such as hurrydate and 8 minute dating organize parties at local bars and clubs that allow for couples to meet for a short period of time (5-8 minutes). Throughout the night one can meet anywhere from 25-30 people and then they can determine if they want to meet for a real date. Recently, online dating services have made the leap to cell phone service. Now people can meet and chat anywhere anytime! In other countries it is possible for your mobile device to indicate whethere your “buddy” or “match” is within a 100 ft radius of you at any given time. As a college student, these ideas seem more than a little crazy. Whatever happened to the old fashioned way of meeting a mate, in a mosh pit aka frat party, or at a rowdy bar? Whatever happened to sharing a milkshake or hand holding?? Is the only post college dating option through my cell phone? Am I limited to 5 minute forced interactions from here on out? Or worse yet, will I have to mail order a husband? I don’t even think they do that!!! I don’t doubt that many people have found wonderful companions through these services and everyone deserves that. What concerns me is that we are moving too fast. Our lives our a blur and we are too self absorbed and scared to look around and approach people in the flesh. I feel very Carrie Bradshaw-esque writing about this, but is the dating we once knew obsolete?