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Observations from a digital dinosaur
Technology has made the very personal very impersonal, I think.
A few years back, I tried online dating. That’s an experience I don’t care to ever repeat, I can honestly say. I still prefer to meet people through mutual friends if that’s at all possible.
I did see a movie once about how this girl met the man of her dreams by hitting him with her car. I mentioned this to my brother and he said that he thought this was a pretty good idea, but he said I could probably only get away with that trick once or twice before the police and my insurance company would feel the need to intervene. I hate it when he’s right.
This year, I also found myself looking for work and of course, that meant hitting Indeed, LinkedIn, etc. I have been out of both of the dating and job hunting markets for quite some time, but it recently occurred to me how over the years, there have been so many changes to how we go about finding both the person and the job that we think is going bring us so much bliss. These are both pretty major life decisions if you are looking for long term commitment don’t you think?
Anyway, I have come to the realization that in this day of online everything, dating and job hunting have become so impersonal and kind of silly, really.
First, you write all the fabulous things about yourself in either an online profile and you post out there for potential suitors or employers to see. Not always the easy part – but it’s necessary if you want to get out there, right? So you talk about your interests, your skills, your background, etc. and depending on how honest you are, you might embellish these details a bit, add a picture (hopefully current) and viola’, it’s a summary of you.
I’ve come to wonder if I might save time in combining these profiles. For example, in addition to my professional information, I might add that I like pina coladas and getting caught in the rain – after all, no one really reads this stuff anymore. Employers utilize scanning programs that look for keywords and very few people actually read a person’s profile on a dating site before contacting them, right?
It really is kind of interesting how this all works. Your potential suitor or employer can totally disregard you without ever having met you or they might decide to contact you and start that getting to know you phase. So you decide to meet, set a date and then the “fun” begins. As in online dating, I have found employers who are less than truthful about their offerings. I once applied for a job as a manager with a company. I was granted the interview, got up early and got all dolled up only to find out that no one starts as a manager there. You start out selling their product, recruit others to sell their product and eventually, become a manager of those that you’ve recruited. I felt like I did when I agreed to meet someone from a dating site only to find out that his picture was 10 years old and although we seemed to have similar interests when we talked online -in person, it seemed the only interest he had was himself. I couldn’t get out of either of those meetings fast enough!
Sometimes, you don’t even get the “it’s not you, it’s me” speech; you invest the time to get dressed up and meet online or in person and without warning, you’ve been ghosted! Now, hopefully this is not an intentional on the part of hiring managers, I’m sure they’re overwhelmed, but at least some send you the automated “we’ve decided to go with another candidate” email and I think it won’t be long before someone figures out a similar template for ditching an online date.
Either way, there you sit – in your jammies, eating Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie ice cream out of the carton, starting the search all over again.
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