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Changing Culture of Dating practice, Public Health, and Technology

The Paradigm of the Modern Healthcare Unspoken Discourse

Originally published by Data Driven Investor on Medium


By Rene Ranisch on Unsplash

In the modern definition, health is the ultimate state of well-being. It merely is the harmony between the physical and psychological state of human life. Healthcare, on the other hand, serves as the catalyst igniting the balance between the mind and the body. It must use the most up-to-date science and technology available for the humankind to support such euphony at every given moment in life. Health and sickness share the same societal denominators such as Dating and kinship. Historically, the system of the Healthcare delivery has traveled the diversity of avenues, nonetheless, in subtle but undisputable methods making its way to the world of dating and intimacy at a much slower pace than ever foreseen. Dating is one of the fastest-growing hence underappreciated frontlines in the health and wellness domain. The majority of current solutions are being offered within the primary software industry, which by itself is the potential subject of future controversy. Let’s have the whys and wherefores discussed later in this article.

In anticipation of, Let’s delineate what is Dating!

I recently performed online research about the public perception of what dating was, and it was quite interesting. Some felt up to about finding intimate Partner; some dated to find a husband or wife, and for others was about swiping left and right until they get a one-night intimate match. Even so, then again, for many, it has become an adventure to find the “Mr. right by cruising through the fiasco of most seductive messages. Not a mystery that for the millennial the term courting or dating has become a spectrum of definitions varied by user perspective. Observing from the historical prospect, dating is the experience of developing a deep relationship with someone, with a view to seeing if marriage is right, without the complexity of sexual intimacy being part of that relationship. For that reason, I would be inclined to emphasize in this article the term dating and courtship will invariably refer within its verbatim context, not to be tangled with terms such as sexual experimentation, intimate adventure, sexual preferences, exploring options under “friendship with benefits” or any of the combinations of above, latter in which are to be for but within the context of dating and not as an independent lifestyle.

“Online dating is just as murky and full of lemons as finding a used car in the classifieds. Once you learn the lingo, it’s easier to spot the models with high mileage and no warranty” Laurie Perry. “There are only two people in your life you should lie to… the police and your girlfriend” Jack Nicholson American Actor

These are a couple of selected examples of distinctive versions on today’s dating attitudes envisioned through idiosyncratic views summarized, each defining the constantly changing dating culture, free of a particular set of rules or protocols.

I believe a person dates in response to the inner intuitive attraction to fill the empty space within, the vacuity that is the upshot of desired forces of boundless possibilities unique to every one individual. The basis for the way in which two or more people or groups repute and behave toward each other is “Relationship.” Most Relationships today are however not necessarily having been sexual in nature but then again, it is often the motivating factor of most contemporary “dating” habits. Not long ago I put out an article under the title: “The Liberty surrounding Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation and stigmatizing trends of current healthcare policies”. The subject of that debate may also apply well to what I would like to discuss later in this piece, as it outlines the importance of respecting human individuality as the mean of circumventing conflict within the continuum of modern relationships.

History of Dating and Relationship

The concept of dating began at the turn of the 20th century. Before the late 1900s, courtship was considered to be a much more private and unemotional affair when the true love and passion of romance was the subject of Shakespearean poetry. Typically, a Woman would meet with men, with at the presence of her parents, to whittle the pickings down to the most suitable match for marriage, which heavily relied on factors including financial and collective status. When a young woman decided on a man, she wanted to see only, their activities as a couple took place either in the household or at public gatherings. At that time, there was nothing compared to what we describe today as two young people “going out on a date”. By the late 20th century, the concept of dating gradually developed into a more intimate encounter moving away from family gatherings and rules to the back porch of their house and sooner or later to the back seat of the car, coffee shops, and Diners. By then societies had already formed certain protocols on how to ask a girl out on a date and how to act like a gentleman!

Today's concept of dating has become extra technical. It has migrated from the public scene and family confines into the Internet and virtual cyberspace. Henceforth, it has become more sophisticated but convenient at the expense of values that were relatively easier to sustain by the traditional sense, like Culture, personality, social norms, physical appearance, genetics, and environment. In other words, under certain scenarios like an arranged marriage or strict religious censorious, there seemed to have been a great deal of emphasis on the true match from the social perspective. Heedlessly, since there has never been a perfect scenario throughout its evolution dating has always lacked a piece of its puzzle.

Dating is a Healthcare Issue

The imperfection of dating practices has always been a challenge to humankind. Every normal person instinctively desires to be in some sort of relationship. Psychological factors like confidence, humiliation, dating anxiety, depression, and bereavement over the broken relationship, all have medical significance. Similarly, sexually transmitted disease, impotence, and loss of libido or even aging are potential physical determinants of a healthy relationship. Bodily and psychological implications of poor dating practices are counterproductive and deemed to create a vicious circle of trial, failure, and increase health problems. Social implications of such unhealthy courtship will ultimately become a way of life henceforward a public health matter. Today, we often come across topics such as safe sex practices, spousal abuse, the offering of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) immunization in the High schools, or even sexual assault and rape, but we rarely come across the topics of healthcare conferring to the issue within a broader context such as dating and intimacy. This is by far noticeable by means of continually growing technological logistics of rendezvous of online dating.

This is the perfect time to contemplate as the medical problems such as sexually transmitted diseases and growing antibiotic-resistant gonorrheal infection are the symptoms of a neglected far-reaching healthcare topic thus contemporary dating. The current medical practice model does not consider dating and relationships to be a focus of public health debate. Poor dating practice has been pushed to the side as a personal and social concern instead of a clinical risk factor. Apparently, under the population health model, a typical medical problem is nothing but going down the list of healthcare priorities Therefore, dating has not triggered such response and may still go unaddressed due to its shortfall under the Center for disease control (CDC) guidelines, but then again Cases such as multi-resistant gonococcal infection and enforcement of HPV vaccine for teenagers to prevent future cervical cancer in women do! The rationale to prevent disease is simply focused on pharmaceutical prevention vs behavioral anticipation. The practice of unprotected sex among teenagers in high school that leads to the transmission of the HPV is on the rise or risky dating practices places teenagers in harm’s way of abuse, teenage pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases (STD), depression, and body dysmorphic syndrome and so on.

In some traditional eastern cultures, it is not unusual for families to seek medical and cognitive clearance for the bride and groom before marriage to certify the paramount physical and psychological match besides social and cultural compatibility. Although no supporting evidence to confirm the usefulness of such practice but with the progress of the population health model and the birth of modern thinking such traditions have become rare if not obsolete.

Magnitudes of population health model were introduced during the 20th-century when welfare states formed as complex political mechanisms for converting economic growth into enhanced population health, which marked the beginning of the demise of personalized healthcare originally defined by hypocrites.

Intimacy and Health are Personal

Dating is personal and the way healthcare can discuss such matters is through the delivery of personalized healthcare. Personalized medicine of our era by no means implies to its traditional ancestor in the 19th century, instead, it points to a more modern way by which it incorporates the 21st-century technology logistics while preserving the fundamentals of Hippocratic medicine hence ensuring a liberated but healthy relationship.

If one could independently take all the constituent traits of a person then use those to analyze, create a unique profile and match two individuals by those findings, then we should be able to minimize dissatisfaction, disappointment, complications, and failures of the relationship.

Personalized medicine would only speak for the medical aspect within the scope of the human relationship. The utility of Technology to take a personalized approach to relationships has disrupted the dating landscape. Technology has disturbed the way people start relationships, an occurrence that has parted us from the 19th-century tradition. That, the dating and health revolts are the selected essence of advances we have made in the science and technology settings. To elaborate further, software as service (SAAS) and micro-services have altered how people date. After over a decade of match.com and eHarmony, hundreds of new dating apps have been introduced into the market and yet more to come. Each claim having a unique way of delivering the same product to the users, by taking it out of nightclubs, family gatherings to cyberspace and social media and they all similarly claim to have disrupted the concept of dating in one way or the other. They all have transformed platitudes and gentleman-ship to the art of text and swiping, where users rely on technology for 90% of the initial convergence. I must emphasize, technology is countless and is here to help us all but the shortcoming of its design and validation and utility are also overwhelmingly significant. Technically speaking it is of utmost importance to make sure how the Social Metadata is being utilized to help target the individual daters’ needs and preferences right to the pinpoint. The ideal dating app will need a significant amount of data analytics, well-validated algorithms, and technology by the efforts of the knowledgeable expert’s from the corresponding domain like general users, psychologists, family therapists, ethicists, engineers, physicians, etc.

Role of Virtual dating: Confidence vs Self-esteem, Better expression vs Covert Quality

Those millennial who has dated in today’s social environment are familiar with the importance of Confidence, personality, and self-respect. They are By far the most important factors, not only with respect to the initiations of any relationship but also to ensure successful long-lasting consanguinity. Let’s not confuse this with communal skill, which by itself is still a great trait especially when it comes to building a rapport. Low self-esteem is a behavioral limitation and is always the prerequisite for other emotional complications such as depression and social anxiety. The virtual world has masked the problems associated with self-esteem by enabling the individual to temporarily camouflage his or her misconceptions. Knowingly, it tends to be short-lived and will eventually catch up with the person asserting potential medical complications. With proper execution, a dating app can be used to really tackle this issue instead of postponing the complication to a later time and sometimes to a more complicated stage in the relationship.

Dating, Technology, and Health: where do we stand today?

As with SAAS technologies within the other domains, current dating innovations are neither perfect nor on the right track to perfection. They continually fall short in addressing clients’ needs and fail to maintain “the objectivity” to match someone to his or her “subjective expectation”. The perfect term used to describe the failed dating technology is “insufficient personalization”

Current solutions have failed to match users at both ends of the user interface (UI). They tend to ultimately leave one side overwhelmed with thousands of options to choose from and the other party too vulnerable to “ghosting practice”, leading with the potential risk to poor match due to insufficient dating options. The current user experience (UX) is the perfect ground for a wrong partner match with health risks. Technology has advanced but so far none offer options for healthy dating experience, such as real-time interactive capability. We have the technical resources to bring about the unreal into reality, unsecured into personal ownership. We need to reform how we manage the personal information that is currently being traded by the big data industry, by personalizing those valuable assets. With the right validation, any tool would work for the individual instead of contributing to the identity scam through phishing practices andcatfishing.

The best of today’s Software Technology is within our Immediate Reach

By Using science, we can personalize user experience through Automated authentication of characteristics such as physique, personality, individual preference, sexual orientation, gender identity, education, professional character, skills and background of a particular user in real-time without divulging the user’s personal identifiers and demographics to the 3rd party.

Privacy, Trust, and User Control are of Utmost Importance

Real-time virtual dating before committing to in-person meetups would make the in-person physical dating a second stage to the actual mining encounter for chemistry and conduit for a healthy courtship down the stream of relationship. Until now, one could only speculate that the person on the other end of the chatbox has the precise color of the eyes or type of hair trusting that the other party was honest about entering his / her physiognomies yet to be confirmed at the time of the first meetup. Conversely, to ensure the person is about to be introduced to have certain habits before the initial meet-up Or would know for certain that he is looking forward to connecting with someone who beyond doubt lives within the distance of his convenience.

Why Dating Information must be Personal?

Any information, be it Metadata, image, or the product of an Algorithm or extract, transform, load (ETL) processes are sensitive and need to be respected. Unfortunately, the big data industry under the giant corporations, including but not limited to the dating industry and social media has been able to conquer, monopolize, and eliminate startups to secure their financial gain. One more reason for the pivotal change of many dating app business models, which has left the market with the ocean of fake accounts and unethical (if not illegal) practices like sexual exploitation, harassments, and rape. Individual data ownership is everyone’s prerogative, as it is secure’ private and valuable.

Decentralization of personal information along with the application of the available data protection modalities must become the gold standard practice. It will establish trust among users paving the way to healthy encounters accompanied by positive options for taking the relationship one step forward or if necessary simply ending it without a prerequisite to any complication. The personal data is health information, so to be shared conscientiously. If needed upon users' consent to be shared by healthcare professionals like psychologists, psychiatrists, physicians, and marriage counselors on an as-needed basis and even revoked when necessary. The trusted system and technology shall open the path for healthier relationships and stronger families.

A healthy relationship is an independent modifier in a person’s life. It, directly and indirectly, influences and alters the risk factors for psychological and physical disorders.

Dating can be a Public Health Issue

Current public health solutions weigh up individual risk factors like unprotected sex, predisposition to domestic violence, etc. It is time to start addressing the root of the problem through evaluating, customizing, and promoting healthy courtship practices. Such an approach will minimize the prevalence of the piecemeal problems of intimacy but will also help reduce healthcare costs in the long run. A personalized approach is a key to the successful implementation of healthcare and in this context the relationship. Let’s once and for all together build healthcare that goes beyond socioeconomic and geographic boundaries.

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