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Extreme Matchmaking in the Digital Age

online dating, some rights reserved, http://flickr.com/photos/23905174@N00/2061329074/New Chumpkwah, KT – If you were born before 1970, then chances are you remember a time when dating meant meeting someone at a bar or coffee shop, getting their phone number, calling them and arranging a specific time and place to get to know them. Anyone under the age of 40 in the dating world probably finds it near impossible to recall a time when dating, romance and relationships weren’t encased in a bullet-proof case made of technology.

The internet has invaded virtually every aspect our lives, with our personal and romantic lives being no exception. The Center for Statistics and Such recently reported that over 20 million people have used online dating sites such as matchymatchmatch.org, and TruELove.net. Even if you’ve never signed up for a free trial at NeverEatAloneAgain.com (and who can honestly say they haven’t?), then you at least undoubtedly played out some of your relationship drama on the internet’s stage. Perhaps you have flirted via social networking sites, or stalked an ex via social networking sites, or declared your self taken . . . via social networking sites. No matter the medium, you’ve been there – sending the e-card, the e-mail, the e-kiss and hug. None among us can claim that our romantic selves have lived a life hermetically sealed from the permeating tentacles of technology.

And like any major movement to overtake a vast population in a short period of time, not all are happy with the change. There are those that see the influence of the digital age in our love affairs to be meddlesome and unhealthy. They have created a “backlash,” or negative response to the trend.

Folks across the country, disgusted by watching their friends and families personal dramas play out on a broadcast net of ones and zeros, have decided that matchmaking no longer belongs in our computers. They are calling for something called “extreme matchmaking.” At the forefront of this movement is “Singles and Couples United for Old-Time Romance” or “S.C.U.O.T.R.” These proponents of “old fashioned dating” offer, completely free of charge, a chance to try out “a different kind of singles scene.: Saul Merkin, chairman of S.C.U.O.T.R. says “this IS your grandmother’s matchmaker.” What S.C.U.O.T.R. offers, through Extreme Matchmaking, is unlimited access to a “old-timey matchmaker,” usually an elderly woman, who knows everyone in your community, has watched you grow from childhood, knows you better than you know yourself, and has very strong opinions about who you should be dating, and really – who you should have married five years ago when you actually had some proper baby-making years left in you – Oy!

This matchmaker, once “hired,” cannot be “fired” and will not rest until she has seen you married and pregnant. The service has already gained immense popularity – mostly among those who have tried online dating with poor results. Membership numbers grow daily and Extreme Matchmaking already claims to have testimonials from over fifty “happily married couples.”

But much like the iPhone case made from hundreds year old polished oak and Victorian age brass — in a Steam Punkian sort of gesture — Extreme Matchmaking relies heavily on technology, using free software downloads to put you in contact with your very own “traditional” matchmaker.

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