The digital human
31 May 2012
A programme on love lives in the ‘digital world’ asks whether online ‘love’ is really love, or whether it impedes on real emotion. Dr Rahman from School of Biological and Chemical Sciences explains on BBC Radio 4 that love online is an interesting subject for scientists studying the biological and cultural roots of love. He comments on the ability to ‘edit’ your online persona, suggesting that what people do when dating online is everything they may have done in the pre-digital age, but they do it more efficiently. He adds that online dating capitalises on certain other types of love that psychologists have previously argued exist, such as infatuation or limerence- an involuntary state of mind resulting from a romantic attraction to another person combined with an overwhelming, obsessive need to have one's feelings reciprocated.