One thing that goes without saying is that we live in a Web 2.0 world where the internet connects people defying boundaries. Today you can’t mention the web without talking about online dating. It traces its roots back 15 years according to several scholarly journals from Kent State’s research databases. The early forms of online dating were found on platforms like AOL chat rooms, email and webcam sites. But have you ever wondered how online dating became so popular? Here are a few reasons to consider:
I’m too busy to date
During my brief usage of an online dating site, many of the profiles mentioned that the person was giving the “online thing” a try because they were so busy. The typical college student is wearing more hats than ever before, so looking for ways to streamline finding a mate is increasing.
I don’t know how to unplug
As college students, many of you have heard this in your communications classes: Our society doesn’t know how to “unplug.” I’ve had to read several news articles on the pros and cons of being too technology savvy as a journalism student at Kent State. First the Facebook phenomenon had us glued to our desktops; next the invention of smart phones had us trying to multitask when we shouldn’t be (like when driving). So it’s no surprise that the urge to be “logged in” has spilled into our social lives. Ironically, entrepreneurs are finding ways to make a killing off this urge by tailoring social networking sites to help people to engage in romance.
I just want to be held
A New York Times article The Recession. Isn’t It Romantic? draws an interesting correlation between how grim our economy has been recently to the rise in online dating.
“At a time when money is scarce or uncertain, when people are assessing their priorities, they don’t want to go through it alone,” says Dr. Pepper Schwartz, a college professor and relationship expert at perfectmatch.com. The 2009 article describes how the pursuits of single people trying to find love to be increasing both online and offline.
Where are young people looking for love or at least hot date, you ask? Here are a few of the internet’s top matchmaking websites.
EHarmony.com was created in 2000 and has since gained more than 33 million users worldwide. It is one of the first websites of its kind to include a 29 point accountability test. Started by Neil Warren, psychologist and Christian theologian, the site boasts the reputation of being rooted in integrity and being results oriented.
Plentyoffish.com has grown to become a leader in the online dating scene by being one of the first successful free online dating models. It launched in 2004, with a page layout similar to Facebook making it easy for even a novice to see success with virtual dating. POF.com is very popular among the 18 to 30 crowd.
Zoosk.com is a promising newcomer to the market that launched in December 2007. Its rapid success stemmed from its ability to be accessed by your social networking accounts including Facebook, Twitter and Bebo.
Before you go off to partake in the fun that the web has to offer, please think about your safety first. Yes, I know we’re all big boys and girls but remember to practice wisdom by doing the following:
- Not putting personal info on web profiles like names and addresses
- Agreeing to meet a person in a public place preferably with people that you know
- Posting classy photos. Sure, risque pictures may get you noticed but they can also seriously harm your reputation
Feel free to leave your thoughts, opinions or experiences about the increase in online dating.