Casting the net further: reassessing Online Dating
My friend Sara11 (we will call her that because that’s her screen name) looks like your typical girl, although she is secretly leading a double life – she is an Online Dater. Sara11 is gorgeous, well-educated and has just returned from Vienna where she shared an apartment with a tattoo artist- her cool factor is off the charts. I understandably, was shocked by her recent admission.
Case Study Two: Last year at a party, I was introduced to a good-looking twenty something couple – he was a Graphic Designer, she was a Stylist, both well-dressed and well-spoken and well, met on the internet. “You could both meet people the normal way” I gushed. Judging by their reaction, I was the odd one out. The more people I told this story to, the possibility arose that I was single-handedly keeping the online dating stigma alive.
According to Zoosk, our nations self-professed ‘Largest Dating Community’ has 1.5 million active accounts on their site. According to the Bureau of Statistics current population figures, roughly one in twenty people date this way. Not me! Not me! I hear you disclaim, however, according to my recent experiences this must be true.
Why? “I’m sick of dating friends of friends. I wanted something new, a new pool what have you – it’s just so easy” Sara11 explained. Datingsitereviews.com reports that 23% of adults have used some form of technology, usually social media, to initiate a date with somebody they have never met. It shouldn’t be surprising to find we are heading down this path.
Social media plays a huge part in this kind of random exchange. Most dating sites – the ‘Top Five’: Matchmaker.com, Zoosk, Oasis Active, RSVP and Match.com have an iPhone App which can link in with your social networking sites. This allows for the daters to grant “access” to one another’s lives.
What about the quality of the guys? “No different to the guys you see at the bar, but probably not drunk” Sara11 replied. She had a good point. “I’ve had no more terrible dates in ‘real life’ then I’ve had meeting guys online. One guy was fluent on the keyboard but not so in person”. I began to wonder was this just an ingenious way of assessing all of your options and expanding your compatibility horizons?
There are dating sites tailored for just about anyone with any preference – Military, Senior, Canadian Professionals, Interracial Match, Largefriends.com, Sea Captains and the questionable, for people who are already in a relationship! The latest craze out of New York is Crazyblinddate.com which offers an encounter with an absolute stranger where you don’t even see a photo of them, you just have an exchange…online.
Do you ever see them again, in person? “A few I have, although some I go home and immediately block” Sara11 grins and goes in to detail about a guy she met up with recently after ‘connecting’ online. Poleboy24 is a landscaper – same age, good looking, polite and no baggage. Are you ready for date two? “No” she smiles shyly “It’s too early, I haven’t even added him on Facebook yet”.