In the early part of the last decade, online dating, or “e-dating,” was considered by some to be taboo. But since the early 2000s, e-dating went from being frowned upon to part of the norm, as more people – disgusted by more traditional forms of courtship – turned to the Internet to find love.
Today, there are a myriad of specialized dating sites – everything from “Cupidtino,” a site that caters to Apple users, to “Crew Dating,” a site where pilots and flight attendants can go to find a significant other.
And with the online dating industry making big bucks from all of this (In the United States, the online dating industry made a $2 billion profit in 2010), I wonder: Is e-dating an effective way to find a mate?
The results seem mixed.
On the one hand, the often quoted statistic, “One in five people meet online,” is, for the most part, correct. What’s more, one study by Stanford University’s Michael Rosenfeld found that “those who met online were twice as likely to marry as those who met offline.”
On the other hand, though, some argue that online dating is killing commitment. Clare Goldwin, for instance, a writer for the London Daily Mail, argues in an April 2013 article that “easy-come, easy-go Internet romance can ruin your chances of a lasting relationship.” Goldwin believes that online dating is, generally speaking, not the best way to find a partner.
Other drawbacks abound, too.
According to Plenty of Fish (POF) founder Markus Frind, most people seeking an “Intimate Encounter” on POF are “a bunch of horny men talking to a bunch of horny men pretending to be women.” In other words, most attractive women on the site who are looking for a hook up are, in fact, men using fake profiles.
Online dating statistics:
• One in five couples meet online.
• In 2010, the online dating industry made $2 billion dollars.
• The average online dater pays between $20 and $60 dollars per month.
• Those who meet online are twice as likely to marry than those who do not.
• Match.com is the world’s largest online dating site with more than 17 million users a month.
With online dating in general, too, men often exaggerate their income by 20 percent and their height by two inches, according to one analysis by OkCupid, a free online dating site. Lying on online dating profiles seems regrettably common among men, a practice that undermines honesty and progress all together.
Pros and cons exist with online dating. If you’re going to do it, I would suggest moving ahead with cautious optimism, and consider the data.