With news, friends, books, medical advice, maps, and job searches at your fingertips, it seems only natural that finding a mate would be as simple as a click of a button. Welcome to dating in the year 2010! Sounds like a sci-fi movie, but in fact millions of singles have hit the worldwide web seeking to make a connection in this new realm of the global “bar-scene“. But is it for you? Here are a few things to consider before you Login:
Online Dating Pros:
1) It’s Convenient
No dressing up, no trying to find parking outside the trendiest hot spots… just you in your pajamas scrolling through a catalog of men (or women). Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every minute of every day becomes a potential opportunity to meet *gasp* “The One”! Dating can be fit into your busy schedule!
2) It offers Endless Possibilities
Type in any kind of search and “Bam!”, hundreds of potential dates that fit your criteria. Multiply that by the number of different sites out there and you’re looking at millions of online daters who also may not have the time to get to bars or meetups.
3) No Awkward Moments
How many times have you seen a cute guy/girl, only to find that you have no idea what to say to break the ice? And even if you do, you run the risk that he/she may be already taken, is of a different sexuality, or just not that into you. Speaking from experience, the internet offers a figurative smoke-screen to communication. Profiles offer instant information about a person’s status and usually lists topics of interest that could spark conversation. No loud bar crowd, no possibility of striking out in front of friends, and a lot more time to think about what you want to say before you say it.
4) It’s Entertaining
Great matches or not, sometimes it’s just really interesting to see how people describe themselves, what they’re into, and what they’re looking for in a potential mate. Ever enjoyed people watching? Internet dating offers a world of people “reading” and sometimes the things they write are just plain ridiculous!
Online Dating Cons:
1) It can be very Time Consuming
Setting up your profiles, updating your pictures, reading thousands of profiles for potential suitors can take over a lot of time. Instead of one or two hours out at a bar for some drinks with friends, you may be on the computer for that long, if not longer trying to find someone that sparks your interest. Granted you can drink by your computer but the social aspect some might love just isn’t there.
2) Depending on the site you use, it can get Expensive
Depending on the length of contract you set up, sites like www.eharmony.com and www.match.com run about $10-50 a month. The longer you buy, the less per month but it still adds up. For example, there might be a deal for only $10/month for a year, but you have to pay for the whole year in advance. Both sites offer the opportunity to set up a profile and view matches for free, but you cannot communicate/email anyone unless you sign up. And beware: Pay sites set up automatic renewal and can sometimes be complicated to cancel so proceed with caution.
Now if money is still an issue or you just don’t want to commit to any one site, there are a few FREE sites such as www.plentyoffish.com and www.okcupid.com. However, it seems to a few who have tried a variety of sites, that more people on free sites are looking for more casual relationships than those who pay. The logic being, if a person is willing to shell out the money to meet people, they’re probably more serious about finding a long term mate. Granted there are people on free sites looking for long-term too, you might just have to look harder.
3) There could possibly be More Opportunities for Rejection?
Mathematically speaking, if you’re at a bar and talk to say 3 people a night, the chance of rejection is 3 out of 3. Say you shell out 30 emails over a course of the week, the chance that you may not hear back increases that much. This may bother some people, for others it may be no big deal since it’s only email after all.
4) There could be Communication Mishaps
As anyone who has ever texted or emailed sometime this century, it becomes obvious that there needs to be things such as a “sarcasm font” that would cut out a lot of written miscommunications. Punctuation errors, misspelling, and mis-sendings can prove to be disastrous when it comes to communicating effectively. Experts say that upwards of 90% of all communication is non-verbal, meaning eye contact, body language, gesturing, etc. Cut out that 90% of your message and it’s likely that something might be misconstrued. Be careful of what you say, how you tell jokes, and how you read things.
Granted this is but a tiny list of things to consider when you’re deciding whether to embark on the dating journey through cyber-space. But as with anything else in life, nothing compares to trying it out for yourself. With the amount of people signing in everyday from all different age groups, education levels, ethnicities, income levels, locations, and backgrounds, you never know what you might find the in dating hotspot known as the worldwide web!