In the age of tweeting, poking, blogging, vlogging and checking in, social media is playing an ever-expanding role in our daily lives. It’s how we stay connected with old friends, network with co-workers, and now how many of us are falling in love.
Studies show that 2 out of 5 Americans have tried online dating. Even more surprisingly, over 120,000 marriages a year are a result of online dating. Another trend? People seem to be talking more openly about it. With all the social networking occurring over the Internet these days it seems online dating has lost its stigma.
What was once frowned down upon, and deemed desperate is now being considered convenient. A single mother, for example, may have to be particularly selective of the people she takes the time to date. Or a busy professional may not have the time to regularly visit bars.
Then, of course, there’s the issue of bars. The bar, and club scene are not typically the best places to go to meet someone you plan on seriously dating. Some believe men and women who take the time to set up an online dating account are less likely to be already be in a relationship or looking to have casual sex than someone they “pick up” at a club. For many, the amount of money, time and effort that it takes to join websites like Match.com and eHarmony translates into “ready for commitment.”
There’s certainly a market for it. Data reveals U.S. residents spent over $500 million on online dating and personals services in 2005. Specialty sites have even emerged, like Elite Noire an exclusive dating site for African American professionals. The site claims to personally review, and verify the information submitted by all perspective members. Visitors wishing to join are required to upload professional portraits.
Like any other kind of dating, online dating has its risks. It can be easier for people to pose to be something they’re not when they’re sitting behind a computer screen. And while there may be more eligible bachelors and bachelorettes online, the Internet isn’t immune to liars, cheaters, and jerks.
Have you tried online dating? Which dating sites have you tried?