Love It Or Hate It, People Won't Stop Online Dating

The internet gets credit for giving us access to information, but we hardly acknowledge the fact that it enables strangers to find and introduce themselves to new intimate connections every second of the day.

 

According to MIT Technology Review, “For more than 50 years, researchers have studied the nature of the networks that link people to each other.” To avoid skewed results the researchers on the case study involved heterosexual and same-sex couples. They discovered that couples tend to meet in one of the nine ways: 1. At church. 2. At primary or secondary school. 3. Through a family member. 4. By a neighbor. 5. In college. 6. On the job. 7. At a bar/restaurant. 8. Through a mutual friend. 9. Online.

 

Online dating is one of the most significant trends in today’s society. In 2017, more than one-third of marriages started online. The popularity of sites like eHarmony, Match.com, Blackpeoplemeet.com and thousands of similar networks, has caused the stigma of online dating to diminish considerably in the last 12 years. 

 

As dating has changed, so have the rules. In 2014, the Huffington Post published an article listing online dating rules that lead to successful relationships. The top three rules suggest that people who are looking for love should not to wait for love to find them. Also, to get rid of the thought of having a defined “type.” Most importantly, text more and call less.

 

Among those three rules were to split the bill on dates and explore all of your options. However, daters should take into consideration that the provisions of online dating change as frequently as the days of the week. The successful rules of online dating in 2014 could be the things to avoid doing in 2015.

 

For example, The Washington Post published an article about dating selectivity that highlighted the fact that dating experts called 2016 “a bad year for dating trends.” At the top of the dating don’ts of 2016 list was asking to split the check. It is safe to say that if you choose to participate in online dating, you should stay up-to-date on dating trends if you want to find love.

Online dating is continuously evolving, but one thing that remains the same is the fact that everyone wants someone to show interest in them immediately. Playing hard-to-get will get you nowhere in online dating. It is extremely difficult to decipher emotions through a text message.

 

It is possible to detect whether or not someone is playing hard-to-get. The researchers at Microsoft created an emotion detection and recognition software to determine emotions via text. However, the average online dater is not a Microsoft researcher, so they do not have time to decide whether you are genuinely interested in them or not.

 

One of the top online dating experts, Julie Spira told Sara Polus at the Washington Post, “If someone interesting writes to you and you can see that he’s online now, don’t go ‘Oh, I’m going to make him wait an hour.’ Within that hour he could schedule three dates, and one of them he could end up being smitten with, and you played the waiting game, so you lost,” says Spira.

 

Another fact about online dating is people tend to lie on their profiles to seem more appealing. OpinionsMatter conducted a study of 1,000 single men and women living across the U.S. and U.K. The results revealed that 53 percent of Americans admit to lying on their online dating profiles. Women lie more than men by almost 10 percent. While 20 percent of those women post older pictures of themselves, 40 percent of men fabricate their job position.

 

Americans are fascinated with exposing fake online dating profiles. The term “catfish” was coined by Nev Schulman in 2010 during his documentary when he found out that a gorgeous woman he fell in love with online was a middle-aged, married mother. The infamous show, Catfish, is a reality-based documentary that allows people to get help from Schulman and his co-host, with determining whether or not the person they are falling in love with online is real or fake.

Online dating experts believe that daters are avoiding being catfished and catalyzing their love life by ditching the idea of just dating online. They are insisting on more face-to-face interactions as early as possible.

 

People are taking control of their love lives by not using traditional dating apps. Non-dating apps like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram are giving people the accessibility to connect with others who are seeking companionship without charging them a sign-up fee.

 

Those who are searching for love use their social media accounts to showcase their attributes. At the beginning of the year, CNN reported on a Nigerian couple getting married a week after meeting on Facebook. Chidimma Amedu was determined to find a wife, so he posted a message on Facebook requesting for applications from interested women. After weeding through messages that asked him if he was joking, he found an application from a curious woman and the rest was history.

However, middle-aged, married father Christopher Johnson believes that having too many options is hurting the online dating culture. “Your generation takes longer than one year to make someone their significant other because you all have the privilege of messaging people across the globe. It takes you longer to realize that someone is your perfect match because having many choices can lead to making very few selections,” says Mr. Johnson.

To add more fuel to the online dating fire, Valentine’s Day happens to be a few days away. Millennials love to showcase their love online, and the Black Student Alliance at Georgia State University gave students the opportunity to find love just before Valentine’s Day. They hosted a speed dating event Feb. 8 to match students within two hours in hopes that no one spends the love holiday alone. I attended the BSA event, but did not find a valentine. However, I do have a back-up plan. I will be attending a Valentine’s Day Program at GSU hosted by Softer Touch. The night will include watching movies, making bath bombs, and bonding with my fellow members.

 

** All images courtesy of www.daily.jstor.com, www.cnn.com, www.mtv.com, www.thrillst.com, and @softertouchgsu on Instagram**