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Online Dating: Next Big Trend or Next Big Flop?

Can it be? Have we, as a culture, become so accustomed to technology and social networking that we have to turn to online outlets to find love? I’m not knocking anyone’s skills! I do know some happy couples that actually hit it off through Facebook messaging. Even I have met some of my boyfriends through means of MySpace, FaceBook and Twitter. There are pros and cons to the scenario. It’s all about what you’re comfortable with as far as searching for love, a fling or a one night stand…whatever your preference.
 
The Pros:
 
So many options!
           
Alright, collegiettes! Think of the number of friends you have on Facebook or the number of followers you have on Twitter. Now take that number and count how many of those people you would definitely be attracted to. If it’s at least eight, then I’ve just proven my point. If not, then maybe you’ve missed the point of social networking? Online dating can provide you with so many options to choose from! You’re not necessarily forced into the awkward situation of focusing on one guy that you may not mesh with. You can talk to multiple guys at once!

***Disclaimer: As a personal rule, I wouldn’t “talk” to multiple guys that are either A) associated with each other or B) uninformed about what your intentions are. The first reason should be obvious. As for the second reason, if you’re just looking to mingle, be straight up with him. Otherwise, you may get dragged into unnecessary drama!
 
Much less intimidating!

Maybe you’re not the most forward person when it comes to approaching a guy you like. His awesome presence may be way too intimidating for you to be able to simply walk up to him! However, with online dating, sending an IM or a private message can sometimes take away the intimidation. If he wants to respond, he will. If not, so be it. Besides, most of us would rather have a guy not respond to a message than have him embarrass us in a room full of people that I may or may not know.
 
Extensive research.

Ever hear of “Facebook stalking?” Don’t act like you haven’t! I mean everyone has done it at some point or another. The beauty of Facebook is that with enough searching you can determine a guys birthday, interests and what kind of personality he may have. Maybe they like to party? Maybe he’s passionate about humanitarian work? Whatever the case may be, social networking can allow you to get to know a little bit about that cute guy and figure out whether he is someone you can get along with!
 
The Cons:
 
Very impersonal!

I’m the type of person that likes to get to know new people, and hiding behind a computer screen to date seems way too impersonal. You can’t see that person’s face through IM, and you can’t tell how they’re feeling at the moment. Don’t believe those emoticons for a second! I’ve sent plenty of smiley faces when I was, in fact, very angry. Having a one-on-one conversation with a guy face to face is a lot more personal, and in my opinion, it is a much better way to grow closer.

 
Too dependent on the “firewall”.

There will come a time when you may actually have to move away from the computer screen and actually GO OUT somewhere. He may have laughed at all the YouTube videos you forwarded to him, but what if he doesn’t find you funny in person? You may have stayed awake for hours on end talking to him through Facebook messages, but what if you can’t even hold a conversation in person for ten minutes? You, my friend, have become too dependent on the “firewall”. In other words, technology has disabled you from properly interacting with someone in reality.
 
Dangerous

Ever hear of the “Craigslist Killer”? Well, while that story may not necessarily pertain to dating, it’s an all-too similar scenario for what could possibly happen from meeting someone you met online that you barely know. Unfortunately, the internet is full of scams, including people that are seeking out unsuspecting victims to assault or harm. Everything someone tells you online may not be true, and a person's profile picture may not be accurate! The best thing to do is be cautious, and if you absolutely must meet someone you met online, tell a friend every detail about where you’re going, or have someone come with you just to make sure you’re safe!
 
Keep these things in mind the next time you want to pursue a relationship through the internet. Maybe things will work out in your favor! You’ve seen the eHarmony commercials right? Computer love is alive and well! 

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