In the twenty-first century, we use the internet for almost everything that we do. We use search engines such as Bing or Google to find information. Websites like Netflix and Hulu allow us to watch shows and movies without an expensive cable or satellite subscription. Social networks provide a new way to communicate with friends and family. Entire companies are run through the internet. With gas prices rising every day, it has also become increasingly popular to see a lot of jobs turn to telecommuting. It’s only natural that as other aspects of our lives conform to the internet, that online dating should also begin to be more prevalent in how we form new romantic relationships. Online dating is the new normal, and this is more evident now than ever.
Online dating gives people searching for a new union an edge that they didn’t have before. They are able to “shop” for potential connections before their initial contact. According to Droge and Voirol (2011), online dating is here to stay because it allows people to more carefully choose their partner. They are able to filter through the profiles on a dating site and determine which characteristics they like or dislike about someone before they make the decision to communicate with that person. Internet users are more likely to communicate with someone who has similar interests (Hitsch, Hortacsu, & Ariely, 2010). If someone’s favorite kind of music is one that you despise most, you’ll most likely not trigger a conversation with them. You’re able to look at attributes that are important to you and filter out those persons that don’t fit into who you are potentially looking for.
Online dating also gives you more choices for a potential significant other. If you go out to a bar, you may find only a few people whom you would be interested in talking to. Online, your possibilities for a probable match are infinite. You can choose to meet someone in your hometown, or around the world. With social communication now more accessible than ever, the number of singles that use them is growing every day. According to Valkenburg and Peter (2007), almost half of internet users that were single and actively searching for a relationship have admitted to using an online dating site. You no longer have to leave your home to initiate contact with someone you are interested in. One thing that helps with communication is that online dating profiles contain a plethora of information about a person including their location, physical characteristics, religious affiliation, and education (Xia et al., 2014). These are all things that people find important in choosing a potential mate. Having the ability to learn these things before you first talk to someone certainly gives online dating more of an edge over traditional offline dating.
Virtual meeting places are especially beneficial to individuals who may have a hard time with social interactions (Valkenburg & Peter, 2007). People with several social...