You see, the day I left my Facebook open, I had this idea that everyone was going to think me a creep or an exhibitionist for having a profile on OkCupid, that everyone would laugh at me even though I didn’t make the account myself. That all of a sudden I seemed desperate, or perverted; and I think that if it was a few short years ago that would be a completely truthful statement. That is, until I had my perspective changed.
One day at work, I walk into the break room and one of my co-workers is typing a message on her cell phone. “How does this sound?” she says. “Hey, how’s it going. I was just browsing your profile, and I think you’re really cute. I was wondering if you might like to grab a drink sometime, or go out for tacos. I’m pretty laid back and—” you get the picture. Anyway, the fact of the matter is that she was openly using a dating site to court somebody in a public setting. I was definitely a little weirded out, but she put it in perspective for me. We do the same stuff in real life, anyway. We live so much of our lives on the internet, it’s only logical that the next step to putting ourselves online is using it to find dates.
At first, I thought internet dating was all about the random hook-ups (see: casual encounters on craigslist) but I’m beginning to accept that this isn’t always the truth. A couple of weeks ago, I spent the evening catching up with an old friend. We sat in her kitchen and attempted to fill in the gaps from not seeing eachother in several years. She now lives with her boyfriend in a nice one bedroom apartment. They seem happy just to know eachother. She told me the story of how things got really bad with her last boyfriend, and that she had to abruptly leave for a new home to get away from him. She ended meeting this new guy on OkCupid. After three days of having an account. “All I put on my profile is: I like geeks,” she told me.
So, after a history of judging dating sites and viewing them as a place of lower moral standards, I’ve decided to change my opinion. I no longer think it’s such a bizarre thing to use a dating site. In fact, in this day and age it’s probably a much more effective and efficient way to find somebody to love.
People in my generation already use Facebook as viable way of approaching somebody. They look at relationship statuses, send flirtatious instant messages when someone they’re attracted to is online, comment on their photos— it’s all a subtle way of flirting. Except subtle is a severe understatement.
What’s the big deal? We all see peoples motives. We have to emote on a much higher level to appear flirtatious through text anyway. We use smiley faces and add extra letters to words all an attempt to woo someone without having to be physically present. All dating sites do is take away the ambiguity and allow the users to be honest about their intents.
Plus, the internet spans across much longer distances and makes it easier to sort through large groups of people. Oh, and there’s that whole thing about algorithms that match your interests to other people’s and whatnot. I know there’s that whole, “they might be a serial killer,” thing, but I think the odds of something like that are slim enough to keep the user bases growing. It’s safe to say companies know that, too, since there’s so many dating sites out there, now. OkCupid, Zoosk, Plentyoffish, Match, and Chemistry; to name a few.
I think it’s only logical that we start to hear about dating sites more in everyday conversation. In a world of instant gratification, where we can summon our friends inside of a computer screen faster than we can call them, internet dating just makes sense. Now, it’s just too bad there’s no way to lose weight sitting at a computer all day.