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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Columns

Online dating not compatible with everyone


Kathleen Kennedy | The Daily Cougar

Kathleen Kennedy | The Daily Cougar

Valentine’s Day — a day of love and lovers, yet no one outside of the Catholic faith knows anything about the real St. Valentine.

When people get the love itch, some turn online to scratch it. In a world as technologically connected as ours, the Internet has become a hub for dating sites. Each new site that pops up fills a different niche that most people never knew existed. They all claim to contain the key to meeting your future spouse, but for many, they don’t work.

There are sites like Match.com, FarmersOnly.com, ChristianMingle.com, SingleMuslim.com and OurTime.com. With the exception of Match.com, these sites are specifically tailored to niche targets.

The online dating world has become a permanent fixture in modern times. Kristin Marino of MBAPrograms.org published an dating infographic that showed 17 percent of married couples met by using a dating site, and that number hasn’t changed since 2006.

The majority of married couples have met the old-fashioned way. About 40 percent of married couples have met at school or work, and 27 percent have met through a friend or family member, and just like the percentage of married couples who met online, these numbers haven’t changed much since online dating came about.

Simply put, the real-life ways of meeting still reign because when you meet face-to-face, you can’t misrepresent yourself. Many young people, especially college students, know of the ease that one can lie under the cloak of the Internet. From the same study conducted by MBAPrograms.org, 81 percent of men and women lie about their age, height or weight on their profiles.

“Not everybody is truthful. They gain more (courage) on the Internet,” says political science senior Tyler Albarado. “You always have to be careful and take everything with a grain of salt.”

In a Nov. 12, 2011 article by Stephanie Rosenbloom of The New York Times, a study led by University of Wisconsin assistant professor Catalina Toma showed when women log on, they claim to be 8.5 pounds thinner, and their pictures tend to be from about a year and a half ago from the time of posting. On the other hand, men add a half-inch to their height and deduct about two pounds from their weight. Their pictures tend to be on average only six months old.

“Daters lie to meet the expectations of what they think their audience is,” Toma said.

Rosenbloom said that scholars claim a little bit of lying is socially acceptable to compete in the online dating world. These white lies may be necessary, but they don’t necessarily lead to many marriages. While the Internet has provided a bigger dating pool, it hasn’t necessarily produced the results one would expect.

Arguably, a more accurate observation is that the online dating industry is driven by money. In 2007, the industry was raking in $900 million, and in 2012, the profits grew to $1.9 billion a year, Marino said.

It also must be taken into consideration that the personality test dating sites give don’t take into account countless factors that could affect a relationship. As with any online venture, one must proceed with caution and care.The best way to snag a relationship is to strike a smile and say hello.
After all, it has worked for thousands of years.
Alex Caballero is a creative writing senior and may be reached at [email protected]


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