Online Dating: Successful or Unsuccessful?

Online dating has always been a popular way to meet people, but now more than ever, this social interaction is a way to communicate to people without meeting them face-to-face. According to psychologytoday.com “A survey conducted in 2013 found that 77% of people considered it “very important” to have their smartphones with them at all times.” Due to the current state of our country, and the rest of the world, I thought it would be interesting to look in to the topic of online dating. Many individuals have to communicate through phone or computer right now, so I figured online dating was a relevant topic to write about. I want to focus on the actual success of online dating and the amount of lasting relationships that come from it. Online dating tends to end poorly for many people, but then there are a large amount of people who have a positive experience and end up in a happy relationship.

According to a Pew Research Center report dated Oct. 16-28, 2019, every three-in-ten Americans have used some form of online dating, and of those individuals, 12% of them have ended up in a committed relationship or marriage. This statistic may not seem like a lot, but considering these people meet and talk and get to know each other all through online communication before even seeing the person face-to-face, that is a pretty substantial amount of people. Michael Rosenfeld, a sociologist at Stanford who has been conducting a study of online dating for a long time now says that “roughly one of every four straight couples now meet on the Internet. (For gay couples, it’s more like two out of every three). The apps have been surprisingly successful — and in ways many people would not expect.” This was written about in an article on washingtonpost.com. This statistic is actually pretty interesting considering a large amount of online daters believe that others lie when creating their profiles, to make themselves seem more desirable, or to try to be someone that they are not.

18% of users say that people lie about themselves due to privacy reasons like data breaches or identity theft. 25% of users believe people lie to avoid being harassed or bullied, 48% think it’s because of people receiving sexually explicit messages, 50% think it is to scam other users, and 71% of online daters believe others lie about themselves to appear more desirable. With the majority of users confirming that they believe many people lie about their identity on these online dating apps, it is surprising how many of them disregard this information and continue to seek a relationship on the internet. You would think if they are so sure people lie about themselves, that this might cause users to delete their accounts, or be more cautious when talking to certain people. According to kaspersky.com, “36% of male research participants lie “just for fun” (31% of women admit to this as well).” Now you might be wondering why these statistics are so high, “but the most common reason women lie is fear. Some 34% of female site visitors intentionally falsify information about themselves because they are afraid that real information will be used against them by extortionists and con men.” This is honestly sad, and as much as we might think it is dangerous and mostly a scam for people to lie about their identity on online dating apps, we have to take into consideration these types of situations where women might actually become scared from revealing information about themselves online. Now if this a true concern for some women, they could simply not sign up for online dating, and go try to find a relationship elsewhere, but that might be easier said than done for some women. Reasons a male might lie on these websites or apps might be because “data from the large dating site OkCupid indicates that men who are rated more attractive by female visitors to the site (i.e., men who are taller, more well-built, and who have a good job) received 11 times as many messages as lower-rated men.” This isn’t an actual safety reason, but still gives some explanation for that statistic.

Of the whole community of these online daters who seek relationships online, 39% of them actually claim they have been in a committed relationship or married someone they met through a dating app or on a dating website. I spoke to a close friend of mine, Emily Bybel who is a 22-year-old Bloomsburg University senior. Emily has used dating apps in the past and has had a few successful encounters, as well as a few not so great ones. While she does see how many people might gain great and healthy relationships through these apps, she also says that “I think it is honestly easier, and safer to meet people out in public rather than through an app. You can read facial expressions and body language to actually get a better feel for their vibe.” When speaking to 23-year-old Clarence Grutza, he says he believes that online dating results in more unsuccessful relationships rather than successful ones. Grutza claims that “you fall in love with the persona of someone or how they talk online. Rather than truly getting to know someone in person, finding the ins and outs of someone, what someone does and doesn’t like…etc.”

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