Online dating is a phenomenon that spawned a billion dollar industry based solely on people’s desire to find someone to spend the rest of their life with. Sites like eHarmony and Match take all the things that attract one person to another and simplify it down to a formula for mass consumption.

Some mediums for meeting people don’t ask for a whole lot from their users. The app Tinder simply requires users to have a Facebook profile to link to the app. From there, the app will pull the user’s age, photos, first name, and a compressed “about me” from their page. This process usually takes no longer than five minutes, and after that users are free to use the app to their heart’s content.

Other sites that make a lot more claims about their effectiveness require a bit more preparation and a lot of effort to get the desired effects. Sites like eHarmony boast huge numbers of marriages coming from their site. According to an eHarmony press release, the site is responsible for 25 percent of all marriages when the couple met online. The company also contends that couples are more likely to stay happy and stay together if they meet on eHarmony.

The idea that 25 percent of married couples that met online come from eHarmony becomes a lot more significant when one looks at a study conducted by the New York Daily News. The study states that, of the 19,000 people who married in the United States between 2005 and 2012, “more than one third of U.S. marriages begin with online dating.” Beyond that, “22 percent met through work, 19 percent through friends, nine percent at a bar or club and four percent at church.”

Finding success stories about couples who met each other online isn’t a difficult task. In fact, I could be considered a success story. I’ve gone on dates with women that I’ve met online, and a lot of the time they turned out to be really awesome people that I might not have had the chance to meet otherwise. Have I found the love of my life? Absolutely not, but I can say that I’ve had a hell of a lot of fun going out and getting to know some great people.

However, online dating is not a flawless concept. Lying on the internet is one of the easiest things there is to do and there are long running television shows that base their entire program on ousting these deviants.

The show “To Catch a Predator” has been around since 2004 and focused on the attempts of older men trying to lure younger boys and girls to their homes using online messengers like MSN and AIM. A more recent show, “Catfish,” aired in 2012 and focused on figuring out whether or not someone is being truthful online by setting up real life meetings between the two parties.

These programs highlight some of the very real problems with online dating, and that is that sometimes people lie, and there’s a chance that these people have very malicious intent. One such story is of Terry L. Smith Jr., who admitted to raping half a dozen girls who he met online including a 21-year-old girl who was lured to his home when he said that, they were just going to watch a movie, according to the Columbus Dispatch.

Attacks like these are preventable by being incredibly prudent when choosing who a user is going to meet up with. Reverse image searches on pictures can disprove someone’s appearance, and sometimes checking other sites for a user’s username can pull up some information that someone might not want you to know. Having your first meeting in a public place is a deterrent for crime, and keeping in contact with a friend about your location and status is incredibly important.

The big thing about online dating is that it’s a lot like offline dating. Users meet new people, get to know those people, sometimes they end up friends, sometimes they end up hating each other, and sometimes they fall in love. It’s a medium that can be used as a supplement for one’s day-to-day interactions with the people in their life. At the end of the day, online dating sites are something that users should just try to have some fun with.

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12 Replies to “Bandwidth romance”

  1. I really dont think that its a good idea to date online.
    Too many software are used to fix the faces online to make them more beautiful and sexy.You never gonna know which face is real.Its like you see a slim and beautiful girl online and you say: damn!Im gonna marry her!But when you see her in the real world ,you cant even recognise her.She may be ugly and fat.So bad.
    Anyway,online world is never gonna be the real world.

  2. Online dating can help people get to know more new friends, but at the same time, it might be a little dangerous to meet strangers. I think it’s better to meet new friends in real life and there are many ways to get chances to meet new friends.

  3. I think online dating is not safe because you don’t really know the people you date with. Maybe he or she is a bad guy. If you really want to get online dating with someone, in order to keep safe, you’d better to bring a friend to go with you.

  4. Online dating is becoming more and more popular now and days. I did made some friends with similar interests and still keep in touch with them on the internet. Therefore, I agree with the idea of getting to know more of others and even make friends with them. However, as a girl, I am always cautious about given out my personal information to others on the internet. I strongly agree with making sure your personal safety before going out to have a face to face conversation with the person you meet on the internet.

  5. In my opinion, online dating can be positive, because you might meet the person you will not meet in real life. On the other hand, there are a lot of false information on the web, so you are not going to meet the person you are expecting.

  6. online dating is a really convenient way to make friends with each other, they set up a good relationship ,however, if a person is so talkative on online, s/he probably shows a opposite emotion in real life

  7. Online dating is a new way to find your mate recently. You can have a lot of options in your rang of choice. But the only thing is sometimes it is not safe at all. When you are meeting someone you can observe their manners, the way they are talking. For online, it is easy to pretend something to you. You only can get the information from the sentences the person said. This is really dangerous to get stuck. Thus, it is fine to find a person for dating online, but you have to make sure you are definitely know about this person. Otherwise just keep observing for a while.

  8. Online dating is a way to know other person, it’s a good things, sometimes you really can meet some good women or good men. But it’s still have some problems, you don’t know what’s the truth, or what’s the lie.

    1. Online dating makes people have chances to know different friends or someone can find their partner. People can have good life togther. It also has disadvantage.i agree with the article wrote. First meeting at public places or keeping contact with friends are good way to protect self’ way. Anyway, i think online dating makes the ditance is not a problem in distance.

  9. Wasn’t “Catfish” a movie, not a show?

    I think the summary paragraph at the end is really true. There’s no real preponderance of ‘predators’ on line vs. face to face, but maybe when you meet someone face to face you can get a better idea of the impression they give you compared to a static profile online.

    1. well, I think that is true. To my personal I like to meet different people, but my friends circle is small. It’s hard to increasing our friends circle in real life because most of ours stay same places over and over. Online dating is way to fixed the problem, on the internet we can show up some habits, maybe we can find person who have some habits, then we talk together. I mean on the internet everything is become possible, finding a soulmate or something else. However, It”s also unsafe because we have no idea about who we talk about were sitting in front of computer. Online meeting is great, use the methods that the article tell is also important

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