Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Online Dating: Success or Failure?

By Rebekka Slate

“Have you ever thought online dating won’t work because your soul mate is on a different website?” laughs college student Taylor Krigsman. Despite this possibility, online dating seems to be a growing trend for the younger generation. In this age of technology it allows simpler access to this new way of dating. In a sense it brings a whole new meaning to the phrase “blind date.” Someone could spend hours typing away on a computer or texting on their phone to a person that they have never actually met.

Whoever is on the other end of that so-called “line” could be anybody. Some people are true to their word of what their profile reads about them, while others may be the complete opposite. The person could be everything you hoped for until something goes drastically wrong. There are so many fine details that could change a person’s whole perspective in one second. A simple quality such as the sound of a person’s voice is something that is often overlooked and taken for granted. Yes, they may seem great on paper but one phone call and it’s all over.

When it comes to dating websites there may be failures, but there are also successes. In perspective, online dating is the exact same process as real life dating. Sure there are some breakups but in other cases the relationship works out.

Jennifer and Erik Pioselli
(photo/Shutter Crazy Photography)
Jennifer Brynt joined the dating website in the spring of 2002. Little did she know that the first profile she viewed would someday become her future husband. After talking to Erik Pioselli for several months, they went on their first date in October 2002. 10 years later, Jennifer is happily married, with two children ages 6 and 1. Without the use of that dating website, this family would not even exist. This is just one scenario of many couples that have succeeded in a relationship that began by talking online.

Steps to Improve Success

There are certain steps an online user can take to improve their success of meeting the right people. When answering questions or writing information on a profile, it is best to stick to the reality of who they truly are as a person. By expressing true details about one’s personality, users will be more likely to find better matches. Better matches equals better people that will suit their lifestyle, simple as that.

Another factor to keep in consideration is, numbers are not everything. Sure, a 99.8% match may seem great but who wants to date themselves? Although, when the “enemy” percentage is extremely high, the person should not even bother wasting their time checking out that profile. After all, if a member is looking for a match what would be the point in talking to the wrong people anyway? Why waste valuable time when the right person might be somewhere else on the website.

Some may say a picture’s worth a thousand words, so do not waste time photoshopping appearance. What if the two members of the website meet and one person looks nothing like their photograph. If they lied about their appearance, who knows what else might not be true. Just a simple thing to keep in mind, allow appearance to speak for itself, do not edit it. To ensure that a person is true to their photograph and profile, using Skype to videochat will definitely help. This is a way to communicate on a more personal level without giving too much information like a phone number. It also provides physical proof that the person is the reality of their profile.

One thing that may cause confusion is talking to multiple members at the same time. The good thing about talking online is if you become bored with the conversation you can simply tell the person that you are no longer interested. When talking to a group of people it may be difficult to keep track of important details. By talking through messages you can look back on the past conversations. You can even look at the person’s profile if necessary. The profiles allow users to check out someone’s page without even having to contact them. This helps to keep options open to meet more people and to keep the facts straight.

Long Distance Relationships and Other Things to Consider

One possible downfall is location of the website’s members. The sites allow people to connect from anywhere in the United States. Users must keep this in mind when talking to others. If a person connects with someone in another state they are going to have to go the extra mile, so to speak, to work out a long distance relationship. When you are unable to meet it makes the situation more complicated. As much as two people talk online their full personality is not portrayed completely without meeting face to face. College student Andrew Browne, a member of states, “You don’t really know the person behind the computer screen.” This does not necessarily rule out the possibility of a long-distance relationship, it is simply something to keep in mind when viewing a profile.

In today’s society everything is so fast paced that there is barely anytime to stop and communicate face to face. Between classes, work and house hold chores it is hard to simply take five minutes to talk to someone. Dating websites allow members to communicate whenever they are online. So you can start a conversation and just come back to it when you have a free moment. This is very helpful for students that are constantly busy between class, work and what ever else needs to get done. They may not have time to actually go out and meet new people, so the websites allow them the opportunity to connect online.

Dating websites create a constant excitement of talking to new individuals. Members are able to connect with people from all walks of life. Sometimes people are on the site because they are new to an area. Members are able to meet anyone from an average college student, a firefighter, a photographer to an artist. Dating websites allow the chance to meet out of the ordinary people that you would not have met otherwise.

Every person’s experience on a dating website is different. Like many aspects of life, a person has to take a chance to try online dating. It may not work for everybody but the process should not be judged without even trying it. The same applies to looking at a person’s profile, do not create opinions about them just by their photographs and match percentages. Give them a chance and read what they have to say about themselves. Good luck to anybody searching for their soul mate; if you can’t seem to find him or her, check another website.

Rebekka Slate is a sophomore at St.Thomas Aquinas College majoring in Journalism. Rebekka enjoys turning real life experiences into articles for others to learn from. She has a strong interest in photography and hopes to someday put her skills to use.

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