Online dating has been around since the origin of the Internet decades ago. It started as a tool for the military to communicate and eventually shifted into the commercial scence around 1990, but wasn’t cool by any means; when online dating first appeared, it was a sign of desperation or hopelessness.
In 2010, times have changed. Nowadays a quarter of the world uses the Internet, and a wide range of users are actively searching for and participating in a variety of online dating sites. The proliferation of online communities and Internet usage plays a huge role in the increase of online dating sites. It’s interesting to see how what used to be seen as a last resort is now a successful first method of meeting people.
The phenomenon of online dating has definitely evolved over the past 50 years. Singles who lost their spouse or who separated or divorced were the original users of online dating. The Internet made it possible for them to find someone to talk to or find a relationship easily in a shorter period of time, not to mention breaking geographical barriers of communication. For others, online dating was considered a pastime, like the Internet itself.
However, as time went by, and lives got busier and more hectic, the Internet evolved from being a pastime to a necessity. The number and types of users of online dating increased. There are now users who don’t just use online dating to seek romance but to look for friendship. The amount of websites that are available today for seeking friendships, relationships, and networks is endless. Even social network sites such as Facebook are used for online dating and for finding relationships.
Facebook is just another example of how one can use the Internet to find all the specific qualities he or she is looking for in a friend or partner. Users are now more open to online dating because so much communication is online now. With the integration of Internet into mobile devices (specifically smartphones), the whole world can communicate online anywhere, anytime!
Online dating is more powerful than was once thought. Single men and women all over the world can find each other by either entering a chat room or by joining an online dating website. There are also websites that allow users to find people they’ve lost contact with. An online user’s network can keep growing and the opportunities are endless. The science behind it contributes significantly to its success.
Users are set up according to similarities in what they enter as their preferences, beliefs, and desires. It’s also extremely efficient for scanning many different profiles of people, and getting to know them from the information they’ve provided. The variety of people is endless and you get to choose who to know.
Just this year, U of T has incorporated a similar idea. We now have our very own online dating website with a growing number of profiles: check out www.loveut.ca .
The users usually take the idea of online dating very seriously. (This is, of course, disregarding the occasional scam.) In most cases, users are very mindful of their profiles and of others. Just like any community, the online dating community has unwritten rules. “Netiquette” is a new phenomenon that everyone does or should follow; it’s etiquette, but particular to the Internet. It makes the web safer, more private, and more tolerant, so users are more encouraged to participate in this quickly growing phenomenon. Why don’t you sign up?