Online dating: Connecting with a quick click
As the popularity of social media rises, more services are being offered online and finding the potential love of your life, or a fast fling, can now be just a click away. With many sites so easily accessible, online dating has steadily been an increasingly popular way for many people to find a partner. Instead of the awkward silence of a first date, you can just click and choose.
But is online dating really as easy as it is advertised to be?
Being able to choose who to connect with at the fingertips of the online dater, it is obvious why many think it would be easier than putting yourself out there.
However, there is a misconception that online dating is easier. Time still has to be made to actually make a connection so a relationship can be developed.
"It’s really not that much easier," said Miguel Casillas, a second-year student at SMC. “Effort still has to be put in, unless you are looking for a quick hook-up. You still have to reply to emails and make the time, or that person will go onto their next match."
Although it skips the uncomfortable first face-to-face meeting, a first impression and basic conversation is still required to get to know that person on the other side of the screen.
"I feel the dating sites are geared more to an older age group," said Casillas. "We are college students; we should have the social skills to meet the opposite sex. Plus that risk of that person being a total fraud would always be in the back of my mind. I wouldn't put myself through that."
Catfish is a reality television show that exposes the possible negative sides of online dating. Participants on the show have been in online relationships, and after a simple search, find out they have been lied to by the person they thought they knew.
"I thought I was going to find the love of my life on this site, but I ended up finding a guy named Mike, who looked nothing like his photo," said SMC student Amanda Rey. "It was pretty discouraging, and since then I gave up the whole online dating thing."
Dating websites have no way of really telling who these people are. Most do not require much to sign up, since all you need to do is provide an email address, zip code, and perhaps answer a few quick questions.
"Profile after profile is presented in front of you, and it’s up to you who to connect with," said Rey. "There are so many choices, it can sometimes be overwhelming."
With over 9.9 million monthly users, Match.com is known as one of the largest and most popular online dating websites that claims to be responsible for more dates, relationships and marriages than any of their competitors.
Plenty of Fish is a website that offers potential meetings for hookups. With so many options to choose from, anyone can meet someone to have a relationship or hookup with all from the privacy of their home.
“I am totally open to trying an online dating site," said student Sarah Jones. "I’ve been on plenty of bad dates before and have been rejected. I don’t think online dating can be any worse than regular dating."
Tinder is an increasingly popular dating network with a smartphone app that enables the user to "find out who likes you nearby," combining the element of social media with online dating.
"Our generation is so involved with social media; people tell their whole life story on the Internet," said Jones. "It won’t surprise me if everyone starts online dating one day."