Sunday, October 26, 2014

Netiquette IQ Blog of The Day - Internet Dating, It Is Here To Stay

Internet dating is growing. It is doing so among all demograhics. It is less dangerous with our technology and information access to verify people's identity and vital statistics. The article below testifies to the fact that more and more people are turning to these services. Many people from previous generations had to rely on much more limited means to meet or learn about people. So if you are a person who has not tried these yet, this article may convince you to do otherwise. Happy searching!
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By Yohana DestaOct 14, 2014

People are still creeped out by online dating.
While the profiles of apps like Tinder and Hinge, and websites like OkCupid are rising, there are still a curmudgeonly few who just don't get this dang Internet dating thing.
Case in point: DNA Info found that local residents on the Upper West Side neighborhood of New York City grumbled about a nearby restaurant getting a liquor license for its outdoor seating. The heart of the gripe? That the restaurant's sidewalk seating would become a watering hole for online daters.
"I have seen people say, ‘I met you on the Internet,’ and you’re putting that on the sidewalk?" Resident Al Salsano said during a community board meeting. "I don’t want children walking near 'Internet people' meeting."
Salsano's fear, which was echoed throughout the meeting, bears the question: Do more people have a genuine fear of online daters? And is there merit in this fear — or is it just technophobia?
Online dating stigma
The insidious phrasing of "Internet people" belies a slight misconception about those who are on online dating sites in the first place. Ideally, they're going on dates to find potential mates, not to partake in dubious activities. What's so bad about online daters meeting, when people who meet-cute in real life could be dining at the very same restaurant?
"Some people still believe that meeting someone from an online dating site is the same as having cybersex in chat rooms from the dial-up Internet days," says Julie Spira, a dating expert who runs the site Cyber Dating Expert, in an interview with Mashable.
Even in the wildly liberal, unpredictable city of New York, online dating has a stigma. There's even a trend of former online daters abandoning their profiles in the hope of meeting the love of their life spontaneously.
According to a New York City census, there are over 1 million singles between the ages of 20 and 34 living in the city.
Perhaps one of the queasy qualms of online dating is that it has people step out from behind the screen and into the real world. That's incredibly personal for the Internet, a format that prides itself on shielding users.
The concept of meeting people online goes all the way back to the first rattles of chat rooms in the '90s. But dating specifically? That was catalyzed by the success of Match.com, which was one of the first online dating sites to successfully emerge in 1995.
Since then, millions of couples have met and even gotten married after meeting online. Although, that figure tends to be small — a 2013 Pew research study showed that just
5% of Americans who are married, or in a long-term partnership, met their partner online.
5% of Americans who are married, or in a long-term partnership, met their partner online. But just because the number is small, doesn't mean it isn't proof that online dating can work.
If people are uncomfortable at the notion that "Internet people" are meeting, shouldn't the same fear be pointed toward blind dates? No, some will say, because there's a personal link there. But the same concept still applies: It's two strangers who have never met in real life. The conduit may be different (a pushy friend vs. a pushy dating site), but the element of complete mystery still abides.
Now, some dating apps are even working toward eliminating much of the mystery. Hinge connects users to people who are within each other's online social circle. A friend of a Facebook friend could be your next match.
Tinder, while more salacious because of its proclivity to promote hookup culture, connects people to folks in their area. It cuts out the middle man, and immediately connects you to people who you might not fortuitously bump into on the street.
Online dating isn't perfect. There have been instances of online dates gone horribly, sometimes fatally, wrong. However, the same can also be said of people who meet in other ways.
"The naysayers of online dating are those who aren’t using technology frequently throughout the day," Spira says. "They’re also the ones who have been in long-term relationships before online dating became a household word."
That "Internet people" phrasing has a specific kind of ring to it. It's a classic case of fearing the unknown. A couple who has been married since long before 1995 might not be as understanding of it as a Millennial on the hunt.
According to a survey compiled by dating sites Christian Mingle and JDate,
85% of young singles say online dating is "socially acceptable"
85% of young singles say online dating is "socially acceptable" and two out of three singles know people who have met through online dating. They also think it's a fairly successful method: 80% of young singles say it's better at finding a match for them than family members, and 78% believe it's better than friends.
Spira herself says that online daters are probably — gasp — all around you.
"It’s rare that I go to a restaurant without noticing someone who is on a first date with someone they’ve met online."
For those who are still uncomfortable being in the presence of "Internet people," that's just a hard fact of life they just have to accept. According to Pew, one in 10 Americans have used an online dating site. One in 10. And while some may just use it for flings and hookups, many are using to find something meaningful.
"Anywhere that you can find love is a good place," Spira says.
The Internet just happens to be one of those places. 
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