Online Dating, Changing Relationships

May 6, 2011
With the continuing development of technology, everyone is getting more connected to one another by the second. One of the main ways people have learned to develop relationships today is through the Internet.
Almost every young adult knows the inner workings of most social networking websites. Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Bebo, and many other similar sites keep the world’s population connected to their friends and acquaintances, but what about those that are searching for more than friendship or a simple connection? They turn to a different type of site, like a dating or matchup site.
Certain social sites like Match.com and eHarmony lead some to believe that it is easier to meet someone special online than in person at a social gathering. While some may think this is pushing the world to become more antisocial, these sites provide a less stressful way for people to get to know one another easily and on their own time.

Starting a relationship through the internet could be considered inappropriate because many are accustomed to the typical “boy meets girl” situation.
“Technology makes dating less traditional because it caters to a person’s specific needs by matching them with others online,” said College Freshman Alex C.
Others rely more on technology to help them communicate better in a relationship because the world continues to grow as a busier place. Even people that are given the opportunity to meet their significant other in person still need some help from technology to keep their relationships alive.
“I find technology useful in a relationship because things like Skype and sexting definitely make communication easier. People have recommended matching sites to me before. Although I do not use them, I can see how it would be beneficial to those that are shy and seeking a companion,” said College Sophomore Alex H.
Whether from a television commercial or internet advertisement, almost everyone has heard the beckoning calls of finding their future soul mate online. With websites like Match.com and eHarmony claiming that anyone can find love online by simply filling out a questionnaire, it is difficult to ignore the yearning for a companion.
“I have taken the eHarmony personality quiz before, out of curiosity. It was very specific and took me about two hours but the quiz summed my personality up perfectly,” said College Freshman Jenna R.
Now there is another dating site made by the creators of SparkNotes called OkCupid. For the most part, OkCupid users are relatively young. The Website mainly attracts young adults ranging from 18 to mid-20s.

OkCupid matches users based on a series of questions, some made by the site and others by users. When visiting another’s profile, users can see the percentage of how much they “match” with that person. Along with matching, the site also shows the percentile of chances users have to be a “friend” or “enemy” to one another.
The OkCupid site is a bit different from others like eHarmony and Match.com. Although there is a complicated quiz involved to pair users, most members do not care much about the actual matching. Reading a local person’s profile is how many of the members decide whether or not they would like to get to know each other, regardless of how compatible the website tells them they would be together.

Matching sites mainly attract two types of people: those that are shy and those that do not have much time. With the relaxed environment and knowing that blocking a person is one click away, sites like OkCupid make it fairly simple to meet potential mates and friends.
“The internet makes it so that shy people can meet others without having fear of behaving like their true selves,” said OkCupid user, Ian Z.
Although technology is continuously changing the world, giving us the choice to go the more traditional route or modern when searching for a companion, the bases for attraction will always be the same.
Three weeks ago, I made an OkCupid account in order to personally see how dating sites affect relationships. I have been regularly logging onto the site ever since.
The questionnaire process was long and after awhile grew old. Surprisingly, almost nobody that I met cared about the percentage that we “matched”. Instead, I was asked about the profile summary I filled out.

Over seventy young males have attempted conversation with me in the past three weeks. Knowing the thoughts of the average male, I never would have guessed that most of them were going to actually try to get to know me and care about what I am doing with my life.

I have countless messages talking mainly about who I am as a person and not just what I look like. The fact that almost every single male I talked to did not try to jump into my pants was a major shocker.

Granted, a few of the men were old and creepy but out of about seventy, a few is not too bad. In the second week, I had to become acquainted with the block button, but not for anything drastically alarming.

I am not the most trusting person, especially when it comes to the internet. Therefore, I only ended up confiding in three guys that I met due to OkCupid. Bringing me to my next obstacle: deciding whether or not I had enough faith to meet them in person.

My friends attempted talking me out of meeting a person in the area that I had never seen before. Being the stubborn person that I am, I took their opinions into consideration and ended up meeting three of the guys anyways.

Yes, I know what you are thinking, “you idiot, way to throw yourself into the red zone”. I met both of them in a public place, where my friends were nearby, aka on school grounds. I do not have a car at college and I was not about to go for a ride with anyone I just met, so an on campus meeting seemed to be my only choice.

Best possible outcome: I could have a fantastic time and get to know a few guys that I would want to spend more time with. Worse possible outcome: the guys turn out to be psycho and rape and kill me. Well, you only live once right? Luckily, I ended up with the best possible outcome.

Whether or not anything serious will come out of meeting people from the internet, I am not so sure of. What I am sure of is that I enjoyed meeting both guys and hanging out with them again for whatever reason sounds like a blast.

For the guys that I do not care to meet, I still message some because they are simply nice to talk to. Needless to say, I will be keeping my OkCupid account, although I am not planning on meeting any new guys in person from that site anytime soon, if at all.





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