Is online dating destroying love? </3

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“Every era has its own utopian possibilities: ours is the chance to make our lives more bearable through technology.” says Emily Witt. Without doubt, the internet now composes an irreplaceable part of people’s lives. Since 1995 when www.match.com was launched, people use the internet for finding partners by registration in dating sites. The most popular ones are www.okcupid.com, www.mysinglefriend.com, www.plentyoffish.com or www.zoosk.co.uk . The question is why singles find it easier to communicate and flirt online rather than offline. Is it simpler to approach the opposite sex on the internet? Do people find it less complicated to chat with strangers on dating sites or apps? What are the problems, are there any risks related to them? Is this the future of relationships?

According to a study 85% of singles say that meeting people through online dating is socially acceptable. And 67% of singles know couples who’ve met through online dating. To begin with, when a person is on the internet he can relieve his true self and be 100% honest, because he will communicate with someone who doesn’t know anything about him and has never seen him. Also, online there is no shines or fear that the person sitting on the other side of the computer is not looking for a relationship. The simple act of registering in a dating site means he is. Online dating offers the chance to remove obstacles such as distance, work field or time and offers users millions of potential partners.  Dating sites are growing at 70% a year in the US, which undoubtedly increases the opportunity to meet the man/woman of your dreams. Of course, not every date is going to be worth it, and surely not every person met online will take part of your life. Tinderella (the name of the dating app Tinder+ well known fairytale princess Cinderella) and Soon2becatlady are bloggers who posts their dating stories or interesting, creepy and funny messages that they have received online. They update their blogs frequently, give advices on how to communicate best in dating sites/apps and answer reader’s questions.

Women like them know that even if there are thousands people registered in a particular date site or app is it extremely hard to find someone who is worth spending time with. Although, these types of sites have an algorithm-based service or in other words, the match is based on a questionnaire that each person has to complete before making a profile, they are not 100% accurate. Another issue is that there are so many profiles which make it absolutely impossible to choose from. Usually, most people try to represent themselves as perfect. In their description they are likely to write things like charming, good-looking, with stable job, good sense of humor, sporty. Ariely, professor of psychology and behavioral economics suggests the main problem is that dating sites assume that if you have seen a person’s photo and have read his profile information you know everything about him. And this statement can’t be more wrong. He comments: “They think that we are like digital cameras, that you can describe somebody by their height and weight and political affiliation and so on. But it turns out people are much more like wine. When you taste it, you could describe it, but it’s not a very useful description. But you know whether you like it or not. And it’s the complexity and the completeness of the experience that tell you if you like a person or not.” This is one of the reasons why a lot of people don’t find online dating effective. Besides all that, the risk that people are not always who they present to be cofffnstantly exists. For example, you may think that you are chatting with 25 years old blonde female while on the other side of the computer is sitting a 64 year old unemployed male. With reference to this, In 2012 was the premier of the American reality TV show Catfish which talks about the truth and lies in online dating. Each episode follows the story of two people who met through social media from their first chat until they meet face to face. Sometimes the story has a happy ending and others, like stated before the person that shows up has nothing to do with the online profile he made for himself.

To sum up, online dating sites fill people with both hopes and disappointments and will probably continue to do so in the future. No matter how many risks they conceal, they are the new way people find love and create sustainable relationships.

Are online dating sites increasing chances of finding Prince Charming? Or maybe they are only increasing chances of passing him by while we are in front of the computer and he is sitting in the bar downstairs looking… for us? Each person can decide for himself.

Me? I decide to agree with Ariely and his theory of wine. So please, excuse me but I will go downstairs to get a glass of wine. And then … who knows 😉


Resources: 

http://www.lrb.co.uk/v34/n20/emily-witt/diary

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2012/feb/06/is-online-dating-destroying-love

http://www.datingsitesreviews.com/staticpages/index.php?page=Online-Dating-Industry-Facts-Statistics

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bLoRPielarA

Blogs:

http://tinderellanyc.com/category/tinderellas-dating-stories/

http://soon2becatlady.com/

I’m so bored. *logs in to Facebook* = why do we really go online?

September 2014:

71% of online adults use Facebook

23% of online adults use Twitter

26% use Instagram

28% use Pinterest

28% use LinkedIn

These results are based on American adults who use the internet. 52% of online adults now use two or more social media sites, a significant increase from 2013, when it stood at 42% of internet users.

Of course, number one reason for going online is communicating with family and friends. Words can’t explain how easy it is nowadays to connect with people living thousand miles away just by clicking a button. It is also extremely useful for parents who have sent their children to study abroad. There was a recent article I read in a Bulgarian newspaper called “Skype moms, Viber dads”. It talks about the new tendency of “skype parents” whose children study and live far away from home. The topic if particularly close to me as I identify as one of these students. Truth is, that it almost feels like home when I speak with my family online. I can video call them and forget that I live in another country for an hour. After that, I log out of skype and log in to Facebook. Why? To chat with friends or make new ones. And it’s not only me. According to BBC 1 in 3 teenagers meet social media ‘friends’ in real life. They share that they feel happier online than in real life and their online friends know them better.

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Although, the purpose of social media is meeting new people and making friends, you can never be sure who you meet online and cannot verify the identity behind the account. As Dr Emma Short, a psychologist at the University of Bedfordshire comments “Although we create and maintain our friendships online in a very real way, it is not safe to assume that strangers we meet online are anything other than strangers.”

With the existence of sites like Youtube, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest, it is not surprising that many people go online to showcase their creativity or talents. That can be anything from DIY (do it yourself), videos, photographs, paintings, etc. Some people do it because it’s fun, others to gather feedback, third with the secret desire of someone noticing them. Celebrities like Justin Beiber, Kate Upton, Kim Kardashian or Carly Rae Jepsen were discovered through Youtube and have successful careers now, so why wouldn’t I? they ask themselves. But is it necessary someone to recognize you? Today, being a youtuber is a career that mostly young people have. One of the most famous Youtube stars Piewdiepie is a 25 years old game vlogger and has over 35 million subscribers on his channel. It is suggested that he makes around 4 million $ a year, which is not bad for a home based job.


As it can be seen, the cover of the blog is a quote from the Charles Bukowski’s poem “Alone with everybody” that says: “nobody ever finds the one”. So I added: “but keeps looking… online”, because this is today’s reality. Here is an interesting statistics: “At this moment, 33% of couples have met online. By 2040 this number will rise to 70%.” Dating sites are designed to be easily accessible, even for people without a lot of computer skills. They look like a catalogue to me- thousands of profile pictures with descriptions praising their owner. Individuals can choose their dream partner’s age, height, location, race, basically everything. All someone has to do to is create a profile, upload a few photos and add information about himself. It is that easy.

Follow the blog for the next post, where dating sites will be discussed in more details.


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When did communication between people change?

Many people cannot believe that it has been only 11 years since Facebook was founded. Many people cannot imagine life without social media and wonder how people were able to communicate before it was created. In this first blog, I am going to examine the development and evolution of social media and also provide some interesting statistics.

nnAs Wikipedia suggest, Facebook is an online social networking service that was launched in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg and his college roommates. It was initially created to facilitate communication between Harvard students. Since 2006, the site has become accessible by anyone who is at least 13 years old. According to Forbes, the real time net worth of Facebook is $36.1 Billion. It is definitely the most preferred and used social networking site ever created. Now it has more than 1.23 billion users and I believe that this number speaks for itself. Of course, there were other instant message programs developed prior to Facebook like ICQ which was released in 1996 and was quite popular for its time.

The beginning of the 21st century brought big development in social media as in 2002 the site Friendster was launched. It allowed people to register and create their own profile, add friends, create and share online content and media as well. By that time it had over 90 million registered users and 90% of its traffic came from Asia. Today, the site has been redesign and transformed into a social gamming site.

Moving forward in time, 2003 was the year when both LinkedIn and MySpace were released.  Besides that, Skype as a telecommunications application software product was launched in the same year having great success. It has 300 million users and almost 5 million daily active ones.

2 years later, or exactly 10 years ago, the video platform Youtube was introduced to the public. According to the site it has more than 1 billion users and 300 hours of videos are uploaded to YouTube every minute. This site is huge and it is not only used for sharing video content, but for advertising as well. Statistics suggests that more than a million advertisers are using Google ad platforms.

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Lastly, I will mention the development of Twitter in 2006. The mission of this site is “to give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information instantly, without barriers.” And without a doubt, the site manages to do that for all of its 288 million monthly active users who send 500 million Tweets per day.

Now, having read this entire information, people may question their perception of time because it really has been only slightly over 10 years since all these sites were launched. Communication has evolved enormously over that period. Nowadays, people will stare at someone who doesn’t have a Facebook account and that may even decrease this person’s chances for further communication. The truth is that social media has taken over human lives in any aspect- they feel the need to update their status every day, upload new videos and pictures of themselves, what they are eating and places they visit. Next blogs will refer to people’s motivation of going online and how the social media has changed the way we converse with family, friends, colleagues and total strangers. Moreover, some of the risks of going online will be examined and solutions for avoiding them will be provided.


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