‘I’m an Online Dating Virgin’
One Betty isn’t so sure about trying to find love online.
I’ve always been against online dating. Whenever I see a match.com or eHarmony commercial, or hear statistics like 1 in 3 married couples now meet online, I think it’s just further evidence of how lazy we’re all getting.
What, we can’t even meet people organically anymore? We let technology run our professional and social lives, and now we’re going to let it dictate our romantic ones as well? No, thank you.
I have been holding out on the hope that I can still meet someone special while I’m out and about, living my life far, far away from a computer screen. I’m in my early twenties – online dating would be like a last resort, something I’d consider if I was pushing thirty and still single… but that was when I was in a relationship. Now, I’m single. In New York. Someone help me.
Two weeks ago, I attended a panel discussion on online dating called Love 2.0 because it sounded intriguing and some great names were participating. Hosted by Zoosk, the largest social dating site, the panel consisted of Dr. Robert Epstein, the former Editor-in-Chief of Psychology Today, online personality Julia Allison (seriously, just Google her), Laurie Davis, founder of eFlirt Expert, and Debra Goldstein, author of FLIRTEXTING: How to Text Your Way Into His Heart.
This was a fully loaded panel. If anyone was going to convince me why I should at least try to online date, it was going to be this group. And man, did they have a convincing argument.
The panelists pointed out that online dating has grown massively within the past few years, even within the past year alone. Zoosk in particular has 50 million people on it. 50 million! If I can’t find one decent guy out of 50 million, then I should pretty much cut my losses right then and there. Point one for the panel.
Their second point: online dating is losing its negative and nerdy stigma, partly because of social media and the portability of technology. Laurie Davis pointed out that thanks to iPhone apps and having access to the Internet on the go, people are spending less time getting to know each other by messaging back and forth on dating sites. Instead, they’re setting up face-to-face meetings sooner. Spending less time on the computer and more time on dates? I could get used to that.
And their final point (I told you they were good): there are a huge number of dating sites out there now that cater to all different types of needs. There are sites for people looking for a serious, on-the-road-to-marriage relationship, and others for people who just want to have fun meeting new people. Online dating isn’t just for desperate people, as Julia Allison noted. It’s just an additional way of meeting people besides the organic run-ins that happen in everyday life. So, it’s not a desperate last resort, but more like a virtual bar of single guys?
Damn you, panelists. I never stood a chance.