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Transcript of Online Dating
Is it possible to find a suitable partner via eHarmony? The stats seem to say so. It is becoming a widespread phenomenon.
Why? Eleni Bakst says "The truth is that loneliness is painful and everyone wants to find their partner, their best friend, and the love of their life.... I think what really makes the difference is that online dating lets people come out of their shells more. It allows someone who’s shy to talk to someone from the comfort of his or her own home. Someone who doesn’t have the time to go out as much can find multitudes of potential dates from their work computer. A person new to a city or fresh from a recent break-up can ease into dating at a pace they feel comfortable with. It works because it allows people to more freely be themselves."
Is there such a thing as knowing too much about someone before meeting them? Potentially.
Can people be too picky in choosing a partner due to the amount of options and wealth of information available? Yes.
And of course... stalking is an issue
It's Effect on Relationships
Meeting someone online allows for a higher investment of time and self-disclosure - the distance is no issue and provides a sense of security.
There is a sense of "hyperhonesty" that allows for a deeper emotional connection between couples who meet online (Ignacio)
On the other side, there "are likely to be fewer barriers to breaking up" as families and friends often already view the relationship as not being 'real'. (Merkle and Richardson)
Is the virtual world changing how we see dating? Would you join an online dating site to meet someone?
15 Most Popular Dating Websites
1. Match.com - 23,800,000
2. PlentyOfFish - 21,000,000
3. Zoosk - 10,500,000
4. eHarmony - 7,100,000
5. Singlesnet - 5,800,000
By estimated unique monthly visitors
6. OkCupid - 2,150,000
7. True - 1,550,000
8. ChristianMingle - 1,500,000
9. Cupid - 1,450,000
10. DateHookUp - 1,100,000
11. Chemisty - 1,050,000
12. Friendfinder - 875,000
13. Date - 510,000
14. JDate - 450,000
15. Lavalife - 390,000
Stats from Oct 2013, eBizMBA Rank
Is There a Theology Behind It?
Most people believe that the means through which one dates is not a theological issue, but rather, the issue is that we must continue to follow the biblical understanding of relationships. Therefore, online dating is not in contrast to theological teachings if one remembers the gospel.
"We should make sure that the perspective that dating websites are “stirring” up do not frame our understanding of relationships but rather the gospel perspective does." (King)
Stats from 2011
"Internet dating sites are like texting. They do not replace social interactions but rather supplement them. These sites are becoming a first step in the process of meeting people but will never be the only or last step." (King)
"Just like all of the modern inventions in our world, online dating is just another tool to make life a little easier and a little less stressful"
"Online dating at least allows users to have a little bit of control over the whole dating process. It’s when users take this control to an extreme and over-control that it can become harmful to themselves and to those whom they choose to date."
"Online dating is not a shortcut; it just allows users to take a different road to finding love. It doesn’t give daters a “Get Out of Jail Free” pass to avoid the potential heartbreak, tears, and late-night binges that can come with any dating or relationship. But for those who are frustrated with the luck they’ve been dealt, it’s something new and different that just might work."
"AT&T TV Commercial 'Speed Dating' iPhone 4S 3x Faster." Online video clip. YouTube. YouTube, 20 Jun. 2013. Web. 10 Oct. 2013.
Bakst, Eleni. "A Different Road to Love - A Conclusion to My Research." elenibakst. wordpress.com, Apr 2012.. Web. 10 Oct 2013.
---. "Dangers of Online Dating." elenibakst. wordpress.com, Apr 2012. Web. 10 Oct 2013.
Cheatham, Angie. "16 Christian Dating Principles Part 2." Crossway. Crossway, 15 Jun 2011. Web. 10 Oct 2013.
Daniels, Andrew. "The 10 Commandments of Online Dating". Men's Health News. 13 Jan 2012. Web. 10 Oct 2013
Ignacio, Emily Noelle. Rev. of Double Click: Romance and Commitment Among Online Couples, by Andrea J. Baker. Contemporary Sociology. March 2008. 132-133. Web.
10 October 2013.
King, Jason. "How dating websites are "stirring" up relationships." Catholic Moral Theology. wordpress.com, 18 Jul 2012. Web. 10 Oct 2013.
Merkle, Erich R, and Rhonda A Richardson. "Digital Dating and Virtual Relating: Conceptualizing Computer Mediated Romantic Relationships." Family Relations. 49.2
(2000). 187-92. Web. 10 Oct. 2013.
Online Dating Ecosystem. 2011. Infographic. Bytes of LoveWeb. 10 Oct 2013. <http://thumbnails.visually.netdna-cdn.com/the-online-dating-ecosystem_50290b8d29fb4.jpg>.
"Online Dating Statistics". Statistic Brain. Reuters, Herald News, PC World, Washington Post. 18 June 2013. Web. 10 Oct 2013.
Rosenfeld, Michael J and Reuben J Thomas. "Searching for a Mate: The Rise of the Internet as a Social Intermediary." American Sociological Review. 77.4 (2012). 523-47
Web. 10 Oct. 2013.
"Top 15 Most Popular Dating Websites." eBizMBA. eBizMBA Inc, Oct 2013. Web. 10 Oct 2013.
For more information, Eleni Bakst's blog, elenibakst.wordpress.com contains a wealth of entries related to online dating
AT&T Speed Dating Commercial
Just a Money Grab?
Online dating is, at its foremost, a business.
My screenshot from ChristianMingle
All you can do on ChristianMingle without paying a fee is create a profile, view matches, and send "sparks" and "smiles". However, to actually engage in conversation with other members, you have to pay.
eHarmony also requires one to pay to move beyond simply viewing matches. So what is it really? Just a business?
LGBTQ* online dating is a niche and not often included with the general website.
Bakst claims that "online dating changes [makes] shadowing [become] so much more possible"
It's easy to lie about oneself online and then use the knowledge one learns to find people.
There is a definite danger of sexual predation as a result of "hyperhonesty" among users of online dating websites.
Online dating is a process that facilitates what humans do naturally, that is, finding a mate. Although problems can arise from the use of social media to find a partner, ultimately, as long as one remembers to conduct oneself according to the Christian way, there are no theological issues surrounding online dating.