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Online Dating and the Risks Associated

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Online Dating and the Risks Associated

English 102

In the world of cyberspace, there are numerous activities and trends that have risen in the recent years. With new sites constantly emerging, people are spending more time on the internet. One of the more popular trends on the internet is social networks and sites created for matchmaking or online dating. In the past people were limited to finding dates, the choices of dates were scarce in some smaller areas. People had only been able to date with many limits and with people in the same area. Now with the emergence of social networking and online dating sites such as eHarmony and Facebook, people are able to meet others, form friendships, or even relationships with someone without ever meeting one another. Although there are cases of deception, social networking is no different than meeting someone at a grocery store. We never know who we’re actually pursuing until a physical date, but even then, people we meet aren’t who they turn out to be. Online dating is a good way for certain age groups to meet new people, but not all ages should rely on internet dating because, they have more options to find someone. Online dating should be utilized by the older single population because they have fewer options and wouldn’t want to go through the process of going out and find someone all over again.
Why has internet dating grown so much over the past years? While initially there was a stigma associated with meeting people through the internet, this stigma is fading and the percentage of couples that meet online is increasing. According to Sautter, Tippet, and Morgan, “This growth in Internet dating services and patterns of utilization reflect three factors; technological change making Internet dating available and efficient, coupled with growing computer literacy that makes it increasingly accessible; demographic change producing a greater number and variety of persons who might be searching for romantic partners; and social change making Internet dating more acceptable”. More people now have internet available to them in their home. With the internet becoming more popular more people are joining social networks and dating sites to meet new people.
As social networking becomes more acceptable to people, others are using internet dating, and with more people using it, it becomes a fad and is perceived to be a normal activity. Many of the online dating sites are marketing that they can provide a subscriber the perfect match through their specific compatibility and personality testing. As unlikely this may be, many people are intrigued by this and will purchase based of this alone. Some of the online dating websites are also using promotions such as "Money Back Guarantee" if the subscriber is unable to find a match within a specific amount of time. With these types of promises, people are giving more online dating services a chance.
Convenience is the number one reason many singles have resorted to online dating. Among several conveniences, working students with busy and full work and class schedules have found it easier and quicker to strike a conversation through e-mail rather than at a bar or club. Such conversations are exchanged with discretion. Individuals are able to control when to reply to emails and take time releasing information, concepts that were not as conveniently available in traditional dating. This has also provided singles to look for individuals who are looking for the same things they are such as a potential serious relationship versus casual dating. The Internet has provided men and women with a greater vicinity of singles who they might have not encountered otherwise in their regular daily lives. This has given all seeking singles a broader choice and a larger number of individuals to find a partner that they feel compatible with.
Among the reasons online dating has become popular in our society is due to the social contact of dating, stepping outside of one’s personal space and dealing with rejection. Rejection now has a new definition, and a much easier one to face.
Online dating has changed the form of communication in which potential partners partake. A person gets to understand and know more about a person before making a decision to go out on a date. And because men and women have a larger number of singles to choose from, they feel they can afford to be pickier. This makes for many less first dates, making for a cheaper and more convenient way to date. However, an individual is in control of the first impression he or she presents in an online profile or online conversation. Unlike singles that meet primarily in a face-to-face encounter, singles online take time creating their profiles, talking about themselves in the best form possible, and presenting themselves in the best way possible through personal photographs.
As online dating progressed over the last decade, the tied stigma has decreased over time. The more individuals who become more and more interested in meeting someone and figuring out the new convenient way of doing it, the less people hold that stigma to online dating. However, maybe not like years in the past, an online dating stigma still exists among some people. Joe Tracy from OnlineDatingMagazine.com stated that you find these people who hold the stigma among some of the online singles themselves, “it's likely that you've read in someone's profile the words "I can't believe I'm doing this." Doing what? Using the best medium in the world to meet an awesome person that may become your soul mate and lifetime partner?” Also, according to Tracy, this stigma mostly exists among single men and women who have yet to try online dating. This stigma is often shed by individuals who then try the online dating scene to find out how successful it is. Online dating has become a growing and popular epidemic. Although in its earlier years online dating almost seemed as taking part in a taboo act, its success has proved it otherwise. More than a decade after online dating websites were introduced, the taboo idea of online dating has grown to have a stigma and grow from it. As people every day come to learn and realize the convenience of meeting someone over the Internet, the more successful dates and potentials they meet, the stigma of online dating has, although still existing, decreased over time.
In addition, other factors that contribute to the growth of online dating are the rise of social network use. According to Curran, Lennon, and Rentfro,” In December, 2011, Facebook surpassed having 845 Million users worldwide”. People of almost all ages are using social network sites. Curran, Lennon, and Rentfro states, “that the 18-35 age grouping make up 48 percent of social networking sites users”. With these many people online, it is almost certain that people will have encounters with other they do not know. A lot of the online users are also single expanding from college kids to divorcees. According to Sautter, Tippet, and Morgan, “U.S. singles population, comprised of individuals who have never been married and those who are currently divorced or widowed, has grown for both men and women.” Sautter, Tippet, and Morgan also states that, “As of 2003, 48 percent of women and 45 percent of men were single compared to 40 percent and 35 percent, respectively, in 1970.” Ten years later the divorce rate is said to be at almost 50 percent. With more people divorcing every year, individuals are using online dating sites and social networks to meet new people in a shorter time. With older people divorcing their options are slim because most people their age may already be married or in a relationship. So they are turning to the convenience of online dating sites to find other available people. Social Sites are very convenient when it comes to finding a date. Online dating sites offer a huge variety of potential dates. Dating websites offer two people a chance to get to know one another without the complete knowledge of what the other person looks like, and creates the chemistry couples need for a relationship without looks getting in the way. Online dating also allows for people to get to know others without leaving the comfort of their own home. Not only is online dating conventional, it’s cheap and even sometimes free. The amount of people available for one to meet is endless. You can browse a profile and in a matter of minutes chat with that person.
People are often nervous about making moves on the people they like so the awkwardness of first meetings and uncomfortable feelings are eased by online dating. Meeting online is easier for the parties involved since them understand their preferences before they meet. As simple as it is to meet, it is mirrored in break-ups too. Ending relationships is easier online. People who are still getting to know each other online may not be as emotionally attached and can break-up without any serious problems. Also it is more cost effective than going on face to face dates many times and you don’t have to leave the convenience of your home. Individuals can choose partners who share their likes and dislikes. They can choose the type of partners they want and also the kind of relationship they want to have with them. Whether someone is looking for marriage, the occasional hook up, dating or fulfillment of other desires, the internet has a vast variety of preferences for everyone's taste.

Works Cited 1. Curran, James M., Ron Lennon, and Randall W. Rentfro. "Exploring Relationships Between Demographic Variables and Social Network Use." Journal of Management and Marketing Research 11 (2012): 1-17. Web. 01 September 2013. 2. Haney, DeeAnna. "Crime Online: Internet dating dangers." Mountaineer, The (Waynesville, NC) 24 Oct. 2012: Newspaper Source. Web. 01 September 2013. 3. Parker, Alice. "Does Online Dating Make It Harder to Find the One?" Time Magazine. Time Magazine 7 Feb. 2012. Web. 01 September 2013. 4. Sautter, Jessica M., Rebecca M. Tippet, and S.Phillip Morgan. "The Social Demography of Internet Dating in the United States." Social Science Quarterly 91.2 (2010): 554-75. EBSCOhost. Web. 01 September 2013. 5. Williams, Bronwyn T. "Tomorrow will not be like today: Literacy and identity in a world of multiliteracies." Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy 51.8 (2008): 682-86. Wiley Online Library. Web. 01 September 2013. 6. Flak Magazine: Online Dating: The Stigma Persists, 08.21.08. (n.d.). Retrieved 18 September 2013, from http://www.flakmag.com/misc/dating.html 7. Online Dating Stigma - Is It Gone? (n.d.). Retrieved 18 September 2013, from http://www.onlinedatingmagazine.com/columns/2006editorials/04-onlinedatingstigma.html 8. Online Dating: Only for the Desperate? - Associated Content. (n.d.). Retrieved 18 September 2013, from http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1540/online_dating_only_for_the_desperate.html?cat=41 9. Online dating offers convenience despite some stigma - Campus. (n.d.). Retrieved 18 September 2013, from http://media.www.thelantern.com/media/storage/paper333/news/2007/07/26/Campus/Online.Dating.Offers.Convenience.Despite.Some.Stigma-2927521.shtml 10. The future of online dating - Yahoo Personals, eHarmony Personals Date.com True.com. (n.d.). Retrieved 18 September 2013, from http://www.profam.com/future-of-online-dating.asp…...

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