Making the case for women to quit traditional dating and take up online dating instead.
Some people still think online dating is only for freaks, geeks and ugly people.
Case in point: a recent Business Insider article arguing that online dating is for old and desperate people, namely women over the age of 30 with no relationship prospects. Alyson Shontell, the article's 23-year-old writer, claims that women in their twenties don't need online dating, suggesting that instead of lurking behind the computer screen, they should go outside and meet people "the old-fashioned way":
No offense, but we're young! And young people are active. While the bar scene may not be our best bet for soul mate searching, you can meet a heck of a lot of people that way.
She names college campuses, friends of friends, the gym, and sports leagues as additional places where a young woman "running around the cities" can meet a quality man. 6 Secret Places To Meet Men
Maybe we're just joining the wrong gyms, but we at YourTango aren't so convinced that the average twentysomething woman should completely shun online dating as a legitimate (and respectable) way of finding dates. Why take on and dedicate time to additional activities and responsibilities if you can simply log on, fill out a profile, and start browsing matches in a matter of minutes?
Shontell consulted Quantcast for data on the ages of people who use online dating sites, and as of January 8, 2010, the number of 35-49-year-old visitors to Match.com and eHarmony outnumbered the amount of 18-34-year-old visitors by at least a quarter. But, a little bit of further sleuthing on our end revealed that visitors to OKCupid mostly fell in the 18-34 age group. Unlike Match.com and eHarmony, OKCupid is completely free—and dominated by males. Could it be that young people aren't visiting Match.com and eHarmony because they can't afford or don't want to pay the monthly charges? 5 Online Dating Red Flags Women Look For
This Love Buzzer decided to poll some of her own twentysomething acquaintances who have tried—and even found love on—online dating sites. Their experiences revealed four unexpected reasons to ditch traditional dating and get online, stat.
#1. Online dating is cheaper than the bar scene.
Marissa, 23, from New York, found her boyfriend on Match.com after going on a series of failed dates with men she met at work and in the city's social scene.
"My reasoning was that [Match.com] was 70 dollars for three months, and I spend that in one or two nights going out in NYC," Marissa said. "I would have nothing to lose." 3 Tips For Online Dating Beginners
#2. Online dating helps narrow the field.
Women who grew up with the internet and the conveniences of digital technology question what the "old-fashioned" dating that Shontell recommends even entails. Shannon, 22, from Nebraska, met her husband on eHarmony after realizing that the men she met offline did not meet her needs.
"It is so hard to meet somebody the traditional way today because our society is no longer traditional," she said. "We use social networking for everything else, so why not dating? The guys will be matched with your personality on 29 different levels. Your chances of finding that at the gym or in line at Starbucks are pretty slim." Top 8 Reasons Online Dating Is Great
Unlike their parents back in the day, this generation of twentysomething women actually has the privilege of weeding through hordes of males to find exactly what they are looking for.
"My ex of three years and I ended our relationship because there were certain aspects of our personalities that just didn't mesh," Shannon said. "I know that I never would have been matched with him on eHarmony. eHarmony isn't about not being able to find someone on your own; it's about utilizing resources to find the right person who you might never meet otherwise."
Since her boyfriend lives in New Jersey, Marissa is thankful that she ventured out of the New York social scene to find him via the internet. "Of course there are creeps online, but there are also normal young guys who have no other way to meet girls," she said. "If things do not work out with us I would join again because it boosted my confidence, was fun and gave me a reason to go out and meet new people."
#3. Online dating is efficient.
Haemin, 29, an eHarmony user from New Jersey, pointed out that people in her age group expect and appreciate efficiency.
"Maybe I really love the opera and want a date for La Traviata," she said. "I'd probably have an easier time searching for someone on Match.com for a fellow opera lover than at the corner pub." 5 Big Online Dating Don'ts For Guys
#4. Online dating is a time-saver.
In her article, Shontell quotes a 25-year-old Manhattanite, who claims to be "confident enough to find someone without [online dating]." If the feedback from twentysomething online daters is any indication, dating online is less about insecurity about attractiveness, and more about saving time. 4 Signs That A First Date Is Going Really Well
"[People] work long or odd hours and don't have time to waste roaming from bar to bar on Thursday, Friday, or Saturday nights," Haemin said, and even if you have time to spare, what if the man of your dreams doesn't? He might just be on the other side of town, volunteering or working away, and you might never find him unless you seek him out online. How To Be Less Intimidating To Men
Maybe, in the back of their minds, women in their 20's are still holding out for that tall, handsome stranger that they will meet on some enchanted evening while exiting a taxi in the rain. On some level, young woman are uncomfortable with the notion of seeking out love instead of letting it find them. We might live in a society of social networking, cellphones, Facebook and Twitter, but we are also inundated with films where unsuspecting women find their soul mate in a random, comedic way (and as a bonus, he always seems to look like Ryan Reynolds or Hugh Jackman.) 4 Bad Dating Habits Learned From Romantic Comedies
We think: while you're waiting for the movie moment to happen, it's probably a good use of your time and relationship energy to create a profile while still dating around the traditional way (if you must).
"[With every past] guy I dated, we basically changed each other, because we didn't have a lot in common," Marissa, who proudly tells people she met her boyfriend online, said. "But this is the first time we both don't need to change because we just fit."
If you're under 30 and thinking of trying online dating, don't let the haters dissuade you. Keep in mind that you're not alone in wanting to log on for love—according to this recent article in Date Daily, analysts predict that the industry will grow 25 percent in 2010.
Readers: do you think online dating still carries a stigma? Do you prefer traditional or online dating?