Actually, I'm surprised he didn't bring up using dating coaches to help write an online essay as a deception of your true self to a prospective date. That would be like saying Tiger Woods is cheating because he hires a swing coach to improve his game and his chances of winning a tournament, or job seekers cheat by hiring a resume writer to help land a job.
You're just trying to get that first date, so you're putting the best you forward. It's marketing, just like anything else. Do I advocate pretending you're 6 inches taller or 35 pounds lighter than you are? No. If you do exaggerate too much, the truth is going to come out anyway, and then you can decide what to do about it. We're all adults here.
He doesn't seem to understand the tremendous advantage of online dating—you can meet multitudes more people than you can in your own area. Think about a recently divorced woman in a small town in a rural state. How on earth is she going to meet men without incurring a huge travel expense? With online dating.
How about women in cities? How many men can they possibly meet during their normal routine compared to the number of men they can screen on a dating site or two? If a woman wanted to spend every non-working moment looking for men, she could meet three or four potential men on a good day. Online, she can make contact with three to five times that many on any given day.
Dating has changed forever due to technology. You can become acquainted with people you never would have met in real life, which is a great thing—you have access to many more people than you would otherwise. But the downside to that is that we're too dismissive of them. We can press a key and delete them, which means we are basically throwing them away, often based on superficial things like a bad picture or a clumsily-written profile. I don't think that's a good thing.
Dating online has it's flaws, and most of them have to do with the people involved. Many don't effectively use the sites to their highest potential—just as they didn't utilize newspaper personal ads to their fullest 30 or 40 years ago. It appears that this author just wants to gripe about a way to date, and my guess is that in his research he didn't speak to those that sing it's praises. As I always say, online dating—it's just one spoke in the wheel of meeting new people, making new friends and yes, falling in love.
For More Online Dating Advice from YourTango: