Guest Post by Maura Kolhonen
In today’s increasingly fast-paced and digital world, more people than ever are logging online to find a date. Online dating sites, like match.com and eharmony.com, and dating apps, like Tinder, Hinge, and Bumble, have revolutionized the way we find partners and create relationships – for better or for worse (depending on the way you look at things).
Chances are you’ve ventured into the online dating scene or have friends who have. Maybe you’ve spent a few nights swiping through profiles trying to find someone a nice date – or a good laugh.
With online dating comes a sense of freedom and anonymity. It’s easier to take risks without the fear of a face-to-face rejection – think someone’s profile on Tinder is appealing? All it takes is one swipe right to let them know you’re interested. If they swipe left on your profile (meaning they don’t feel the same way), you can just move on and swipe right on someone else’s profile until you get a match. For many people, this is much easier than trying to open a conversation with someone in the flesh.
Online dating can introduce you to people outside of your social circle. When friends set you up on a date, there is some sort of mutual connection already present, which could make things awkward if the set-up doesn’t work out. But online, there is less pressure with connections made, because you and your potential partner may not run in the same circles – whatever happens, happens!
But, with the advantages of online dating, come some possible concerns. Some people may enter the online dating pool with different intentions than finding a long-term partner. Many people are looking for hook-ups, or partners for casual sex, on online dating apps. This is great if that is what you are looking for – but, if you’re interested in finding a relationship, drowning in cheesy pick-up lines and unsolicited naked photos in your in box may become disheartening after a while (or right away).
Then there are the married folks online. They’re there alright. Other people online like pretending to be someone they aren’t in an act called “catfishing.” It’s possible for people to use photos that are not their own and pose as someone else to trick you. Using caution online is always good practice, especially when it comes to actually meeting them off line.
Do the advantages of online dating outweigh the concerns? That’s up to you to decide. However, it is clear that online dating makes dating more accessible, but also more complicated at the same time. Good luck on there!
Maura Kolhonen is a contributing writer to 50 ShadesofPink and a recent graduate of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she graduated summa cum laude and earned a BA in Communication and English. She is seeking full-time employment so she can move out.