Sunday, September 1, 2013

Social: Online Dating, How Effective? Very Apparently

There will not be any pics because I want to protect the privacy of the ladies I have conversation with only. I wanted that out of the way first.

The network I signed up for is OKCupid. It's a free online meeting service. I hesitate to call these things "online dating" partly because I'm old fashion that way. I think dating should mean meeting in person. What these meeting/matching services do is use their own prioritary method or algorithm to match people based on their profile and questions answered.

I won't get into that too much more because some of you may have more experience with this than I am. But by no means is this post for he novice myself. I found the whole phenomenon vey interesting despite online matching social networks have been around since, well, if you consider the early days of personals online as such, then it has been going on a heck of a long time.

According to Wikipedia, online dating devices have generated nearly $1 billion by 2008. That was a year after the introduction of the iPhone and Android and before app stores has taken hold with social and dating apps. It likely with the hundreds of mobile users with their phones and tablets now, the revenue is likely much higher.

By dome estimates, revenue generated by people looking for their soul mates only has reached $2 billion. The bulk of this can be attributed to mobile warriors and the explosion of apps making it easier to search for matching profiles and, quite possibly, location-based methodology.

In the few days I've spent with Okcupid, I can't say that I've come close to finding a soul mate. One possibility is that my personal philosophy regarding dating clashes with this concept even if this has been around for more than ten years. The other is that OKcupid does not offer a very good online tool to help me understand what any of the questions or indicators mean (it has an enemy percentage. Does that mean anyone who has a percentage with the enemy is someone who I want to avoid?). I wonder if other services do that better.

At the same time, I don't know if I am spending as much time as I should. If you're a regular on Clouding Around, you know that I am very weary of Facebook though I am fine with the idea of social networks as long as privacy is respected. So, how much information do I really want to provide? I mean, there are those out there that are even more guarded than I am but a greater number of the women I've chatted with are even more open. (Maybe I'm just very easy to talk to and listen well...shameless plug...)

Maybe online dating isn't for me. In fact, I'm sure of it. However, more and more, I know people who have gone online, met someone, and are dating now. The last three friends who have finally hitched met their spouses online! And right now, I'm also hearing more people who have met their boy or girl friends online as well.

Admittedly, meeting and getting matched online has become a norm in our social fabric. I have to question just where this is going. Has the effort of meet someone first face-to-face, the old fashion way, given way to math? Are people less willing to suffer the jitters and butterflies in their stomach of knowing whether the party will like them or not?

Some will argue that online dating provides a convenience that trying to meet someone in person does not provide. A busy schedule is often the reason users provide. Who has time now to go out and meet people randomly or pass out one's number? The other being that these social networks filter out those who are not matches.

For me, that is the "ah-ha!" of online dating. Filters. It sounds obvious doesn't it? Online dating services ad supposed to provide you with matches and leave you with only your Prince Charming or the perfect girl next door. That is the appeal of online dating. Online dating has become society's natural selection apparatus to help individuals weed out those who doesn't fit their needs or requirements of their idea of a soul mate.

I admit. That was what I did when I created my profile and requirements. Screw "opposites attract"!

So, what's it like for you? Online dating working out or worked out for you?


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