Online dating changing the face of courtship

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Photo Courtesy of onlinedatinguniversity.org
Photo Courtesy of onlinedatinguniversity.org

Ciara Watson
CONTRIBUTOR

Dating is completely different than what it was 10 years ago. Some might even argue it’s changed just in the last five years. Who knows when all of this exactly changed, but getting a date on Friday night won’t look anything like how it did with our parents.

The days of finding a cutie (other than the kind with a peel) in the produce section are over. Nowadays, many people are using online dating websites or apps to find love. According to Statistic Brain Research Institute, more than 49.2 million Americans have tried dat-ing online, while only 20 percent are currently in committed relationships that began online.

Dating sites are extremely popular with college students. As college students, all of our time is re-served for classes, homework and resume building. We have no time for any sort of personal life. Dating sites are easily accessible, fun, interactive, crowd friendly and you can search through hundreds of pictures without having to get out of bed. With all the benefits of dating online, it’s hard to imagine that the risk outweighs the fun, but that might be the case.

Gloria, a broadcasting major student at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, says dating online can be scary sometimes, and it’s kind of hit or miss.

Finding love online is never a guarantee, but still many consumers log online and register everyday trying to find more than just a fling. ConsumerRankings.com says the top three dating websites for people in Omaha ages 18-30 are: Zoosk, Match and eHarmony.

After a long day of doing homework, all we want to do is escape and relax. Going online to find a quick date for the evening might sound like it would be the break you need. But before you do that, think about this on the FBI This Week podcast: Online Dating Dangers, Nickolas Savage, the assistant section chief of the Cyber Division, said, “If somebody is asking you for money, just be very cautious. Chances are it’s a scam.”

Gloria said every year it seems like new dating websites and apps are being created, and there will always be someone waiting for the most vulnerable of people. You just have to be careful about what information you put out of yourself, and be aware there are people looking at it she continued to say.

By paying membership fees and answering a few data based computer generated questions, dating websites are claiming they have found your “perfect love” through science. Although the questions dating sites like eHarmony ask its consumers are usually fairly basic, and no one can be certain if the science involved in these questions is actually working to the consumer’s benefit.

“These algorithms are data based, that doesn’t mean that they are scientific. But they do have some measurements behind them,” said UNO Professor Jeremy Lipschultz. “I don’t think that rich media technology hurts, but it’s not unlike a face-to-face relationship. I urge people to be cautious and careful.”

Dating online for some students maybe the best way they know to meet someone new.

Other students like Alex said, “starting a relationship through emails is not my typical way to get to know someone.

“I’d rather get to know someone face-to-face first,” Alex said.

While the users of dating websites continue to grow along with the dangers. Online Dating Magazine says it is still vitally important when using online dating services that you exercise caution.

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