(Group 2)-- Brittany, Rose (Haein), Yoon, Samuel

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Rose Lee

Technology and Issue

Technology: Online Dating

Issue: How online dating is affecting the way people connect with each other.


With the popularity of the internet growing rapidly over the last decade, the way we do everything seems to be evolving. Even the way we date has changed significantly. Online dating is a service used by individuals who wish to meet other individuals online in order to obtain a social, romantic or sexual relationship. Since online dating emerged, it has become increasingly popular. According to Fox News, one of the most popular online dating sites, Match.com, has experienced a 154 percent growth in revenue, from $49.3 million in 2001 to $125.2 million in 2002.
It is no doubt that online dating has created new opportunities for individuals to find their significant other all in the comfort of their own home. However, some believe that online dating is not the right way to meet the right person. An estimated 66% of internet users believe that online dating is dangerous because it puts personal information online.


Today the internet is used by people all over the world and has almost become a necessity that people just cannot live without. It has greatly affected the way we do everything, from the way we socialize to the way we connect with others and even the way we date. In today’s society most people are relatively busy and finding that extra time to date or even finding an ideal person to date is becoming increasingly difficult. The ideal way of meeting people and dating has evolved over the last ten years and people have realized that finding that perfect someone has become much easier than previously anticipated. Online dating sites have helped change this for many lonely and single people by creating an easy and interactive way of meeting a diverse range of people. As time goes on, it is predicted that more people are going to realize how easy online dating is and take advantage of the opportunities it has to offer.

However, as with any other technology, there is always a downside. Many people who believe that online dating is not a safe and efficient way to date and many people oppose the idea of changing the traditional method of dating. There are also controversial dating sites, such as AshleyMadison.com, which promotes married dating and affairs. In order to see both sides of the story, we will be exploring the positive and negative aspects of online dating, and finding examples of real life stories in order to see how online dating has changed the lives of participants. We will also be looking at statistics and existing online dating sites, in order to find out just how much online dating has affected the way people connect with each other.

Brief History and Overview

With the invention of the internet in the 1950s by the United States, the world by the 1990’s began to experience a whole new world of socializing in an easy and hassle free way. When online dating started in the early 2000’s, it was initially not popular. The general public was unsure of the idea in comparison to custom ways of dating in the past and people who used the sites were thought of to be unsocial, weird and sad.

After about 3 years of the original creation of online dating, the society’s initial thoughts evidently began to evolve into a new prospective: online dating was an easy way to meet other people. Online dating, after being accepted, began to exponentially grow and the general public realized that online dating was an easy way to connect with others around you in a conveniently accessible way.
At present date, there are hundreds of online dating sites available to a diverse population all over the world. One of many online dating sites is eHarmony which is a dating site accessible in Canada and founded by Dr. Neil Clark Warren in the year 2000. Dr Neil Clark practised as a psychologist and counselled thousands of married couples for about 35 years. He observed many couples over his time in practise and concluded couples that last were compatible with each other and while other couples that had their differences grew to have problems and as time continued they usually ended in a divorce. He then had thoughts that perhaps people don’t just meet and fall in love by coincidence perhaps they can be matched up according to their personality and based on this hypothesis he created eHarmony. EHarmony’s patented compatibility matching system® helps people understand themselves and also to understand who they would be most compatible with, it is effective website with millions of users online on a daily basis.

Basic Statistics and Facts

Top Dating Sites and Total Site Visits

Onlinedatingstats.jpgOnlinedating chart2.gif

Interesting Online Dating Statistics

Here are some interesting online dating statistics from the book “Freakonomics” by economists Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner.


- 57% of online dating site members are men.

- 4% claim to make over two hundred grand a year, when in reality less than 1% of typical users actually earn that much.

- The women typically claim to be 20 lbs less than the national average.

- 70 percent of women claim to have “above average looks.”

- 67 percent of men claim to have “above average looks.”

- 28 percent of women claim they are blond - a number far beyond the national average.

- A man who does not include a photo get one-fourth of email response of a man who does.

- A woman who does not include a photo get one-sixth of email response of a woman who does.

- 57 percent of men who post ads don’t receive even one email.

- 23 percent of women who post ads don’t receive any email.

- The richer a man is, the more responses he receives.

- The better looking a woman is, the more responses he receives.

- Men prefer to date students, artists, musicians, veterinarians, and celebrities while avoiding secreteries, retirees, and women who work in military or law enforcement.

- Women prefer dating military men, policemen, firemen, lawyers, and financial executives, but avoid laborers, actors, students, and men who work in food services or hospitality.

- For men, baldness is bad, but a shaved head is okay.

- For women, being overweight is deadly.

Financial Summary

The web based enterprise of Online Dating has become a very competitive and successful market in today’s modern economy, with consumers spending hundreds of millions of dollars on subscription to these sites every year. Especially with recent economic troubles worldwide, this business has proved its self unique and continues to be successful, as people continue to search for love.

- Online Dating Magazine estimates that more than 20 million people visit at least one online dating service a month. (Online Dating Magazine - 2007)

- 31% of adults in America say they know someone who has used an online dating service. (Source: Pew Internet & American Life Project Report: Online Dating, March 2006)

- In 2003 it was estimated that three million people paid for an online dating service listing. (Source: Jupiter Research)

- In the first half of 2003, consumers spent over $214 million for online dating services. This number is 76 percent higher than the same time last year. (Source: Online Publishers Association)

- On average, those paying for online dating services spend a total of $239 per year. (Source: Jupiter Research)

- It is estimated that the financial growth of online dating will reach $642 million in 2008. (Source: Jupiter Research)

- As of February 2005, 33% fewer consumers are browsing online personals today than one year ago, causing the industry growth to slow considerably. (Source: Jupiter Research)

- Consumers spent $214.3 million on personals and dating content during the first half of 2003, up 76 percent from the same period in 2002. (Source: Online Publishers Association).

The Pros and Cons of Online Dating

Online dating is a new, modernized form of match making that has proven useful, and successful, to couples and romantic die-hards all across the world. It has made finding the right people easier and more ‘user-friendly’ for a large proportion of the population, eliminating a lot of the insecurities and fears many people have about the dating game. However, it does make those involved more vulnerable to many of the Internet’s dangers, such as fraud and/or sexual harassment.

Pros of Online Dating

  1. Dating sites can allow singles looking for a relationship to meet more people interested in dating than they would without this form of dating outlet
  2. An online dater has a greater choice in who he or she meets because they are allowed to browse through several profiles
    before deciding to communicate, or they can deny communication with an interested party and still remain anonymous
  3. Fear of rejection or social awkwardness can be reduced due to the fact that initial interaction through most online dating services is anonymous
  4. Potential matches have a greater opportunity to get to know each others interests before put into the situation of physical interaction

Cons of Online Dating

  1. Some members may join a site (particularly a free sign up) just to view profiles, whether or not they are interested in dating anyone
  2. On several dating sites the number of men outnumber the number of women
  3. Because of the anonymity of online dating, members may misrepresent themselves, particularly in their appearance, social and economic status, or, in some cases, age and gender
  4. Some members may claim to be single when they are in fact married or in the process of a divorce
  5. There are a few groups or indivudials that sign up for an online dating site in order to collect member’s email addresses or scam them out of money
  6. The love or any feelings you have may not be real because members have not yet actually met each other. When meeting face to face, there is a chance that the chemistry is not there.

Real Life Stories

Success Stories of Online Dating

There is no doubt about the success of online dating, not only of the companies, but also of the relationships they are setting out to create. There is a limitless supply of happily-ever-afters told by former users themselves. Studies show that 236 couples get married everyday in the United States alone! Here are some examples of Success Stories:

Success Story 1

Story from RSVP.com

Couple from Story 1
“I was starting to run out of hope of find my soul mate and the love of my life.

Until one day I woke up and decided to put my profile on RSVP. I met a few different girls but none ever seemed to be 'the one'. I nearly gave up. Then I thought I would give it one last go. I ended up meeting, would you believe it, a girl that lived only 20 minutes away! Eventually we moved into her parents house together. Nine months on we got engaged and started planning our wedding. We tied the knot at Tamborine Gardens, Mt Tamborine in March 2008.”

Couple from Story 2
Success Story 2

Story from RSVP.com
"I had been single for several years and had met a few people, but I didn't ever feel that chemistry I was looking for. At first I would meet people straight away and it got a bit exhausting. When I went to number 1 on the Top 100 the contacts went stir crazy! So I then decided to take my time and get to know a little more about the people that contacted me before I met them. I was becoming renowned as having '50 first dates' like the movie. Everyone seemed nice, but I had nothing in common with them. Then Brendon sent me a kiss on 19th January 2008 followed by an email. We corresponded via email for a few weeks before I bit the bullet and gave him my telephone number. Saturday 1st March and took me out for a coffee.

The coffee turned to a pre-dinner drink then dinner at a restaurant in beautiful Glenelg. We walked on the beach and I felt like a teenager (I am 42 he is 50), we even had a kiss. He dropped me off at 3am! We moved in together in early June with both our kids. Brendon has 2 boys (21 and 17) and I have 3 boys (18, 15 and 12). We were married on 30th August 2008 in Glenelg on the HMAS Buffalo restaurant, with our closest family and friends. Our boys made up the bridal party, they were our witnesses and my youngest 2 gave me away. The love we have is so very rare and amazing. We are kindred spirits and are so alike in everything, plus we share the common love of our beautiful boys.”

Horror Stories of Online Dating


Just like any fairytale, there always has to be some sort of villain. These people and their stories give us perfect examples of what can go wrong with online dating, and shows us that not everybody is as lucky as the couples above.

Horror Story 1

Story from SFGate
"I met a man, 55 years old. He seemed like a decent person, gainfully employed, and was average in the looks department. On the first date we met for coffee. Second date he took me out to dinner. Third date he invited me to go for a Sunday drive to the Napa area. He picked me up in a camper-style vehicle. We stopped at a deli and picked up some lunch and took it with us.
As we headed up 101 North, he pulled the camper off into a rest area so we could have our deli lunch. He opened a bottle of wine and then informed me that he had decided it was time for us to have sex! I told him I wasn't ready for that and he proceeded to insult me, telling me that something was wrong with me. He then started arguing about it and informed me that he had discussed this with his 90-year-old mother and that she told him he should expect sex on the third date! I told him to take me home and didn't speak to him the rest of the trip.
It was a nightmare! I could hardly wait to get back to my apartment and away from him. He dropped me off at the front door -- his parting words were that I was emotionally immature."

Horror Story 2

Story from SFGate
"I've had extensive experience now meeting women online. For the last six months or so I've used CraigsList almost exclusively. I've met some very nice and charming ladies.
The only real horror story I have was meeting a 'her' who turned out to be a transsexual. Her picture gave no hint, but the first time on the phone I was somewhat suspicious. However, she told me that she was a 'big girl,' so her voice seemed consistent with that. Well, she didn't resemble her 'studio photo.' Still, she was pleasant, and we had just agreed to go for a walk. At the beach she almost immediately took my hand and seemed smitten with me.
We ended up back at her tiny hotel room and proceeded to get to know each other more. Once intimacy seemed imminent, at that point she told me. It stopped me cold, and I got up and left. She followed me to the lobby, apologizing. I told her she should have been honest with her ad in the first place."

Tips for safe and successful online dating

Stay anonymous at the beginning

- Sign up for a free e-mail account (Gmail, Hotmail, etc.) and use it only for online dating. Don’t use your most frequently used e-mail. Never put your full name and address. This prevents others from searching your personal information. Also don't provide your personal information too soon. Instead, reveal yourself as you build trust with the person. Always keep in mind; guard your anonymity.

Choose the right site for you

- There are so many providers you can choose. You can go over the terms, conditions and privacy policy of the websites. Also there are tons of reviews you can take a look at. You can also ask others who have previous experiences. It can be a good idea to go with the paid online dating services because the free ones are open to more dangerous people. So, don’t just choose the first site you visited. Take some time to pick the right one for you. Do some homework!

Create your profile and update it

- It is never a great idea to reveal your full name. With the full name, a person can track a bit more information about you. Instead, create your own nickname. Add your recent photo. It attracts more people. Even though you believe your personality should be more important than how you look, photos provide valuable insight about you. Also write a few notes about your personality, interests before you begin to write you profile. Keep the profile positive and show your enthusiasm. When you are done with creating your profile, keep updating it.

Be honest

- Don’t lie about your marital status, age, weight, personality and don’t use other person’s photos. Lots of people using online dating are not completely honest, and dishonesty is the number one disadvantage to online dating. Suppose you finally meet the person, you would be in a big trouble if you lied about say what you looked like, because they would know you lied the minute they met you, and that would surely lead to a bad first impression. So, try to be honest about yourself.

Take it slow to get to know each other

- When you are starting a new online dating, it’s a good idea to get to know each other by gradually communicating via e-mail or instant messaging. Keep a record of all correspondence and watch for inconsistencies and odd behavior with that person or his/her profile. In online dating you need to pay attention to every single word. If you feel of find that person is lying, it is likely that they are, so it is time to walk away from that person.

Ask for a recent photo

- If someone doesn’t have a photo, ask for a recent one. Appearance gives you the first insight about the person and it helps you to determine whether or not that person is the right type for you. Ask for a number of pictures from different backgrounds and in a variety of settings. If the person hesitates or comes up with an excuse, he/she is hiding something. Never trust the person or believe that the person pictured is the true one in real by a single picture.

For the first meeting

- When you think it is time to move to the next level, arrange to meet in a public place at a busy time. Tell your friends or a family member where you will be and who you will be with. Use your own mode of transportation. Don't accept to be picked up or dropped. Never let the person know your address at your first date. Also, don't assume that the person is safe. Even if your chemistry is great, make sure to remain alert.

Online Dating: What's next to expect?


The future of online dating is completely dependent on the consumers of online dating the higher demand for online dating the faster it will evolve. Professionalism in the online dating industry is critical in its development and in its reputation. People value their personal privacy and personal protection. When people are searching for an online dating site they will be expecting professionalism and personal privacy regulation by the site. The more professional a site is the more the site will attract cliental. The future online dating sites will consist of professional conduct and will promote safe dating. All legal ages are expected to use online dating with a specific increase in the amount of elder people who use online dating. Elders are expected to use online dating more in the future because they will be generations who grew up with a lifestyle that consisted of computers and internet. Elder people like younger people will embrace online communication taking full advantage of communicating and relating to others of their same age. The chosen lifestyle in today’s society consists usually of a busy professional life and this type of life style will contribute to advancement in the demand for online dating. The more busy people are the more determined they will be to find alternative ways to date. Online dating is expected to have technological advances spreading from the computer to mobile phones allowing for even easier online dating in the future.


Over the years online dating has evolved into a popular social interactive technology and many people use online dating with the expectation of meeting a significant other. As with any other technology, online dating has its positive side and also a negative side. While online dating can be a more efficient and easier way to meet others, it can also be dangerous and invade a person's privacy. Online dating remains controversial and there may always be those who oppose the idea of changing the traditional way of meeting and dating others. However, looking into the future we are expected to see continual exponential growth in the use of online dating. Perhaps online dating will be the new acceptable and practised way in meeting someone compatible for you.


Rose Lee

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