Online dating is a relatively new phenomenon. It arose during the late 1990s, at the same time that the Internet itself was becoming increasingly popular. Despite being a relatively young industry, online dating has already become one of the most profitable types of business to be found on the Internet. Online dating services currently attract millions of users every day, and the industry as a whole is making hundreds of millions of dollars each year. Online dating provides an efficient way for people to meet prospective partners and to get to know them through e-mails and chats. There are various positive aspects to be found in the experience of online dating, as compared to the traditional methods of …show more content…
In 2005, Yahoo! Personals conducted its third annual “Singles’ Voice Survey,” with more than 2,000 participants responding. The results of this survey indicated that the number of “mature online dates” (age 50 and up) was on the rise (“Yahoo! Personals” n. p.). Similarly, Match.com recently discovered that “10% of its 15 million members are age 50 or older” (“A Practical Guide” 13). Various sites catering exclusively to older daters have appeared on the Internet, including SilverSingles.com and Senior FriendFinder. In addition, a large number of other sites have been launched in order to appeal to a variety of specialized interests. These include Blacksingles.com (for African Americans), and Christiansingles.com (for Christians) (Merrick R16). Other special interest sites include Gay.com and GreenSingles.com. There are also sites for Jewish singles, pet lovers, and people who are politically conservative or liberal (Goel 26). Still other dating sites are “personality-focused” and are designed to sort “for compatibility based on very in-depth personality questionnaires” (Goel 26).
The Online Dating Experience
People turn to the use of online dating services because they are seeking a new way to meet potential relationship partners. According to a survey of 3,400 Internet users conducted by Nielsen/NetRatings in 2005, one in three respondents said they preferred online dating over all other methods for meeting prospective partners