So with our technologically advanced generation, it is no wonder online dating has taken the world by storm. But meeting people online? Isn’t that one of those things our mothers always warned us against?
But really, how helpful is online dating? Is it actually worth it? Or just a creepy social networking tool that has no merit?
When you “grow up” (i.e. have a job and are no longer in school), your work schedule, social skills, and location are all significant factors in finding potential mates. If you work long late hours and spend your free time sleeping
or at bars
it is highly unlikely you are going to find people you connect with on any significant level. Once you leave Amherst, every attractive person on the street is not necessarily your age and not necessarily most likely unmarried. But when you go on an online dating site, the process is already simplified.
You can specify the age range, general location, marital status, drug/alcohol habits, etc before you even see people’s profiles. Plus, people on these websites took the time to make a profile and paid the obligatory fee. Sure, you have to weed through a lot of losers (i.e. BillyizSewHawt12 with a tagline advertising for Kind and Intellegant Women… tell me he doesn’t sound like a winner) as there is no way to anticipate chemistry… or general IQ… online. But on the brightside, once you find it, you do not have to worry about what they’re looking for in the future. If they took the time to make a dating profile that says they want a relationship… most likely, they want a relationship. And if you have chemistry, well, why not a relationship with you? No finding Mr. Perfect only to find out he just had a bad breakup and is on the fast track to crazy dog man-dom
For college students, however, online dating can seem like an extraneous tool. College students are already in their own little microcosm of 18-22 year olds. Especially at smaller schools, because these people picked your school, you already have certain things in common with them… something drew you both to the same college! In the case of Amherst, you were both drawn to a fairly homogenous community that values athleticism and education, and clearly undervalues edible food.
Psychology has proven that, like it or not similarity is crucial to the success of relationships in the long run… none of this opposites attract bullshit.
This would logically make a college campus a great place to meet a compatible mate. Consequently, your average college student is a rare sight on your average dating site— they’re already surrounded by people their own age who are all easy enough to approach. Granted, there are exceptions like when the dating pool is small (i.e. Amherst, once again), especially depending on the school. And let’s be honest. Chemistry is hard to find. So where does online dating come into the mix?
Sure, after college, when you’re alone in a big, diverse city, it’s suddenly a lot harder to meet young, eligible bachelor[ette]s and online dating can be key. But there is no reason not to start earlier. Because online dating is arcane within most college environments, it stops people from investigating those routes… even when they find themselves not connecting with people at their school. Now I’m not suggesting that you should give up on the dating scene all together, but there’s nothing wrong with supplementing your search.
Online dating has become so legitimate that lots of schools have turned to facilitating the online dating. Columbia, for example, has their own online dating website where you can literally enter criteria (undergrad, business school, law school, age, etc) and they generate matches for you within their university community.
There are plenty of online dating success stories, making a perfectly reliable dating option in the future. While skepticism is natural and prudent (like anything, there will be messed up people who mean you harm everywhere you go), online dating is a completely legitimate way to meet people. And I’m kind of out of things to say…