November 26, 2022

Ones, Zeroes, & Love: The Perks and Drawbacks of Online Dating

In the present-day Age of Information, everything has gone online, from shopping to mail to even talking to friends and family with social media. All the world seems to be connected to the Worldwide Web in some way, shape, or form. But how can something, such as relationships, be broken down into binary code and uploaded to a cloud?

No, online dating is not a new thing, yet, with different dating sites such as eHarmony, Match.com, Zoosk or OkCupid, coupled with social media now being a driving force in our lives, we are seeing a rise of more and more people who are using online dating as a means to meet and greet, as it were, or even to find true love.

“My first date was with a guy from OSU named Aaron,” said Kayla Meehan, a Capital alumna. “This weekend will be our 3-year anniversary, and he recently proposed to me at Disney World! Without online dating, I wouldn’t have experienced all of this and become so happy. Even though I only went on one date using an online dating site, it was enough to work.”

Meehan met her now-fiancé on the dating site Zoosk, which is geared toward adults aged 18 and over and guarantees matching based on common interests.

Cindy Ayres, a Grove City resident, also met her husband on an online dating site, and the two have been together now for nearly seven years.

“I am a perfect example of online dating success. I was widowed at age 36 with two small children. I wanted to get married again but found it very difficult to find men my age that I would be interested in pursuing a relationship with,” Ayres said. “I was looking for someone very specific – a solid Christian, a good father, a family man with an established career willing to raise someone else’s kids and live on a horse ranch. No one I already knew fit into that category; I had little success meeting men at church and didn’t have time to go out looking for one.

“Online dating was perfect for me,” Ayres said. “I put in the criteria and started emailing gentlemen who contacted me from the safety of my home, after my kids were in bed for the night, no babysitter required. After extensive email and phone conversations, I met three separate gentlemen in a two-month period. A year later, I married the man of my dreams.”

But, these success stories considered, online dating is not without its flaws. Every day, it seems, we hear of scams, kidnappings, or lies that go through these outlets simply because some creep was behind the shield of a computer screen. Many people are very vocal about their dislike of online dating.

When asked about his experience with online dating, Josh Embrey, a Capital student, said “It was very unfruitful. Girls seem to be very picky and selective. They seem unsure about what they ask for.”

“I feel like [online dating sites] can be beneficial if used in the right manner, but that is often not the case,” Embrey said.

“I think that online dating is making the generation both more AND less social,” Columbus State student Kyle Vesey said. “It’s more social because they’re getting to meet people that they may have never had the chance of crossing paths with before. However, it almost takes away from the experience of first seeing someone and developing the relationship.”

Many people also distrust this means of contact. One such person is Amanda Parsley, a graduate of Capital, who shares her story of how an online match did not go right.

“I met a man who was from Southern West Virginia. Since I was born [in] that area, I decided to connect with him, and we started talking. Come to find out, we had a lot of things in common, and, of course, we had our differences. In one of our emails to each other, he mentioned that he went to a Bible college. I asked him where he went and what year he graduated,” Parsley said. “He responds that he went to a Bible college in California, and he would have graduated in 1986. My jaw dropped. I started to pray, ‘God, please let it be a typo,’ because that meant he was over 20 years older than me. I finally asked, “How old are you?” He told me he was 44! I was online dating a man who was 22 years older than me! However, he told me that everyone tells him he looks and acts like he is 30. I decided to take him at his word and invited him to come and visit with me for a weekend. He came to Ohio, and, when I met him, I said to myself, ‘Oh my God, what have I gotten myself into? Now I am stuck with this guy for the whole weekend?’ He looked…and acted every bit 44 years old. It was a horrible weekend.”

All things considered, it can be concluded that online dating is not for everyone. However, that said, it does have its success stories as well and, while not perfect, may still be beneficial for some.

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