Why you should be online dating is simple and I want to tell you about it! This is a natural progression of living in the 21st century and, chances are, if you haven't already been dating online, most of the people around you are. This is the first of a series of posts I'm going to type about why you should be online dating.
Being one of those millennials, I've watched technology develop over the course of my life. I had a computer since I was five and I'm pretty sure I had a Nintendo at my disposal from the day I was born. These things shaped who I am. In order of exposure to monumental tech, I think it went something like: Nintendo, PCs, Super Nintendo, AOL, Gameboy, AIM, Gamegear, web design, MMO RPGs, N64, Cybiko, photo editing, Playstation, macs, iPods, Xbox, Wii, tablets... Just a perk of being made in the 80's (and growing up in a tech-centric home––thanks Mom and Dad!).
Maybe you didn't have all the technological experiences I had growing up but I bet that if you are roughly 18-35 (AKA a millennial), you had significant exposure during your formidable years. Do you remember when you got the Internet? I was 8. And of course, the usernames were as embarrassing as puberty; TassieDn. Kind of like those first few email addresses you made with all the numbers and Interwebz slang. Lolcatz4eva. Rofl. Anyway, my proximity to the development of personal computing and the Internet gave way to progressive adoption of the digital era. It started as I began chatting with people all over the United States, eventually developing a digital gf... yes, a real gf in North Carolina. To this day I only remember her username––maybe that's all I ever knew? Despite where it began, online dating has come a long way, irl and in my personal life. 👍🏻
For better or worse, we're digital natives.
Insert the stereotypes the media says are true about being a millennial. Some are true, some are clearly misunderstandings of fabrications of reality. Either way, though, we are digital natives. We use Netflix and just chill while we order food delivered to our couches. I'm not saying that you should be heading to Craigslist to get into the online dating world but, you do have a smart phone, with apps... online dating apps. In a future post, I'll review the apps based on my experiences. Bottom line is that digital natives should have dating in digital; it's a language we speak!
I believe the progression of online dating has gone something like this:
80's and 90's – Forums & Email
Mid 90's – AIM
Mid 90's – Match
1999 – Craigslist
00s – eHarmony
Mid-00's – jDate & ChristianMingle
Mid-00's – OkCupid
Early 10's – Coffee Meets Bagel & Tinder & Hinge & Grouper
P.S. Stay off Craigslist and singles message boards for your health.
Here is an excerpt dated 2015 from the Pew Research Center:
A lot has changed since Match.com launched (pdf) on April 21, 1995. Then, only 14% of American adults were internet users, and online dating options were scarce. Today, nearly nine-in-ten Americans are online, and dating on the Web has grown in both popularity and acceptance. Excerpt from Pew Research Center's 5 Facts About Online Dating
TRANSLATION: EVERYONE IS ONLINE. DON'T BE WEIRD!
If you're not online, how could you meet someone who most fits what you desire in the One? It's the equivalent of sitting at home waiting for Miss Perfect to come knocking on your door, asking you to be her knight in shining armor––don't hold your breath. Look, I'm not saying you can't meet someone IRL, but if you are online, you can actually let the interwebz compare and contrast the data you input. It's digital cupid, literally.
How I know online dating is the real deal.
Back in February of this year, I met my fiancé, Stefani, on OkCupid. I'll tell that story next week but, basically, online dating gave me an opportunity to filter through single women in NYC until I found the One. With millions of people in NYC, it would have been near impossible to meet the love of my life without the algorithms of online dating apps sorting the potential from the impossible. No need to kill yourself over finding the person who makes you warm and fuzzy inside.
If you're still wondering why should you be online dating? It's because I online dated my fiancé and pretty soon, we'll be hitched. You should be online dating because if you're single, this is the best tool out there.