Whether or not it is considered an ideal method, it has been reported that up to 40 million single persons in the US have at some point of their lives tried online dating. This depicts a significant paradigm shift from the traditional offline dating to online dating, although it cannot be disputed that some people still prefer dating the traditional way. There are still those who advocate for the use of both methods arguing that they complement instead of substituting each other. Each of the options has proved successful to some people and not others, and this has produced controversy over what method is better than the other. This essay will argue that the traditional real-life dating is much more preferable to online dating for among other reasons, the ability to verify the identity and details of a person, and ensuring that one indeed gets a suitable partner.
One of the arguments given in support of online dating is that in the contemporary society, a significant proportion of relationships begin online. This is attributed to the fact that most people within the age bracket of singles are online on among other platforms, Twitter, Facebook, mobile applications, and even sites that are entirely devoted to facilitating finding of dating partners. This argument is intended to show that online dating is unavoidable, and that the fact that many people choose it shows it is preferable to them. However, whereas it may be true that many relationships start online, a proper follow up is rarely made to find out how many of such relationships are sustained to a point of leading to marriage. One major advantage of offline dating is that it is very hard for a person to lie on such issues as weight, age, income, height, marital status, and even character. This means that often, what one is pursuing in a partner is what he or she gets or at least, he or she gets most of it. On the contrary, when dating online, it is possible to hide many factors from looks, age, income and others, implying that it is hard to be assured of getting what one is looking for. There have been many stories of frustration where a couple begins dating online only to later meet physically and find a completely different person from what they expected. It is thus misinformed to assume that just because many relationships start online, online dating is preferable.
Online dating is also preferred by many because it enables people to widen the geographical area over which they look for partners. This could be true, but not entirely beneficial. It is true that on an online platform, the probability of finding a suitable partner may be increased by the fact that the search area is wide. This is as compared to offline dating where the only chances that one will get a suitable partner from a distance place are restricted to having many friends and/or relatives from such places. Nonetheless, the wide searching area characteristic of offline dating can render one confused over what partner to settle for. Everyone who is in pursuit of a dating partner tries to depict himself or herself as the ideal one and with no means of verifying information, it is possible that one may still end up getting the wrong person as a partner. This is unlike in an offline platform where although one may meet less people, he or she is at a better position to ensure that a person possesses the characteristics of interest. This stance is further supported by a research conducted by Rosen and colleagues. They found that the amount of emotionality and self-disclosure exhibited by an online dating partner influences the perception of the person dating him or her regarding him or her. Knowing this, many people disclose less information about themselves and show more emotionality and in doing so, manage to win a good perception from the person of the other end of the dating platform. However, this is just a perception and it does not have to be the truth. As such, one may think that he or she has found “many” suitable partners only to realize that none of them meets his or her specifications for a partner.
Proponents of online dating argue that it is more efficient and can be undertaken any time of the day. According to them, the only thing that one requires is a computer or a mobile device and internet connection. In fact, some dating sites even send one emails of suggested suitable partners and provide matching tools, all in an effort to make dating easier. This may appear like an advantage over offline dating with the latter requiring a lot of commitment to meet and know more about a prospective partner. However, efficiency does not make online dating any better than offline dating. This is because firstly, the issue of dating is a serious one, and no one should complain that he or she has had to commit a lot of effort in getting a suitable partner. Online dating may be seemingly easy and efficient, but if one is not successful in it, then, it is of no value. Similarly, if at all one is serious about getting a partner, making time and effort for it as in offline dating should actually be a pleasurable thing.
Proponents of online dating cite the high prevalence of dating sites determined to make dating easier, efficient, and enjoyable. However, they forget that most of these sites are not non-profit, and will thus do anything to ensure that they attract many internet users to them. They are then able to attract revenue from advertisement and other sources. As such, one may be right to argue that online dating has actually made dating to appear like a joke, or as if finding a dating partner is an issue that can be exploited by others to make profit. This is unlike in offline meeting where those interested in finding and meeting each other are the ones who take the initiative to facilitate the processes involved. Considering that there are many people who look for dating partners online only for fun, it would be advisable for a serious person to get offline and find a suitable dating partner in person.
In conclusion, online dating does not have any significant advantages over offline dating. This is because even though the search area is widened, it is possible that most of those people who will present themselves as suitable are not so in reality. Online dating may be more efficient, but an activity of finding a dating partner and probably a life partner should not be termed demanding if at all it is worth the effort. Offline dating grants one the advantage of being able to verify the identity and information of the other person, and that is a very important aspect in dating. Moreover, most of those behind making online dating efficient do so with other interests other than ensuring one get a suitable partner. This is much unlike in an offline platform where those looking for partners are mostly the ones directly involved in finding them. Getting a dating partner is a critically important aspect of one’s life, more so if one is seeking a marriage partner. This being the case, no chances should be taken in ensuring that the time and effort one makes in it will lead to getting a suitable partner, and that other people will not intervene while in pursuit of other interests other than those of the people looking for partners.