Online dating pitfalls outnumber advantages


Alex Torres/The Runner

Jovanna Espinoza, Opinions Writer

Even though online dating sites have their benefits, the overall disadvantages of this form of dating outweigh the advantages many people claim it has. With the accelerated technological development our society has undergone in the past few decades, it is no surprise that even our love lives have transferred into a digital medium.

In “[…] 2018, online dating revenue in the United States amounted to 555 million U.S. dollars and is projected to reach 649 million U.S. dollars in 2023. U.S. online dating audience size is estimated to reach 37.5 million in 2023,” according to J. Clement’s article Online dating in the United States – Statistics & Facts.

Dating online has become the norm because all people see are the advantages. For example, some might defend online dating by stating that the opportunities to meet “the one” increase exponentially by including people in different cities who you would not have otherwise met. However, it can also be overwhelming and confusing to have so many options. It might even lead us to doubt our final decision.

“My opinion of online dating is that while it has its benefits, it ultimately cheapens the human experience of falling in love,” said Hunter Sclbach, a senior majoring in music and minoring in accounting.

Dating online is advertised to be convenient. People no longer need to get ready and head to the bar to meet someone special; they can do it from any place at any time. However, that much convenience can easily turn a person impatient, since the app is expected to be used at any time of the day. If a potential partner online is not responding fast enough or wants to take it slow, the user might get frustrated and move on to the next person. Also, the friendly-user apps like Tinder or Jswipe where you conveniently swipe left or right can feel like a game, which undermines the whole point of dating.

“[M]ost people become short-tempered and impatient […] because technology gives everyone an instant gratification. This creates the expectation […] that anything needed should be and could be given and attended to immediately,” writes Patricia Abrihan in her article Technology Kills Patience: The Generation That Does Not Wait.

Even when dating face-to-face does not work out, it still saves more time than dating sites do. I dated a guy who seemed sweet and considerate my freshman year in college. One day, comparing grades, he said: “You might have scored higher, but you are not smarter than me, because no girl will ever be as smart as me.” If I had been talking to him online, I would not have had the same facial indicators to know he was not joking. You cannot see a person’s true personality through a screen, and people might be wasting their time with individuals whose personality is not apparent online.

“I hate online dating; it’s a waste of time. There is so much catfishing nowadays. You don’t know who he or she really is behind that fake picture on the profile page,” said freshman and science engineering major, Cecilia Velazquez.

It is so simple to lie on dating profiles, or “catfishing,” where everything from the information that is entered to the pictures that are uploaded is a conscious effort to mislead and deceive others. This can pose a real danger for those who use dating apps.

Another claimed benefit is that online dating helps ease those feelings of anxiety when meeting someone new. However, the opposite happens. Those feelings of anxiety are put off and suppressed when speaking on a dating site, so when it’s time to finally meet, those butterflies and sweaty palms are enhanced tenfold.

“It’s better if people meet in person. You’ll be able to make a connection and actually communicate like with eye contact and stuff,” said Alejandra Gutierrez, a freshman and criminal justice major.

Online dating has its advantages, and there is nothing wrong with finding a partner online, but nothing amounts to meeting the “old fashioned way.” No matter how close technology comes to mimicking real-life interactions, it will never capture the full experience of falling in love. Emotions are hard to face at times, but they will also be a powerful reminder of our youth one day.