“Where else can you go in a matter of 20 minutes, look at 200 women who are single and want to go on dates?” This was a comment made by a single man in a recent report which examined over 400 academic studies and was published this week in the Psychological Science Journal. The report looks at the benefits of being exposed to a huge dating pool of potential dates and partners and the disadvantages of being overwhelmed by choice.
A hectic professional schedule and a busy social life can mean that there is so little time to meet new people. If you want to extend your reach beyond the my friend who works with scenario, it can be quite hard without the help of meddlesome matchmaking friends and parents. Let’s face it, it’s tough. “Online dating is good. I’m very, very glad it exists. It gives opportunities to singles who otherwise wouldn’t have them,” said Eli J. Finkel, an associate professor of social psychology at Northwestern University and the study’s lead author. Online Dating is now the second most common way of starting a relationship – second only to meeting through mutual friends.
It’s funny how far dating in the digital era has come. When online dating was a new concept back in 1995 it was seen as dominated by desperate dans and weirdos, which in turn cast a stigma over the process of meeting someone online. Now that’s all changed, an ideal solution for workaholics and busy singles alike, the report found that in one month last year 25 million people were using online dating sites to meet new people. On the flip side, the report also focused on the time consuming problem of going from profile to profile and this can “can result in the objectification of potential partners.” Surely this same thing happens when you’re scanning potential talent in a bar on a Thursday night?? It’s not online dating that encourages this attitude, it’s already there! We first decide whether or not someone looks “attractive” and then we make the decision on whether to approach them or not. Finkel and his team compared online dating to shopping at ’supermarkets of love’. Well, every little bit helps!