Dating online: Not just for the socially inept

Noelle Pennyman

Online dating has possibly replaced the “bar scene” that we have all grown to loathe.

People might be embarrassed to admit they troll the dating sites looking for Mr. (or Miss) Right, but the statistics show they’re not alone.

In a statistics report, 40 million Americans use online dating services, which is about 40 percent of those unattached.

It makes sense that people would rather sit in the comfort of their own homes (or local Internet caf‚s) and peruse profiles rather than walk up to strangers with their best pick-up lines, which usually aren’t that good in the first place.

Whether it’s, or the thousands of other dating sites, they can help (for a tidy fee of course) cut through the bull of face-to-face meetings.

It’s easier to establish a person’s motive while being online – hookups, swinging or real romance is established at the beginning.

There is, of course, the obvious risk of the other person being a murderer or your sister’s boyfriend. But we have discovered there are risks with any kind of dating, right?

Those who can’t afford the membership fees can head on over to chat rooms. Now this is my domain. It’s pretty much the same as dating services, but there is a lot more research and effort on your part.

I like chat rooms because, besides the fact that they’re free, it’s quick and to the point. You define what you’re looking for and get instant messages from hopeful potentials. If they aren’t what you want, you can say “no thank you” or just stop responding.

With chat rooms, however, there is a bigger supply of perverts or those looking for cyber, which is the online slap and tickle. Because it is over the computer and not face-to-face, people are a little bolder than expected.

Those with a heightened libido believe they can talk any way they please because it’s online. Those not up for that type of conversation can easily set them straight to remedy that.

No matter the process, online dating is a shortcut to finding a match. You can be more comfortable and talk more openly with a computer screen separating you.

It’s not a matter of being ashamed because you’re not the social butterfly you wish to be. There are literally millions who are just like you.

With chat rooms, you’ll find they can be very specialized and segmented. Whatever your demographics or interests, have no fear that there is a room out there for you.

If you’re still contemplating whether to hit your local bar in hopes of finding “the one,” consider this: Only nine percent of women and two percent of men have found a relationship at a bar or club, according to the statistics. Those numbers really don’t put hope into my heart.

Instead, save that energy for the chat rooms and leave the clubs for just having fun without the pressure.

Now you don’t have to force yourself to walk up to a complete stranger and risk being humiliated. All you have to do is sign on.

Noelle Pennyman is a sophomore public relations major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].