Launched in the mid-1990s, the first commercial matchmaking sites offered straightforward platforms for singles to connect. A couple of decades later, the landscape has changed completely. There are now thousands of these outlets, catering to millions of enthusiastic customers across the globe. There are many reasons for the phenomenal success of digital dating, but the main factor driving their popularity has been their ability to harness the latest Internet technologies. Here are some of the ways this has been achieved.
Marginalized groups have found a safe place
Internet dating has proved attractive to groups that previously felt their socializing options were restricted, compared to their more ‘mainstream’ counterparts. Take the example of the LGBTQ community. There have traditionally been singles bars or clubs where LGBTQ individuals felt more at home. Nowadays, popping ‘gay dating’ into a search engine will produce a flood of results. Joining one of these services will give newcomers access to profiles of kindred spirits, but you’ll also gain access to blogs containing all sorts of useful information about gay relationships. These online resources are ideal for support and guidance, especially for those who have only recently come out and are still feeling their way.
Singles are in control of their destiny
The moment anyone joins a dating site, they take charge of the way this experience unfolds. In the offline world, singles could only interact with whoever happened to be sharing the same location. But once you’ve signed up to a virtual matching resource, you can decide which of the others site members to get in touch with, and the ones you’d rather ignore – or block. You can choose to dip into your dating account now and again, juggling your online commitments with visits to offline venues. Or you could embrace your favourite website, regularly hanging around the chat rooms, messaging the other members you are most attracted to.
Communication is streamlined
Dating is no longer an activity steeped in secrecy, with singles arranging blind dates, or arranging discreet encounters in secluded shadows. People are now so much more open about using this medium for getting to know prospective partners. Even celebrities or top sportspeople, who might have been cagier about their personal lives, are quite open about advocating online dating. These sites offer so many ways of reaching out to other site users. So whether you’re most comfortable texting, emailing, phoning, messaging via WhatsApp groups, or video chatting, dating sites are making the technology available to a cross-section of people.
Chemistry is easily created
Previously, it sometimes took a while for relationships to get going. There might be a protracted period involving get-togethers being organized, then follow-up dates some days later – with neither party willing to appear to be too keen. Modern technology has made dating so much easier. Websites offer their members discreet communication channels, where they can relax and build a rapport, without any of the distractions that can impinge on their space in the ‘real world.’ There are all sorts of dating shortcuts available, too. People don’t even have to compose elaborate messages – all they have to do is ‘like’ another profile or send a ‘wink’ to attract someone’s attention.
Exciting innovations are just around the corner
Algorithms built into dating sites are becoming ever more sophisticated. They used to match people based on common interests specified in their application forms, or their profiles. Now they can analyze how members behave when they’re engaging online. This information can lead to dating services becoming proactive, offering suggestions for date venues, even going as far as to offer opportunities to book venues for a rendezvous.