It should come as no surprise that as a member of “Generation Internet,” the thought of trying to meet someone through match.com, eHarmony, or even Craigslist personal ads has crossed my mind. After all, I spend half my waking weekday hours staring at a computer screen, Googling questions that I used to know how to answer with a dictionary, map, or phonebook, and emailing or instant messaging friends and family I might have called in the past. (I g-chat with officemates, and I’m friends with my mom on Facebook; I’m not gonna lie.) If I keep in contact with almost everyone I know through the wonders of the WWW, I shouldn’t be ashamed to make new contacts with potential suitors using the Internet, right?
Consider the pros of online dating: Instead of spending hours grooming, changing outfits, psyching myself up, and cabbing it downtown, only to end up talking to girlfriends all night because the guys are too obnoxious, I can sit in pajamas at home and browse around to find a guy who, at least according to his profile, is attractive, funny, and smart. Using an Internet matchmaker takes the initial guesswork out of the process: You know the intentions of the other person, can determine physical attraction, identify common interests, and hopefully weed out deal-breaking personalities.
And yet, does turning to online dating somehow signal defeat? Men and women managed to meet and fall in love for millennia before Al Gore created the Internet. So if I turn to Web sites to secure an evening with the opposite sex, does that mean there is something wrong with me? Considering that more than half of today’s marriages end in divorce, and that our daily personal lives (not to mention the media) are saturated with tales of betrayal, scandal, and casual sex, I guess it’s a wonder that I can even contemplate finding long-lasting true love, or temporarily satisfying “emotions” at all.
I’m not exactly ready to find those things using the Internet, but Dr. Phil told me “It’s okay to look,” so I might just take a little peek :