Online Dating: Going to the digital dance?

This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series Online Dating
'THE DANCE' -- as it looked in 1941 in a small town in Ohio. From a group of early-20th-century photos posted by Don O'Brien for use via Wikimedia Commons.

‘THE DANCE’ — as it looked in 1941 in a small town in Ohio. From a group of early-20th-century photos posted by Don O’Brien for use via Wikimedia Commons.

The Internet offers new ways of dating, finding partners, ending relationships, and starting the whole process over again. As Pew researchers put it, “The Internet, cell phones, and social media are the new wingmen” in the romance department.

Have the new wingmen helped you?

This week we’ve relied on Pew’s just-released report about online dating. We’ve discussed whether online dating is smart or desperate, how you can find someone who shares your values, new activities like checking up on old flames, or new forms of old activities such as relationship drama and “unfriending.” Today, we pull it all together by considering the arc that online dating takes.

Dating digitally follows a sequence of steps, as this Pew graphic illustrates. It begins with the fact that 85% of Americans are now Internet users. About 35% of Americans are recent daters.

Lots of fish in the sea: The Internet offers unprecedented ways of identifying and researching potential dates. About three of ten recent daters use online resources this way. About 12% “follow” or have “friended” someone whom others have suggested might be good dates.

Asking someone out: The traditional method of calling someone on the phone is still the most common way to ask someone out. But texting has become more prevalent. Currently, 37% of online daters have asked people out by sending them a text. And, about 15% have used Facebook or Twitter to ask someone out on a date.

Maintaining the dating process: Did you have a good date? You can advertize your good times online. About 17% of recent daters post details or photos of their dates on Facebook of Twitter.

Breaking up is easier to do: In the old days, you had to break up face-to-face or on the phone. Now, you can break up digitally. This is common among younger Internet users.

Now that you’ve broken up, you can still check up on your old flame. And, you can start the whole digital process of dating over again.

Has the online dating process worked for you?

Are you aghast at the idea of the digital dance?

PLEASE, invite friends to read along with you and discuss this week’s series. Use the blue-”f” Facebook icons or the envelope-shaped email icons.
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