Online dating is slowly beginning to become less taboo. I first warmed to the idea during a free show Aziz Ansari did for Johns Hopkins students. He asked how many people have tried online dating when one of our professors, who sat in the front row, admitted to finding his wife on JDate. When pressed a little harder as to how the connection was made, the prof simply replied “I just typed in Jewish and my zipcode.” Aziz now uses this story as part of his comedic routine.
On the benefits of online dating: “He typed in Jewish and his zip code. That’s how I found a Wendy’s last week. He found his wife the same way.“
– Aziz Ansari (as reported by The New Yorker)
So I decided to take a closer look at online dating sites. There are so many different types based on your interests or demographic and social characteristics. The most interesting one I’ve found is GenePartner. GenePartner will analyze and match your potential dates according to your DNA. Another notable site includes IvyDate. IvyDate seems promising due to its exclusivity. They prescreen each member based on intellectual curiosity, passion and drive, education, accomplishments, career, and interests. If you are looking to go where there are the most people however, some of the more popular sites include Match.com, eHarmony, and OKCupid.
While online dating may extend your reach, it doesn’t necessarily increase the richness of your communication. Handicapped people for example who face dating discrimination in real life may see their disability become a focal point in the online world. A blog at OKCupid that deciphers information about message-sends and reply-rates shows how racism is alive and well. For bonus reading, take a look at this piece from writers at Time evaluating the up and down sides of online dating.