Everyone has seen the commercials: the short interviews of people describing how they found their lover on websites such as Match.com, eHarmony or Zoosk. Advertisements on TV every day make the difficult search for love seem as simple as logging onto Facebook.
Should it be this easy, though?
Think back to your childhood: your first crush, the excitement you felt when you were asked to the prom. These special milestones in life are driven by spontaneity. Being able to share moments builds character and helps you grow into an experienced bachelor or bachelorette not to mention all the funny stories that develop from these encounters.
Online dating seems like a shortcut.
By registering, users are matched to various strangers who seem to be compatible, but how do you know for sure? Like Facebook, it is easy to post any information to attract the ideal match. From general information to profile pictures, you can create the perfect profile that may not reflect your true personality.
More importantly, the cost of these websites outweighs their benefits. Membership fees for the sites range in cost from date.coms $9.99 per month to chemistry.coms $26.95 per month fee.
This industry is worth $1.049 billion a year, according to a study by Online Schools, with customers spending $239 a year, on average. It is unfortunate that this method of dating is now becoming just another bill in the mail.
But many are paying for a false sense of love. According to the Huffington Post, OKCupid, another online dating site, found that users frequently post inaccurate heights, incomes, sexual orientations and photographs.
Online dating brings about an overly-romanticized sense of the world. The Internet is like an escape from reality, and placing the ability to build a relationship online could eliminate the need for any conflict but only temporarily. You are on the site solely to find a significant other, so the conversations will be sweet, romantic and they will encircle the idea of love. This almost seems as unrealistic as the TV show The Bachelor.
Online sites dont discuss family history, financial troubles or personal baggage. Its almost like a cyber version of Sandals Resort.
The idea of online dating can seem appealing to someone desperate for love. Perhaps the future generation will jump on board because of the ever-advancing society. But is this an experience we should turn digital? While the idea of online dating seems convenient, it may just be another scam for businesses to make money.
Love should not come at a price, and neither should the journey to find it.
Rachel Jimenez is a sophomore majoring in dance.