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Also, people almost universally pick public places for their initial online dates: coffee shops, restaurants and the like.
It’s very deliberate — after all, you’re looking for a partner through an interface — and that creates a safer environment. This premise is so well-worn that sites like Tinder, Hinge and Coffee Meets Bagel offer little information about users beyond a collection of pictures and a two-line profile.
But despite the occasional bad press, the numbers suggest that online dating is very safe.
Ok Cupid creates something like 30,000 first dates every day, and complaints about dangerous meetings are extremely rare.
People have always sought out casual sex — flings are key plot points in “Pride and Prejudice” (1813) and “The Fires of Autumn” (1942).
One sociologist found that college-age students are having no more sex today than they were in 1988.
The Guardian warns that these sites have created a “throwaway dating culture.” This is silly.Gwendolyn Seidman, writing in Psychology Today, explains it well: “Online daters realize that while, on the one hand, they want to make the best possible impression in their profile, on the other hand, if they do want to pursue an offline relationship, they can’t begin it with outright falsehoods that will quickly be revealed for what they are.” That’s not to say every profile is the gospel truth, of course. Ok Cupid has found, for example, that men and women more or less uniformly add two inches to their height.In any human interaction, there will always be some amount of posturing.“Online services enable a downright Seinfeld-ian level of superficial nitpickiness,” one Fortune article lamented.They’ve “given rise to a pick-and-choose shopping behavior that prioritizes looks more than ever before.” In reality, how someone looks in a couple of pictures is no indicator of whether you’ll be attracted to them.
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In fact, online dating has made it easier for those seeking long-term commitments to find each other.