Manifest Dysfunctions of Internet Dating


With the evolution of modern technologies came a change in the way people communicate. Whether it is through the phone, text messaging, email, or even social networking sites, people are having less face-to-face interactions. Another change in human interaction as a result of technology deals with dating. Online Dating is a service provided by the internet for people to develop different kinds of relationships. People who use these services tend to look for either a sexual relationship or a long lasting romance. The main problems and dysfunctions with internet dating is trust; the lack of faith in the website privacy, and the dangers of not knowing who's on the other side and not being able see that person face to face.There are also many positive aspects about internet dating.There are many individuals who have live in more secluded areas and need the option to meet people who are in different places. My friend who is a college student, a single-mother and works a full-time job wanted to find a significant other. She is black female who lives in a mostly white upper-class neighborhood. Her being without a vehicle, she was very limited on finding someone who she found physically attractive. Though, she wasn’t against dating someone out of her race she wasn’t attracting anyone who met her type as far as personality either. After, awhile she finally decided to try online dating; she joined a site called, At first she was very skeptical but eventually she found that she had so many more options than she previously had. At the end my friend and her husband have been married for two years and don’t regret a thing about meeting online to find love.
Although dating over the internet began through bulletin board services and newsgroups when the internet was first created, it was a latent feature of the internet. In order to date over the internet, people used discussion forums and chat rooms. The first online dating websites, and, were created in 1994 and 1995. Since then, the online dating industry’s revenue has grown to $900 million in 2007, and is projected to continue to grow to $1.9 billion in 2012.

There are website such as, Match.Com, where you can put the age, religion, location, and even put the type of activities u both enjoy. As mention in Pros and Cons of Internet Dating, "dating sites are also a good method of testing the waters again for people who have been out of the scene for a while." (Starr, 2011) There is also the wonderful aspect of the non-rejection part. Though, there are many people who do take advantage that there are many lonely people who are online looking for love and also that person must be very trusting for the simple fact they are trusting that the person that is on the screen is the person that is typing them.

Internet dating ultimately has a lot of dangers that can derive from it. Inernet dating has become a norm to people; as like the commercial says for Match.Com, "every 1 out 5 relationships starts online." The down side of internet dating is that many people have lost their lives meeting someone they barely even know. It is also the trust factor in "meeting up" or bringing someone to your home that you have only chatted with over the internet. There are many horror stories about meeting people online, including such cases as the Jim West case. Jim West was the Mayor who was meeting guys over the internet and promising them prestigious careers. The more tragic stories include the Craigslist Killer. In the movie When Stranger's Click/Internet, they discuss the reality and distorted problems of internet dating and why people choose that option.

Although online dating may seem to be an ideal method of meeting people, there are problems which arise from these sites. A major problem with online dating is the feeling of disappointment. Although most commercials for internet dating portray happy couples with a feeling of completeness, the truth is most online daters do not get this reaction. Just like dating in the real world, not everyone is a perfect match for someone. When someone dates online, however, that person’s expectations for a ‘perfect match’ on the first date are elevated. Once that person realizes that the ‘perfect match’ is not exactly what was previously expected, that person’s level of disappointment is now elevated.

Another problem with online dating comes from a lack of faith in the services. People who have plenty of experience with online dating have been continually disappointed (otherwise they wouldn’t still be using online dating sites){Anecdote:skepticism}. My good friend once created an online dating profile to look for a relationship that wouldn’t require long term commitment. As she created the profile, she didn’t expect anything serious since she wasn’t fully convinced by this kind of interaction. As time moved on, she met a few candidates for a new relationship but none of them had something that she was looking for. That didn’t last long because there was a gentleman that came up on the horizon. In the beginning she was pretty skeptical and didn’t want to be involved too emotionally in something that she didn’t think would last. When they started to date everything changed. I have never seen her so energetic and happy in my life. When I asked her about her point of view and skepticism that she had when she entered that relationship, she said that it was her mistake that she made. They were living together for a while to see if they had made good choice. They didn’t wait too long to get married and now they are very happy that they had a chance to start this relationship. If online dating didn’t exist, they would never be able to meet each other because of the places that they lived in and the social circles they were in. Anecdote: {Finding Love}
}These experiences may potentially cause people to have more of a pessimistic attitude towards the people they meet and their first dates. The people who have already lost faith in the online dating services already begin to not trust the other person’s profile. Based on previous naive attempts to find that special someone, a lack of faith causes a lack of trust in a relationship. Internet dating can bring a lot of different results including a lot of various situations for one person. For example, I interviewed a classmate named Anne. She is a well-rounded woman whose children decided for her birthday to make her profile on Match.Com. She decided on keeping her profile after only a week she got five hundred "winks". A wink is when someone indicates that they are interested in you. I asked Anne what was her biggest concern of meeting someone online, "thinking that the other person on the other side of screen might not be who you think they were." I then questioned what made her trust the individuals online even though she said she had all of these concerns. Anne stated, "I am older now and it's not just as easy to walk fawn the street or go to a bar to find a mate now. It's a lot easier to put what I want in mate in my profile and then pick and choose who suites me the best." (Holmes, 2011).

In the movie When Strangers Click/Internet, the story of Jim West, a mayor, who was meeting men offline by promising those jobs, was brought up. A man who interviewed with the movie said even though he had never seen a picture or knew anything about this man, who happens to end up being the Mayor; he was still strangely intrigued by him. It was almost as though the mystery frightens most people, while the curiosity of who is the person on the other end intrigues people. There are also people who do have good outcomes such as Kim who married a man she met over the internet. There is still that initial concern though. Kim's mother says, "It was frightening to watch my daughter go through something like that...meeting someone off the internet." Though, from Kim's point of view, "it was less scary than meeting someone in person."

The most crucial problem with meeting people through dating websites deals with the most important aspect of relationships which is trust. Because of the lack of face-to-face interaction through modern technology, people do not know who it is they are really talking to. Online daters are more prone to being enticed by lies that are on others’ profiles than people who meet in person before a date. Creating an online dating profile is essentially the same as creating a dating resume, and resumes are created in order to be chosen by another institution, or in this case of online dating, another individual. In order to be the chosen person, that person needs to have an outstanding resume. Anecdote:{Another life ruined from online dating}People tend to fabricate themselves to seemingly be a ‘perfect’ person through photos and information they post on their profile. Because of this, an online dater really doesn’t know anything about a person based on that person’s profile. Someone may claim to be single while he or she is really married and looking for an affair, or 56-years-old while he or she claims to be 22-years-old.

These are all very good point about internet dating but the risks and problems relate to dating in general. Not only in internet dating is trust the main issue. With any relationship to build and become stronger you need to have trust. It doesn't matter if you meet someone online , at a social event, or at school/work trust comes from yourself not where you meet them. There are two type of people when it comes to trust. {Vignette: A Close Encounter} There are those who will trust you from the beginning until you do something to break that trust.}Then there is people who don't trust at all and you have to work very hard to build up that trust for a long period of time. Even when meeting face to face on a date both parties may feel the need to market or advertise themselves. They would do this by not telling whole truths or even completely lying about themselves. People think that online allows you do this easier just because you can't seen the persons face to face. Just because you are face to face doesn't mean you should take everything the persons says seriously. People may lie about all aspect of their life just to make them seem for socially acceptable to the person they are trying to impress. To me, seeing the person gives you a better idea of what they are about and how you should act around them. Both parties may have a better feel for the person after meeting them face to face and be able to tell them what they want to hear instead of the truth. Even when meeting face to face the person might be completely honest with you but usually on the first couple dates they are willing to only share with you the good things about their life. It doesn't matter if you are face to face or meeting someone over the internet the only way you are going to be able to find out about the true person is to continually meet them over time.


Although, traditional dating will not give you full description of a person since he or she could be presenting themselves as someone completely different then they really are. The truth is that meeting a person only gives you a visual description of that person and the rest might be just be the cover of the real personality. There are many traditional dates that went wrong because of the fact that each person didn’t know what to expect and one of them tried being someone they are not. With online dating, you view other profiles as well as ask many questions about that person before you proceed to meeting them in person. Additionally, it is best to date with an open mind without false hopes and dreams. This gives you the advantage in knowing what to expect and more importantly gives you a choice in deciding whether you want make a personal contact. The two individuals can get to know the person whom they plan to date and get them to like each other’s personalities rather than liking them for physical looks alone. This can make the relationship more concrete and create a common ground for the two individuals. With online dating you have the time to learn about another person. When the real date comes, you can look for the similarities in that person’s character and compare it to what was posted on the website. Also with online dating people can avoid the dreaded blind date from hell, which happens when a couples personalities, likes, and dislikes do not match up (Foster, 2010). Although, there are certain cons to online dating there are many pros as well. Online dating sites offer many more opportunities for people to express themselves and truly get to know another person without the need to physically meet. As long as both individuals put their real thoughts, ambitions, likes, dislikes and wants the possibility of meeting someone that they will truly like are much higher than real life encounters.

The reality of meeting or dating someone online is sometimes is about not having to deal with reality. In the movie, When Strangers Click/Internet, it also introduces a man name Jonas, who meets the mother of his child on a website called Second Life. Second Life isn't a website about just dating but for them it's where they fell in love and eventually had a child together. They never lived together and didn't even know if they wanted to be with each other. Even though in Second Life they were married and felt they were truly in love. Jonas also used Second Life as his communication and interaction with the son they had.There will always be that unknown with internet dating the fact that people still want to have the opportunities that they wouldn't have in everyday life. That is what makes people feel that need to put themselves out there. Where looks play such a big factor in choosing someone you want to be with, you have the option to either put a picture or someone else's picture up or say that's you. When dating online, there is also the factor of not knowing who you are talking to. As the movies states, "in a survey, men fear that will meet someone fat while women fear they will meet a serial killer."
One of the number reasons for dating online is that many people who are overweight feel that their weight can limit their dating options. There are actual dating websites who specialize in overweight people finding someone who will accept them. At the same time for person someone who is not attracted to say someone, who is overweight or a little bit older has to deal with that that many people will deceive u on their looks by putting up someone else pictures.

Works Cited
Holmes, Anne. Personal interview. 27 Mar. 2011.® | The Leading Online Dating Site for Singles & Personals."® | The Leading Online Dating Site for Singles & Personals. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Mar. 2011.
"internet dating Dangers : dating on the internet- Before you start internet dating what to watch out for, what to beware of!." internet dating Dangers : dating on the internet- Before you start internet dating what to watch out for, what to beware of!. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Mar. 2011.

When Strangers Click: Five Stories from the Internet. Dir. Robert Kenner. Perf. Hbo Films, 2011. Film.
Starr,G.(2011) › Relationships & Family. Demand Media, Inc.

Foster, L. (2010, April 1). The Pros and Cons of Traditional and Internet Dating . Retrieved April 2011, from