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Calling the freedom Facebook allows voyeurs an invasion of privacy, he believes that one of the upsides of online dating platforms is that you can exercise a degree of control that you don’t have otherwise.
“The great thing about online dating is that you can be as specific or unspecific as you want to be; you really can lay out who you are and what it is you’re looking for.
Now, the perception has normalised.” Along with the facts that online literacy has increased and Internet access is more ubiquitous, the acceptance that online dating isn’t for ‘the desperate’ is a major reason why, even during a recession, the ranks of virtual matchmaking sites swelled.
In particular, more people of colour and more people from an older generation (55 to 60 ) are perusing the platforms for a potential long-term partner, companion or friend, not necessarily with sexual intentions.
Interestingly enough though, in contrast to the above folklore, in South Africa, the Western Cape included, more men use online dating sites than women.
But what about members of the younger generation, people who seem to have greater opportunity (and more time) to come across lovers organically? Helen Paul, a 26-year-old who took the plunge mainly for a giggle and to combat growing “boredom with life in general”, admits that, despite the assumption that under 30s have no problem meeting new potential partners, online dating did, in fact, help her to meet people she would never have otherwise crossed paths with.
While no comprehensive study’s been conducted locally since Ramon Thomas, a Netucation online behaviour expert, collected data from nine different digital dating sites in 2004, a present-day look at the largest and most expansive online dating company’s database indicates that, at the very least, the virtual platform’s growth is ‘going steady’.It’s easy enough to reduce dating to a simple numbers game, but what happens when you actually use math to find your ‘perfect partner’?The idea sounds at best trite, at worst completely insane.Though, that’s where her positive take on the platform seems to begin and end.Strike one: she reports that her online dating site’s compatibility quizzes seemed “off”; she was found time and again to be most compatible with 59-year-olds from Durbanville, not exactly flattering for a young city centre draughtswoman and 3D visualizer working at cutting-edge furniture design company Pierre Cronje.