Online dating is a relatively new phenomenon. It arose during the late 1990s, at the same time that the Internet itself was becoming pretty popular. Despite being a relatively young industry, online dating has already become one of the most profitable types of business to be found on the Internet. Online dating services currently attract millions of users every day, and the industry as a whole is making hundreds of millions of dollars each year. Online dating provides an efficient way for people to meet prospective partners and to get to know them through e-mails and chats. The experience of online dating gives a person a sense of convenience, safety, and a sense of namelessness. However, the online dating experience can put u at risk of being deceived and have as a lack of personal contact. Online dating can be successful in terms of forming long-term relationships; however, as a general rule, a great deal of trial-and-error is also involved in this process. Even though people are aware of the risks o online dating, it is preferred rather than the traditional methods of dating. Safety is a factor in the appeal of online dating; in this regard, “more than 80% of both males and females say that online dating is as safe or safer than meeting someone at a bar” (“Online Dating Soars in Popularity”2002). Online dating seems safer in a psychological sense, as well. Many people are attracted to the use of online dating services because of they provide a sense of anonymity. Along with this, online dating services have the advantage of providing a “pool” of participants who are actively seeking relationships. Because of this, the services are useful in helping people overcome the feelings of vulnerability that often arises when trying to meet new people at a bar or other public place (Hill and Walmsley 48). Yet another advantage of the online dating experience is that it forces people “to judge...
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