17-Nov-2015 17:31

Stigma against online dating

That day so many singletons take the plunge and turn to what is (apparently) their last hope -- the internet. They all say the same thing; that they know it's desperate, but they're sick of meeting people in bars or being set up by their friends.

There appears to be an unfortunate social stigma attached to online dating among the general population in the UK, despite the fact that it’s been around for the best part of 20 years.So why has Grindr been so readily accepted and embraced by gay men?Apart from the obvious point that it increases the availability of sexual partners dramatically and instantaneously, if you ask most gay men why they use it, and other dating sites, the majority will admit it is to find a date, not solely for random sexual hook-ups.In the UK and Ireland, especially outside of cities, Grindr and other dating apps/sites have made dating for gay men infinitely more accessible in places where there’s nowhere locally that exists to specifically meet potential partners of the same sex.In the LGBT community, the location based mobile dating app Grindr slotted seamlessly into gay culture.It’s now a widely and naturally-accepted tool, which uses the GPS in your device to tell you how far away each user is from your phone or tablet, along with their photos; a brief description, and some physical details (which might shock the more innocent of you, if you saw).

Polishing it off, a simple IM function enables its 3 million or so users to chat each other up worldwide, with the UK being one of its biggest markets.

There’s a straight version too, Blendr, and a lesbian equivalent, Brenda, but neither of these are used heavily.

The first dating website popped up in 1994, so the masses have had a good 19 years to get used to the fact that technology has spilled into yet another aspect of our lives and has slowly replaced its predecessor -- the local paper's classifieds.

The attitude seemingly developed around the basis that if you were on a dating site, you were actively looking for not just relationship, but ANY relationship, entirely going against the modern-day social-brainwashing that you only have one perfect partner, and that you’ll meet them in some romantic magical fashion. But why does the stigma exist in the first place, considering that online dating increases the pool of potential partners that one can possibly meet, a hundredfold?

Surely simple statistics would cause even the most die hard of anti-internet daters to admit that it could potentially be a good thing.

Online dating in a minority group sort of proved that.

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