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Online Dating Goes Mainstream

Online Dating Goes Mainstream

Jan 23, 2007
Mary Hobson
Technology Schools Columnist

Online dating has been around for almost as long as the Web has, but for many years it bore the stigma of people who could not find a partner any other way. In recent years, however, this perception has changed. It's no longer considered the last refuge of the socially inept, but rather an efficient way for busy people to find a good partner. In 2003, 40 million users visited dating websites in the US, according to US News and World Report.

Internet Dating for the Older Set

Interestingly, one of the fastest-growing populations on Internet dating sites is the over-50s. According to Nielsen/NetRatings, users of 55 or older account for 16.7% of all traffic to online personal sites. As divorce rates rise and older people become more comfortable with the use of technology, this is an increasingly acceptable way of meeting people.

New Applications

Online dating is just one example of how we have quickly begun to accept new ways of doing things. Internet use itself has progressed from radical to mundane at incredible speed. We regularly download music rather than play CDs, download videos rather than play DVDs and we listen to the radio over the Internet, go shopping online and even find new jobs online.

What's going to come next? Well, unless you are a development programmer in the research laboratories of Silicon Valley, or studying for a degree in computer science, you're going to have to wait to find out. But if you don't want to wait, consider earning an information technology degree.

If you find these kinds of applications interesting, you should consider studying for one of the degrees that will give you access to a career in computer science research. You can earn an online degree if you are looking for a career change, giving yourself the opportunity to carry on working while you are developing your new career.

And the future of online dating? Well, it certainly makes it easier to find a partner, and more fun than sitting at home waiting for your Prince or Princess to come.


About the Author

Mary Hobson is the Head of IT School at a Polytechnic in New Zealand, and a freelance writer.