Thursday, September 21

Online Dating. Still taboo?

5 years ago..maybe. But not anymore. The internet has become such a crucial part of our lives, that meeting people online has become a certainty. I think we are at the stage where the majority of people are still hesitant about dating but are coming around to being receptive to it.

Standard networking sites are also being used for dating. Facebook, Friendster, Orkut certainly are not primarily dating sites. But my friend's who are girls routinely get 'poked' by random guys trying to become friends with them. Some accept some don't, but never do they reply or respond. If you're on facebook, you're not there to really meet people but stay in touch with people you already know...agreed, even if it means people you met once and will never see again...It's all about the number of friends anyway.

Friendster has a search tool for finding people based on location, interests and so on. Though I am not an active user on friendster, I have gotten random messages. Same rules apply here. Put in your search parameters, put in the age, the gender and maybe the location and hit search. Then start randomly messaging people who you think are interesting (or attractive).

Orkut is just weird. It seems really fobby. We all know the weird guys messaging girls begging for "frandship".

My point is that all networks on the internet are conducive to online dating. To different extents, and the populace that resides within these networks are open to
meeting people online according to different strengths.

Facebook is too open, and awkward to meet people. It's odd to poke someone and say what's happening. Recently 3 random girls poked me and I didn't poke back. I noticed we had friend's in common and stuff. But its just odd. If I haven't met you, then why should I respond on facebook? Odd but true. It felt cheap. If my profile was up on shadi, I might respond. Though its not.

I think the most interesting aspect of this has been the spawning of ethnic dating websites. At Brandeis, I was always aware of Jdate for Jewish dating. Naseeb, and were the others I was aware of. Most abcd's are on Naseeb it seems.

I posted my profile on naseeb a while ago just to see who else is on it. I feel its a lot more PG than other dating networks. I think its heavily moderated. But its interesting to see what kinds of people are on it. America is certainly diverse and families are spreading far and wide. are is basically for parents putting up their kid's profiles, but Naseeb is for kids. It's a very comfortable environment for some reason and it allows you to randomly talk to people. But, here in the desi state of NJ, everyone knows everyone and desi's talk like no other, so I doubt I would ever do that.

In conclusion, online dating is here to stay. Ethnic online dating can only grow and I completely support the concept. I think it's cool to have profiles online, meet people with no strings attached (not sex) and just stay friends and see what happens. No harm done, no gain. So what's the problem?


1 - If you're busy. And it seems, we're getting increasingly busy.
2 - If you live in an area where there aren't many areas to socialize. Like Boohickey, Missouri perhaps?
3 - If you're of a certain ethnic sect, and prefer dating only within that
4 - If you're within some ethnicity and they are spare in your area
5 - If you're shy, but still confidant enough to post and seek someone online
6 - It's a lot slower. You can take your time.
7 - It may not be about looks initially. It's probably more about character and personality initially then meeting someone at a bar is. If you meet them later, then..good luck! haha


1 - Still a bit taboo. You don't see too many people saying, "Oh, I met her on craigslist and we're getting married tomorrow!".
2 - There are creeps and paedophiles out there. One has to be careful.
3 - Some people just want sex. That can't be helped.
4 - It can be frustrating
5 - You may not want to pay for the services
6 - For every authentic site trying find a relationship (eHarmony, Match etc), there are tons of those trying to get you hook ups (AdultFriendFinder, True etc). Kinda puts us an unease
7 - Tons more guys are on these site, then girls!! Some inequality. Its a reflection of our social norms. Guys are usually the ones hitting on girls and asking them out. So girls find it a lot easier to date than my opinion! (I know some girls might want to throw rocks at me for saying that!) So therefore, girls, perhaps, don't really feel the need to put their profiles out there.
8 - And the most obvious one. You don't see the person you're talking to. Might be a pro too as well! Look at 7 above.

From the Beacon Journal. 08/28/2006
Ethnic dating sites increasing
Matchmaking online up as parents add profiles on specialized Web sites
By Eric Benderoff
Chicago Tribune
CHICAGO - Teena Verbit didn't think her daughter was dating anyone ``spectacular.''

So she wrote a personality profile for her daughter and posted it on, a Web site for Jewish singles.

``I didn't think she would do it,'' Linda Verbit, 23, said of her mom, ``but she did. She put me on Jdate.''

Teena Verbit now approves of the young man her daughter is dating. ``My mom has never been shy about telling me her opinion,'' said Linda Verbit, who lives outside Philadelphia.

Finding a companion on the Web is hardly new. But now parents are jumping into the online dating and matchmaking game, penning profiles of their children and paying to have them displayed on sites catering to specific religious or ethnic backgrounds.

``My parents signed me up'' for, said 30-year-old Sejal Patel. Her dad even enlisted a Web-savvy friend to help him post her profile on the Indian singles' site.

``It seemed like everyone in the world knew about my Shaadi profile before I did,'' said Patel, who began getting up to 30 e-mails a day. Her parents wrote the profile -- saying she likes family picnics, cooking and helping out at home -- and paid for the service. The Web site costs $110 a year for a platinum membership, which includes a bold-faced listing and more personalized matchmaking services.

But not everyone buys into religious online dating sites.

``I prefer to meet them as a person, not a profile,'' said 29-year-old Ahmed Rehab, executive director of the Chicago Council of American-Islamic Relations.

While he has visited, an increasingly popular site for Muslims, Rehab is not a member. Nor does he know of parents pushing such sites on their children, but that wouldn't surprise him.

Online dating is one of the Web's oldest businesses, with the most well-known sites experiencing flat to modest growth. But sites focusing on religion, race or ethnicity have soared. At, for instance, traffic grew 73 percent from June 2005 to June 2006, according to ComScore Media Metrix, which measures Internet activity. Unique visitors to grew 43 percent during that period, and the site is so used to working with people like Teena Verbit that they even have a name for them: ``Jmoms.''

Other religious dating sites target Baptists, Catholics, Christians and Latter-day Saints, among others. There are also sites aimed at blacks, Greeks, Hispanics and practically every other slice of life one could imagine.

The number of dating sites jumped to 1,122 from 850 in July 2005, according to data from Web site tracking firm Hitwise.

Such sites are ``a great tool for targeting and filtering information,'' said Sara Stevens, director of industry solutions at ComScore.

Prices vary, from free sign-ups and trial memberships to costly plans, such as a $251 annual fee at, which focuses on personality traits in trying to foster relationships.

Spark Networks, which operates Jdate and other specialty dating sites, is quite familiar with well-meaning parents. A survey recently posted on found that 22 percent of members' moms paid for their kid's Jdate membership.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It all sounds interesting if you have time on your hands but you have to use extreme caution because you really shouldn't be throwing it to the wind and children sites need to be monitored.