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Are Online Dating Sites More or Less Social?

webdateThe Internet has facilitated many changes in the dating world.

At one time dating was dominated by meeting people through friends, meeting in a bar or other social gathering, or through an offline dating service.

Remember the days of making a video for a dating service? While you can still make videos, it’s usually in the comfort of your own home.

Internet dating sites exploded in the late 1990’s and early in the first few years of the 21st Century. People no longer needed to pay hundreds of dollars to local, offline dating services or worry about hooking up with a creepy person from a bar.

Dating Sites

Dating online began through static personal ads, moved to more interactive means of posting full page bios, and then integrated aspects of social networking.

The popularity of social networking is what drives the Internet today – people want to be connected. Dating sites that joined this new way of dating had the most success.

Nearly every dating website has some form of social networking built into their systems. Some may charge extra for users to chat with each other or to use certain services.

Sites like and Plenty of Fish use social networking to let people know about their service and to connect users. Other sites that connect with people through social networking are alternative lifestyle sites such as

Social Media Sites

Some people use Facebook as a way to meet others.

They are introduced to friends by friends and correspond through inboxing. This can give people more insight into the actual lives of the person they are speaking with – through pictures posted on Timelines, the way the person interacts with others, and what types of things they ‘like’.

Twitter is another place where people can meet others.

Some people do use the site as a way to find dates, but not quite as much as with Facebook. It is harder to gauge a person by their tweets, as there are no full profiles or in-depth information on Twitter like the timelines on Facebook.

Social Gaming

While it may surprise some people, gaming is also a social network.

Games such as World of Warcraft and EverQuest spawned quite a few relationships. Roleplaying games where people can chat and play together offer many opportunities for romance to bloom. Other games, such as turn-based massive multiple online (MMO) games, are popular meeting places for people who don’t want to spend money on a dating site, but still want to meet people with the same likes.

No matter what dating method is chosen, online dating and social media have melded in much the same way as the Internet has evolved to incorporate social networking into almost every website.

Dating has always been about being social, people asking friends for advice or relying on friend to set them up on dates.

The Internet has just made that aspect digital and gives people that are dating the ability to carry all of their friends in their pocket for instant access or advice.

About the Author: Tina Samuels writes on small business topics such as social media and marketing on sites like

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