EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Community News Network

December 27, 2013

More daters turn to Web but still keep lips zipped

Online dating: More and more people are doing it, but no one wants to talk about it. On the record, that is.

A recent Pew study found that 11 percent of American adults have used online dating sites or mobile apps — a figure that was just 3 percent five years ago. Among Internet users who were currently single and looking for a partner, 38 percent had tried online dating.

Yet, according to the Pew study, 21 percent of Internet users agree with the statement: "People who use online dating sites are desperate." Pew notes that's an eight-percentage-point decline from 2005. Still, there seems to be lingering judgment about using a smartphone to find someone to love.

"I think people don't like to admit that they are having trouble in their romantic life," said Eli Finkel, a social psychology professor at Northwestern University. "That concern is misplaced. It is totally normal to figure out who is compatible for you."

Finkel, who with several colleagues published a critical analysis of online dating last year, has become a cheerleader of sorts for the practice. "In general, it is a great thing that exists."

Reggie, a 20-something operations manager for a nonprofit organization — who, like all the dating app users we talked to, preferred to give only his first name and occupation as biographical details when talking about the subject — said he tends to keep online dating out of most in-person conversations. Most of his friends do the same.

"We don't want to put something that is supposed to be like a dating, personal ad into our real world," he says. "I think that delineation, that separation from online-date persona and in-person social situations, is a real thing."

He also separates his online dating from his social-media activity. It's a form of image management, like his adherence to the "mom rule": keeping an online presence that he wouldn't be embarrassed for his mother to see.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News
Community News Network

NDN Video
Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue
Photos of the Week