Q: Why is is online dating popular?
A: Prior to the late 1990’s there was a strong stigma attached to online dating that it was:
– not safe.
– for losers.
– for people who were desperate.
– the equivalent of taking out a newspaper ad to find a date.
Fast forward to today and online dating is a $1.5 billion a year industry with millions of singles paricipating and hundreds of thousands of marriages a year resulting from people who met online. So what happened? How did online dating become so popular?
After the turn of the century, online dating started to become a more popular as a genuine means of meeting people with mutual interests to date. What fueled the popularity?
– The growth of social media making people comfortable communicating online.
– Success stories of others who met online.
– Millions of dollars spent by online dating companies in advertising.
Once success stories of people meeting online started to emerge, online dating began to have a “snowball” effect where it picked up steam. People were no longer nervous telling others they met online. News stations would do Valentine’s Day stories on the popularity of using the Internet to find love. And suddenly shy people found an even playing field for looking for love as they felt more bold behind a monitor.
The standing joke in online dating circles in the 1990’s was a willingness to “lie about how we met”. But now, nearly 75% of single Internet users have used an online dating service to look for love. And that number is still growing.