Online dating used to be on the
sidelines of the social scene. In recent times, though, it has grown into a
multibillion dollar industry and has properly entered the mainstream society.
Sites such as Match.com and hundreds of
others have come into being. They now cater to every conceivable dating
preference anyone who is interested. With more and more people getting on board
with dating sites, a study of the desirability of these makes for an
interesting case study, as demonstrated by NBC correspondent Amy Robach in her
show Love @First Byte: the Secret Science
of Online Dating.
More and more people are visiting dating
sites nowadays for a romantic match. Amy Robach’s show takes the viewer behind
the scenes of these websites. It shows the technology used by these sites to
match people, and the huge amounts of money being made by entrepreneurs who are
running them. The show also talks to psychologists, mathematicians and
scientists who analyze the data collected from users’ online activities to
create personality profiles. The show is extremely interesting in how it attempts
to demonstrate the efficacy of the sites, and the use of science to find companionship.
Even though dating sites are recent phenomena,
they do beg some questions to be asked. The most important one is the success
rate as far as matchmaking is concerned. Do they really help people to the
extent they claim, or are the figures that they put across just fabrications?
The show lends weight to this question as insiders reveal how success in
finding love may not be the most typical outcome. Apart from that, some sites
have encouraged adultery by finding matches for extramarital affairs, which
lands online dating in further controversy. However, the most important
question that arises is one of privacy of the individual users, and protection
from sexual predators. These doubts about online dating still make it an
unviable option for many people. However, as these sites evolve, and more
effective and robust policies governing them are put into place, more and more
matches will be made online than ever before.