How many ways can you use to seek someone to date? In the past, you commonly have 4 options. You could just wait and pray that your fate would come. You could beg your friends or colleagues or acquaintances to introduce someone to you. You could be frequent the bars or night clubs to look for potential partners. Or you could join some social activities and be volunteer for community projects then hope that these groups would serendipitously bring you somebody who have common habits. Fortunately, now we have Internet, inexpensive Wi-Fi access and a huge virtual community. Online dating is born and quickly spreads out to become a popular way of romantic dating.
The term online dating refers to Internet dating which is the practice of using dating sites to look for romantic partners. According to recent research, 30% of 7 billion people on the earth now have accessed to the Internet (Miller 2011) and the ubiquity of Internet connection is increased rapidly due to inexpensive Wi-Fi access, especially in Asia (Masden and Edwards 2014). And each year, millions of hopeful relationship seekers use online dating sites as third-party to match love. The reason behind that is about fundamental human motivations which are the need to connect deeply with other people and the need to satisfy intimate relationship (Miller 2011). When those needs are satisfied, their happiness and emotional well-being are increased (Collins 2013). Moreover, Finkel et al. (2012) state that people who use online dating to find romantic partners actually are not much confident in face-to-face dating and they are furtively to minimize their embarrassment. Thus, they are attracted to online dating sites where online community enables them to communicate with potential partners safely and conveniently. Furthermore, Internet dating ameliorates the pursuit of an emotionally satisfied and committed relationship as well as online users could access to as many potential lovers as they want without significant time and effort in normal face-to-face dating.
However, what happens if ones can tailor their self-presentation to become someone else? In virtual community, users could be anyone they want to be just by some clicks and text-typing. Then, they would communicate what they intend to be. Lewis (2008) notes that the virtual world allows people to construct and maintain one or more electric personas easily as long as they have time and energy to create. Some researchers express the concern that online dating encourages crimes related to the ambiguity of user identity. Campbell (2014) states that Malaysia is a global hub for romantic scams with the total cybercrime bill reaches $300 million. The number of Internet scammers using online dating network is increasing rapidly. They take advantage of romantic partners then hack their bank account and arrange money transfer (May 2014). In addition, according to Kyodo (2014), there are 12 Japanese victims of dating scams arraign to claim for ¥200 million back. They are involved in the investment in luxury department which is held by their romantic partners in online dating sites.
These problems of virtual dating partly represent for a future of online dating. Although it has some benefits related to user’s various choices of potential partners as well as time saving and geographical barrier breaking, it still hides lots of crimes and online scammers who takes advantage of our credulity.
Campbell C. 2014, ‘Malaysia is becoming a global hub for internet scams preying on the Lovelorn’, TIME, July 9 2014, viewed Apr 18, 2015, http://time.com/2968765/malaysia-is-becoming-a-global-hub-for-internet-scams-preying-on-the-lovelorn/
Collins M. 2013, ‘Why you should date online and treat it like a job’, Huffington post, 22 Aug 2013, viewed Apr 10 2015, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/malcolm-collins/online-dating_b_3789558.html
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Kyodo 2014, ‘Suit filed over dating, property scam’, The Japan Times, Feb 26, 2014, viewed Apr 18, 2015, http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/02/26/national/crime-legal/suit-filed-over-dating-property-scam/#.VTIw8CHtmko
Lewis J. 2008, ‘Cultural studies’, SAGA Published, Mar 17 2008, pp. 456
Masden C. & Edwards W. 2014, ‘Understanding the role of community in online dating’, GVU Center and School of Interactive Computing, USA.
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Miller V. 2011, ‘Understanding Digital Culture’, SAGE Published, London, pp. 14-33
May J. 2014, ‘How dating scams target older people’, The Sydney Morning Herald, October 3, 2014, viewed Apr 18, 2015, http://www.smh.com.au/national/how-dating-scams-target-older-people-20141002-10p4ft.html