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Opinion

Online love a little bit off

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October 18, 2007

Online dating services have a dreadfully creepy reputation, just as this quotation from “The Office” suggests: “Yes. It is true. I, Michael Scott, am signing up with an online dating service. Thousands of people have done it, and I am going to do it. I need a username, and… I have a great one. Little Kid Lover.’ That way people will know exactly where my priorities are at.”

In addition to being creepy, most would describe an individual who uses an online dating service to be desperate, pathetic, hopeless and/or foolish. Although these descriptions have been proven accurate for some individuals, might it be possible that these Web sites are actually becoming practical sources for finding love?

Some might say no and argue that love requires romance, and meeting on the Internet is not romantic whatsoever. But have these people who argue against the use of online dating services seen commercials for eHarmony.com?

In an adoring embrace, eHarmony couples share their experiences on national television.

“We always say we’re like a walking eHarmony commercial,” one woman says as she gazes tenderly into her husband’s eyes.

Considering how frequently these commercials air, it is likely that the arguers have seen them and are pointing and laughing throughout.

“Twenty years from now, the idea that someone looking for love without looking for it online will be silly,” a Wired magazine from 2002 predicts.

Although they are quite popular today, those who use online dating Web site continue to have a reputation for being desperate—despite how practical it is to find a potential partner.

I decided to do some research. After typing in “online dating service” into the Google search engine, I was amazed by the amount and variety that is offered.

In addition to traditional dating, services for homosexuals, fitness enthusiasts and Christians are offered. There is even a site exclusively for farmers looking for that special someone. Surely that must be River Falls favorite: www.farmersonly.com.

I opted for a dating site with a sense of humor. From the creators of TheSpark.com and SparkNotes, OkCupid.com offers entertaining dating quizzes, detailed profiles, e-mail and instant messaging without having to pay a cent.

I decided to review another profile before writing my own.

Under the “I’m really good at” section, a 27-year-old OkCupid user from Illinois states, “Let’s see here… killing people quietly, killing people not so quietly, badminton, killing people with bladed weapons, killing people with guns, crossword puzzles, killing people with blunt objects, killing people with my bare hands, painting and killing people who beg me not to kill them.”

I wrote something a little more socially acceptable on my profile, added some meticulously posed photographs of myself in order hide my flaws and to better my chances in finding a more attractive young man, and impatiently waited for a response.

The first email I received was from a twenty-three year old from St. Paul, Minn. The subject was titled “wow,” and it read with poor punctuation, “i’d eat it.”

Thus ended my search for love online.

Annee Mayer-Chapleau is a junior studying creative writing. She loves astronomy and her main goal in life is to dance like David Byrne from the Talking Heads.