Meeting “The One”
Finding Love Online
Social networking and online dating sites have become vast trends. Many people are turning to them to search for love, friendship, sexual encounters or simply to connect with interesting people. Though online dating may be perceived as unsafe or desperate, online dating platforms can be entertaining and open up opportunities for connections otherwise unfathomable but only if the right site is chosen.
Story | Ashley Johnson
Graphic | Matt Duchesne
okCupid is the most feature-rich of the online dating platforms. Its user-friendly, social-network-like interface makes it ideal for college students seeking anything from friendships to love. Adding to its appeal, it fits in a college student’s budget: It’s free!
Though the pros outweigh the cons, one distracting point would be that, even after answering a thousand questions and getting some really satisfying matches, there is no filter to stop the incompatible ones from flooding inboxes.
Plenty of Fish
Although the graphics of the site are pretty outdated, Plenty of Fish (PoF) is free and has a large database of users that helps distract from the site’s lack of visual appeal. Also, with shorter personality profile descriptions to formulate, users can jump right in. Active forums and the ability to give public feedback leave it up to the users to moderate the site.
The atmosphere of PoF seems to be a little superficial. It has gained a bad reputation due to an increase in fake profiles and real users opting to be only interested in sex. Those without the time might want to fish elsewhere.
One aspect that sets Match.com apart from the other two websites is that it isn’t totally free. Setting up a profile is free and easy, but communication tools are only for paying customers. Its basic interface is somewhat disappointing yet may be ideal for older users or those that are intensely focused on finding love.
Due to all of its successful matches, it’s not surprising that Match.com has been reported as the safest online dating site. It offers the most privacy options and its emailing system is “double-blind,” ensuring that communication remains confidential.
While the science of online dating is pretty sketchy no matter which site is chosen, The Ampersand recommends using okCupid for wading through all of the bad fish and finding a well-suited match.