Online dating south africans
“You’ve got the questionnaires on online dating sites, but on Facebook, you can demonstrate how you’re involved and, because of the elements posted by others, you can almost get a truer assessment of people.” Something that he believes is essential to finding people you’re more compatible with.
Though, it’s this very argument that, David points out, is detrimental to online dating.
“Online dating has become much more mainstream,” explains David.
In the old days, it was thought to be the realm of geeks and sad, lonely people.
Not to mention, in his 2012 critical analysis of online dating as compared to offline dating – it’s the most recent study conducted worldwide – he and his co-researchers found that many of the matching algorithms used by online dating sites actually depend on aspects that aren’t crucial to compatibility.
Strike one: she reports that her online dating site’s compatibility quizzes seemed “off”; she was found time and again to be most compatible with 59-year-olds from Durbanville, not exactly flattering for a young city centre draughtswoman and 3D visualizer working at cutting-edge furniture design company Pierre Cronje.
I think that’s one of the big appeals.” He ultimately agrees with Helen though, saying, “The objective of online dating is actually to meet face-to-face; our success is our failure.” A statement that the young draughtswoman takes one step further.
She reports that if you don’t meet up within two weeks of meeting online, there’s really no point in continuing the virtual flirtation. Finkel, a professor of social psychology at Northwestern University, reasons, “People aren't reducible to a list of characteristics, just as cake isn't reducible to a list of ingredients.” Meaning, two-dimensional communication can’t replace the romantic chemistry that people establish when meeting each other offline.
Yet, since its South African inception in the mid 90s, online dating has ballooned into a third-party matchmaker consulted by more than a million people each year.
While no comprehensive study’s been conducted locally since Ramon Thomas, a Netucation online behaviour expert, collected data from nine different digital dating sites in 2004, a present-day look at the largest and most expansive online dating company’s database indicates that, at the very least, the virtual platform’s growth is ‘going steady’.
According to David Burstein, COO of The Dating Lab, a business that comfortably commands a fleet of some of the country’s most well-known sites, his database alone counts between 800,000 and 900,000 people (that means roughly 10% of South African Internet users have delved into digital dating).