An article was published recently about the effectiveness of online dating. Some of their findings were about how people make decisions on who they will and won’t contact when they are browsing online dating sites. The report found that users were likely to focus on certain qualities they think are important in a potential partner, perhaps to the neglect of qualities that actually are important.
Attributes that are searchable on online dating sites such as income, physical attractiveness tend to be largely irrelevant to the sorts of hard-to-evaluate, experiential characteristics that promote positive outcomes in established relationships. Characteristics that can only be evaluated by face-to-face contact are things like rapport and sense of humour. These qualities are difficult to evaluate from a profile.
Online communication cannot convey the subtle ways of communicating that face-to face can – The tone of a voice, facial expressions, posture, dress and body language of a person are all lost online.
Online dating has become mainstream and has changed the dating world, but it can never replace the traditional way of meeting people offline in “real world” settings.