Answer: only if you play by the rules. But, apparently, people don’t. The founder of Plenty of Fish, the UK and US’s most popular dating website, has announced a bunch of measures to stop abuse, including scrapping an “Intimate Encounters” section of his website because it “can be summed up as a bunch of horny men talking to a bunch of horny men pretending to be women.”
The Independent quotes his message to the site’s 3.3m users, in which he claims that only 6,000 of those who use the site are women looking for casual sex. The rest? Well, “the ones with hot pictures are mostly men pretending to be women,” he said.
Is there any hope for lonely (but not horny) hearts?
In short, yes. Online dating is the third most popular way to meet potential partners. One in five of the world’s relationships starts with a click of the mouse, and online dating is so popular in the UK that the Office of National Statistics added it to its measure of inflation.
So when should you go online looking for a date?
Christmas, according to the stats. Online dating sites get three and a half times more traffic post-turkey than pre-, according to the Daily Mail.
Is it dangerous?
There are plenty of scare stories. Many of them are very likely true, but actually it doesn’t seem a whole lot more dangerous than normal dating (which is definitely no walk in the park).
Is it biased?
Of course. Women are more likely to get replies to their messages than men and there are usually more men online looking for hook-ups than women. But I’m pretty sure women ignore men a lot in real life too.
Bottom line: I wonder how long it will be before most relationships start online…?
[NB: I have disabled comments on this post because irritating spammers keep trying to sell ‘free’ sex. If you are one of them, bugger off]