Monthly archives: January, 2016


How Online Dating is Encouraging Hook-Up Culture

It seems that our culture has many different opinions on the topic of “hooking up”. Some describe the act as sleazy and degrading, while others describe it as natural and empowering. Despite what anyone has to say about it, hooking up seems to be becoming much more common, and the world of online dating and free sex is partly responsible.

In the 70’s, the act of sleeping with someone without being in a committed relationship had already become more widely accepted. With the introduction of birth control, people were finally free to have flings without the threat of pregnancy. It was also around this time that people started to throw away the conventional idea of getting married after college, making casual sex a little more necessary than it was before.

Although there were fewer barriers which stood between people hooking up, there was still one barrier leftover which continued to threaten the possibility of it happening altogether. Before “hooking up”, one has to “pick up”. The problem with this is that in our culture, one does not simply walk up to a desirable mate, ask them to have sex, and have the odds work out in their favor. In our culture, this is how one gets a drink thrown in their face.

Needless to say, although people started having casual sex a little more frequently in the 70’s, its rise was at a standstill. That is, until the World Wide Web came around. And with the World Wide Web came dating platforms.

In the 90’s dating platforms were starting to spring up all over the place, changing the way the population thought about dating. Match was one of the first to come out, giving people the power to not only broaden their list of potential mates but also approach one another with more confidence. When you’re divided by a screen, you can be whoever you want to be. You can pick someone up with a witty one-liner without tripping over your words, and rejection is also a lot less painful. Not to mention, a screen can’t exactly throw a drink in your face.

That being said, dating platforms finally gave people the freedom to openly ask for sex without risk of harsh rejection. If the other person isn’t into it, no harm was done and a long list of potential matches still lingered at your fingertips. Dating platforms caught onto this trend and to simplify the process of hooking up they even began asking their users the kind of relationship they were looking for. This information was then displayed publically on the user’s profile, “casual sex” being one of the options to choose from.

Online dating has bestowed upon the public features which make the act of “hooking up” easier than ever before. In our fast paced world, there are an estimated 8,000 free dating websites and apps which are aiding people in their quest for casual sex, 2,500 of these websites existing in the USA alone.

And statistics go to show that there could be a strong correlation between the rise of online dating and the epidemic of casual sex. A recent survey shows that a shocking 87% of college students have had casual sex with someone before while 60% of the teenage demographic will at some point have sex with someone they’re not in a relationship with.

These statistics are shocking the nation, causing many to worry that the rise of hookup culture will destroy the idea of a loving relationship forever. While this fear is rational, other statistics show that the idea of getting hitched won’t be done away with altogether. Surprisingly, 12% of hookups do eventually lead to these loving relationships our culture is so afraid of losing. So, maybe the act of having sex with no-strings-attached really isn’t as bad as some people think.

In the end, sex is a natural human desire. It’s good not only for our physical health but our mental health as well. If the internet and technology are making sex easier to come by, we believe that we’ll see a culture of more open-minded, happy, and healthy individuals. As long as online dating doesn’t do away with the idea of love and committed relationships entirely, we believe that only good things are to come.


Online Dating Today and in the Future

It seems less people are finding love face to face to instead look for it in the virtual world, recent statistics show.

Online dating has brought a whirlwind of new experiences to the population. Now, people can find love at their fingertips and in the comfort of their own homes. There’s no need to dress up for a tipsy, loud night at the bar or sit through a horribly awkward blind date anymore. People are marketing themselves through the likes of dating platforms the same way American Eagle markets ripped jeans through their web store, and instead of destroying the dating experience, it seems this sort of behavior is actually enhancing it!

There has been lots of stigma regarding online dating and hook-up culture lately. It seems that the more popular online dating became, the more popular random hook-ups became as well. With this coincidence, it’s easy to assume that dating websites have been turning our culture into a raunchy wasteland of meaningless sex. Statistics, however, show that the correlation between the two may be nonexistent.

In 2015, it seemed that those using online dating websites were looking more for a meaningful relationship than they were for casual sex. 64% of those surveyed claimed that common interests were the most important factor to finding a partner online whereas only 49% of those surveyed admitted that physical characteristics were the most important factor to finding a partner online. This information could preach a much more respectable future for the world of online dating, perhaps even one which (for the most part) leaves hook-up culture in the dust.

eHarmony is also looking at a bright future in the world of online dating. Recent research released by the prosperous dating platform estimates that by the year 2040, 70% of relationships will have a WiFi connection to thank.

While this kind of estimation seems to a little farfetched, current statistics don’t deny the possibility of it. At the moment, online dating websites are filled with 50,000,000 members from the US alone – that’s 15% of the entire US population! This number is steady on the climb too, as internet connection is becoming easier and easier to come by. A staggering 80% of the population has a home internet connection, either through computer or on a mobile device.

Statistics in Britain also hint at an epidemic in online lovers. A survey sent out in 2015 revealed that more than 50% of those who are happily hitched would gladly jump on board with a dating website if they were ever single again. The real kicker though is that research done in 2012 shows that 47% of Britain’s marriages end in divorce. Maybe it will be the queen’s nation which will lead the world into an online dating craze…

Or perhaps it will be the older generation. eHarmony estimates that by 2030, the number of 55-64 year old users on dating websites will raise by 30% – from 1.87 million to 2.41 million.

We’ll give it to those guys without any further investigation, though. Who better to take advantage of online dating than the generation responsible for the birth of the internet in the first place?


Case Study: Zoosk

Zoosk was founded in 2007 by life-loving entrepreneurs, Shayan Zadeh and Alex Mehr. The pair are nothing short of genius, Zadeh having graduated the University of Maryland with a master’s degree and Mehr with a PhD. Zadeh went on to work at Microsoft and Mehr with NASA, but the two left their stable jobs behind to pursue something they saw to be far more important – love.

They designed their dating website on the foundation of values, philanthropy, and diversity. They wanted to be able to pride themselves in bringing people of all sorts together, to create relationships which encompass qualities both lively and loving. Since the beginning, they have been motivated to help people find whatever relationship they may be looking for in a way which is innovative, safe, and entertaining. The pair has surely succeeded in all these things and more. The platform is now available in 25 different languages and in 80 different countries worldwide.

Their success, however, did not come without struggle. Despite making revenue of $200 million in the year of 2014, the company actually lost money. It seems while in such a hurry to expand the platform, they had let a few too many silver dollars dwindle down the drain. In order to survive, Mehr and Zadeh were forced to make some huge budget cuts, cancelling their IPO and laying off 15% of their ever-growing team. Additionally, they required that users have a paid membership to send messages to one another, a risky move which could have potentially drove business away.

Their risky moves did eventually pay off though. Fast forward to today and Zoosk is not only the number one dating app, but also amongst the top 25 apps available in the app store altogether. Their platform has grown to more than 40 million members, making Zoosk the top dating website on the market today.

The company owes their success to the fact that their platform varies substantially from the rest. For many years, the gap between dating websites and social media was unbearably large, but Zoosk set out to change this. Unlike other dating websites, Zoosk connects their members more universally through profiles they might already have set up on other websites. This allows members to get a more thorough look into each other’s lives before deciding whether or not they’re interested. Creepy as it may seem, it offers the change and innovation which those in the online dating community have been craving for years.

Along with offering members the option to engage on other platforms, Zoosk also makes an effort to simplify the dating process. They focus on the things which make online dating fun, and less on the things which tend to complicate the process. To create a profile, users simply fill out a short questionnaire, a couple personal details, and upload a few photos. Then they are free to browse through the many profiles the platform has to offer.

If their process didn’t work, the platform wouldn’t be successful. Zoosk’s “Success Story” page is filled with thousands of personal stories in which users share how Zoosk led them to their “happily ever after”. It seems Zoosk is beginning to counteract the epidemic of divorce rates with a splash of modern day love, a movement we are hoping to see more of.

How the internet has changed the dating scene

Swiping, scrolling, clicking, and messaging… this is what the modern world of dating looks like. While the older generation shakes their head at the idea that we’re now seeking out our potential spouses from behind a screen, the younger generation breathes a sigh of relief.

While the dating scene did become more lax towards the mid 1900’s, men were still expected to make the first move, and only to women they could find in the immediate surrounding area. Needless to say, pickings were slim and competition was fierce.

Premarital sex was finally becoming more and more widely accepted with the introduction of birth control towards the 21st century. The Women’s Movement had also given ladies the empowerment they needed to start making first moves too, which opened up the world of dating even more, and especially for the men of the shyer variety. Despite these advances, one problem still remained: partners could only be sought out in the immediate surrounding area.

Then, in 1994, the world was given exactly what they needed to supercharge their dating experience – a dating website! was the first one to open its doors. While people were reluctant towards the idea at first, it soon gained popularity and became a dating tactic so widely used that it’s now hard to imagine our world without it.

Dating websites proved to be more than just a fad as they help people who would have otherwise never had the chance to meet connect on a deeper level. Personality quizzes bring the most compatible of people together while levels of attraction are easily determined with a quick flip through profile photos. The stress and anxiety of making the first move ceased to exist, as they could now be conducted flawlessly through the barrier of a screen rather than awkwardly through face to face interaction. And this all goes without mention of the fact that the dating radius expanded considerably, bringing loads of new, friendly faces into the immediate realm.

While there are lots of positives that come with online dating, the trend comes with a couple negatives too. For instance, it’s impossible to get a real judge of character simply by sending a couple messages back and forth, and there are quite a few people who use the service simply as a means of “hooking up”. That being said, many people looking for a serious relationship become frustrated with the process and give up on it after a while.

Yet regardless of the negatives, it is still estimated that more than 8,000 dating websites are connecting people around the world as you read these words. Even more shocking is that a whopping 17% of all marriages that happened in the past year owe it all to the magic of online dating.

These stats go to show that while the concept of online dating has its downfalls, it still isn’t as taboo as it may seem. So we encourage you all to swipe, scroll, click, and message your heart out. Your soul mate could very well be hiding behind a screen at this very moment, and they’re easier to find now than ever before!

How the Internet Changed the Way We Communicate

On December 21, 1990, the internet had its first website go up. This means that just recently, the internet celebrated its 25th birthday – and what a sensational 25 years it has been!

Every minute, more than 204 million emails are sent. And every second, more than 1,900 Skype calls are made and more than 52,000 Google searches are conducted. That’s an unthinkable amount of learning, sharing, and communicating to happen in the matter of a minute, all of which would not be happening without a WiFi connection. Over the past 25 years, we have watched the internet defy all odds, making the impossible very possible, and especially in the way of bringing people together.

It’s difficult for us to now imagine a world where Facebook doesn’t exist to help us catch up with our Aunt Mindy’s, or where Twitter doesn’t exist to share what we had for breakfast. Sure, this kind of behavior can be seen as destructive to real human connection, but if done the right way, it can also greatly enhance the way we connect and communicate.

Social media, for example, brings us closer together with those we hold dearly from afar. In the past, the strongest of friendships may have admitted a sad defeat to the barriers of long distance call charges and cost of airfare. The internet, however, is helping us keep long distance friendships alive. Social media sites allow us to connect with all of the people we love on a daily basis, and even provide us means of communication necessary for making plans to meet face to face.

Dating websites have found people the relationship they would have searched a lifetime for on their own.  Strategic software matches people who are compatible on a deeper level, ensuring that each couple is a couple built to last. Thanks to dating websites, people can avoid the awkward bar scene to instead find the person they’ve been dreaming of with the touch of a button and in the comfort of their own living rooms. Many have the internet to thank for finding them their soul mates, and even bringing their children into the world.

On top of that, the internet has made it possible for people to make a living and support their families without even having to leave their beds in the morning. That’s right – people can apply for jobs, be interviewed for jobs, work a job, and get paid for a job all through a stable internet connection. The online freelance community is a fast growing one, with careers in the areas of journalism, accounting, graphic design, programming, marketing, legal, and even engineering becoming more and more readily available. In fact, it’s estimated that a staggering 53 million Americans have hopped on board with the freelance community (that’s 34% of the entire workforce)!

And if you don’t have the credentials to become a freelancer in one of those fields, the dream is still closer than you think! Courses conducted entirely online are beginning to educate the people of today, with a real degree being available upon completion.

So while it is unhealthy to remain glued to your Instagram feed at a family function or document an intimate and private date for the world to see over Snapchat, the internet is bringing lots more good into our lives than bad. Without the internet, we wouldn’t be able to share, learn, support, or communicate with each other in the instantaneous way that we do – the way that is shaping our generation into one so unique from generations past. Years from now, we’ll be telling our grandchildren about how we saw the birth of the internet happen, and their eyes will only widen in amazement.

If you want to learn more about the origins of the Internet, watch also the documentary.

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