The World Wide

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By Lauren Townsend > Junior > Elon University > Journalism
“There are plenty of fish in the sea, and the smart ones are swimming online,” exclaims University of California Irvine graduate Lisa Holden, who created her own online dating success story. Holden picked online dating as the topic for her senior thesis and signed up for all of the free dating websites. She met her boyfriend on during her research and has been with him for two years.


“I think if your Facebook says “Single” and/or “Looking for: dating or a relationship,” you’re using Facebook for online dating. Perhaps not actively pursuing anyone, but you are putting yourself out there with who you are and what you are looking for,” Holden says. So one may already be online dating and not even realize it.

According to Laurie Davis, online dating coach and founder of, “Students in college do less traditional dating and more social media dating. [Whereas students] just out of college, are on more traditional sites,” she says. While college students tend to use social media because of its familiarity, Davis suggests that they try using more traditional dating sites, such as free sites and “Their demographics tend to be more heavily college-age and the vibe is more casual,” she says.
SNAP Interactive CEO Cliff Lerner suggests to “integrate the AreYouInterested Facebook App, and the AreYouInterested iPhone app so you can meet people on any platform, seamlessly.” All of these services are free and link together. “Someone who uses our products literally has millions of potential singles available to them in a few clicks of a mouse so it’s just a great tool to expand their network of possibilities,” Lerner says.
While there are stories about online dating gone wrong, Davis thinks that it’s become less of a concern as more people are turning to online dating seriously. “There are too many [success stories] to count,” says Davis. “We get e-mails all the time about marriages and even babies that have resulted from couples who met on the app.”
5 Tips for Dating Online
1. Ask questions. The best way to initiate a conversation is to act like you’re already in one. If someone’s profile says they love the author David Sedaris, send a note about your favorite David Sedaris book. Much better than a “hi, how are you?”
2. Vary your photos. Have one of you dressed up, one more casual and at least one of you doing something fun. A picture is worth a thousand words, after all.
3. Look your date up online through a Google search before you meet. The more information you have going into the date, the better prepared you are to meet in person.
4. Make sure your username isn’t otherwise associated with your life (ie. your name, e-mail address, Facebook).
5. Don’t have your first meeting late at night…that will only lead to the bedroom.   

Top 5 Dating Sites
1. wants users to recognize that online dating can be simple, and is simply ok! There’s no pressure to find the perfect match or your soul mate. If you have some extra time between classes take some of Okcupid’s free quizzes. And, no matter which way you swing, is a comfortable place to find your next date.
2. It is a fact—there are plenty of fish in the sea—and this site has the statistics to prove it.  If you are hoping to find your soulmate, then dive in and swim around. The best part? Besides the free access to all its features, check out the forums where you can dish about your dating experiences (horror stories included!).  With the right chemistry, you are bound to have a tug on your line.
3. Just say it out loud, “Zoosk.” Not only a fun word to say, is fun to spend time on. It’s one of the only social dating sites that connects people through multiple networks—meaning a Facebooker could score a date with someone on MySpace. Zoosk’s lighthearted cloudy blue-sky background helps remind you not to take online dating too seriously.
4. If it takes two to tango, then will help you find your eternal dance partner. Fill out your free Duet Compatibility Profile and you will be on your way to your first dance at the fraternity formal.  Its dating tips and advanced matching capabilities will help you find your next long-term relationship.
5. According to the website, “1 in 5 relationships start online and more of them start at” To find out if this is true, enter your zip code, register for free, and then you can look around. approaches dating like shopping for a pair of jeans: narrow down the selection—with tools like Match Words—and you’ll find the perfect fit.

 Image courtesy of

College Magazine Staff

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