Many Australians have embraced love with the usage of online dating websites vowing to make your ideal dream partner an astonishing reality. With the internet enslaving the global world with a mere click of your finger, one is left with infinite possibilities of finding a perfect match. Renowned Sociologist Sue Malta from Melbourne’s Swinburne University shares how love knows no boundaries and with the advent of digital dating, the world only seems too small now. She further states that “We aren’t all about villages anymore; we’re about global and I think that’s just how our relationships are looked at now.”

People are always on the hunt for effective internet dating tips that might make them strike luck. These astonishing statistics give an interesting insight about psychological working of the online dating websites. Okstrend used a database of 7000 photographs of users of OkCupid dating website and found that flirty pictures of women showing eye-contact with the camera generate more dating response from men. For men it was looking away from the camera posing with a serious look. Rosen et al study of 2008 found that positive expressive words like “excited” and “wonderful” resulted in forming of good first impression on the opposite gender.

Online dating websites lure users into a fantasy bubble of idyllic love and blissful moments with your dream lover. Online agencies’ claim to fame lies in fact that public blindly falls for such illusionary perceptions. Dutton et al found in its recent 2009 survey that 9% of married couples met each other through online dating sites. A further study by Nielsen in April 2010 showed that on average Australians spend 7 hours or above engrossed in social networking sites and 63% of such internet dwellers have an active Face Book profile. Such high internet usage automatically reflects high activity on dating websites in Australia, which has been taken as a growth cue by the virtual dating industry. Currently there are around 1.5 million dating profiles existing in Australia which have been predicted to grow to a further 2 million by end of 2020 – and why not? 4 out of  every 10  Australians have accessed these speed dating sites with new technology in search of online relationships.

A contradicting question that stems from such pro-online dating statistics is – Can we consider online dating a safe medium for finding love? A few gruesome incidences have occurred that contribute in spoiling the image of such online dating tools. Teenager Carly Ryan was murdered on the South Australian coast in February 2007 by a man she found online. Another teenage girl- Nona Belomesoff- met the same fate in Sydney’s south-west. She was murdered by a man who befriended her on Facebook. Such incidences expose the dark side of this virtual setting and which puts at risk the user’s safety and security.

Psychologist Anne Hollonds, former CEO of Relationships Australia cautions the masses that online partners can be deceiving.  She says “As humans, we’re wired to be a little cautious to be assessing the other person through multiple channels all at once. As the internet is usually just text-based, just one level of communication, it leaves massive room for misunderstanding, as well as deception.”

What are your experiences of online dating in Australia? Let us know by adding your comments below.

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