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People hear success stories, try it for themselves, shed the stigma, and later proudly announce: "We met on an online dating service."
It started with the very first couple to ever meet online. The year was 1982 when Chris Dunn met Pam Jensen on a CompuServe CB Simulator program. Computer users nationwide were able to be connected in an early version of a chat room. After a few months of virtual chatting, Chris flew from New York to Chicago to meet Pam face-to-face. People said it wouldn't last, and even Chris's father thought it was a joke. But a year later, Chris and Pam exchanged wedding vows.
Their courtship and wedding were featured on numerous television programs and in newspaper articles, including a New York Times story titled "Of Bytes and Bulletin Boards." That was more than twenty-five years ago, and Chris and Pam are still in love and happily married.
These days, of course, a couple falling in love online is hardly newsworthy. But Pam and Chris were charting new territory. "At the time," Pam recalls, "computers weren't as pervasive in our homes and our daily life. To a lot of people, especially my parents' generation and their friends, it seemed very alien, a very suspicious concept to even be communicating like that."
Today the couple lives on the north side of Chicago. "If it weren't for the way we met, I think we could be any other married couple," says Chris. "I've always adored her. She adores me. It's very easy to love my wife."
That part may be easy, but from the start, Chris and Pam had to put up with a great deal of suspicion from others. And so have a lot of other couples who have sometimes felt compelled to hide the fact that they met online.
It's Called "Stigma"
"How did you two meet?" The question was posed to a group of newlywed wives at a Sunday school function.
Going around the circle, each took a moment to tell her romantic story. Then it was time for Tracy to speak up: "We met over the Internet."
There was a moment of silence.
Then the teacher commented, "Really! Why would an attractive, outgoing girl like you need to resort to such drastic measures?"
That's "stigma"—a socially discrediting means of classifying others as going against the norm. It's an undesirable stereotype. It conjures up disapproval, disgrace, and shame, and it's based on uninformed impressions.
This Sunday school teacher is a perfect example of someone who perpetuates an uneducated social stigma of online dating. But truth be told, the above exchange took place more than a decade ago. Today, these misinformed impressions about online dating are few and far between.
So if you're embarrassed by an out-of-date stigma of online dating, you've somehow gotten stuck in a fleeting notion that died out years ago. Yes, it used to be that finding love online was looked at with suspicion. But so was nearly everything else about the Internet. After all, this newfangled mechanism is not that old. It was only August 6, 1991, when the first Web site was built to explain what the World Wide Web was and how you could own a browser and set up a Web server. What? Most people scoffed at the visionary idea of using our computers to buy shoes, download music, or book a hotel room. So why in the world would anyone look to the Internet to find love?
Of course, that was then. This is now. And today, the stigma of online dating has all but vanished. Everyone knows someone who has found the love of his or her life online. Even well-known celebrities talk about using matching sites to find love. We do enough marriage seminars in churches around the country to know that in every congregation there are couples who proudly identify themselves as having been matched online. Sure, some uninformed holdouts still insist on perpetuating the stigma, but their numbers are dwindling quickly.
Your Grandmother's Internet?
If you're looking for evidence that online dating has all but shaken off any remnants of embarrassing stigma, just look at the generation before yours. You may think that some older people rarely even turn on a computer, but you'd be wrong. We all know how popular online dating is for younger generations, but—are you ready for this?—the fastest-growing group to use online dating sites is single seniors.
When seventy-year-old Hilda Gottlieb's husband passed away six years ago, she was determined not to let her loss get the best of her. So she turned to online dating.
"I was 64 when my husband died, and I knew I was not going to be alone for the rest of my life," Gottlieb told the Palm Beach Post.
Gottlieb stumbled upon the profile of then-seventy-two-year-old Marv Cohen and decided to e-mail him. That e-mail led to an in-person meeting and an eventual romantic relationship. They have been enjoying doing things together ever since.
The point is that online dating these days is viewed as socially acceptable even among many of the people who were perhaps the most suspicious of it a few short years ago.
Online Dating Is Now Hypermainstream
"The stigma [of online dating] has definitely dropped because people are advocating for it, talking with their friends [about it], sharing stories with families," says Lija Jarvis, director of a large survey study on Internet dating. Another study, conducted by the research firm Chadwick Martin Bailey, shows how quickly online dating—in existence for less than two decades—has revolutionized the way people find and pursue potential mates.
"It does seem to have displaced all other forms of dating," says Susan Frohlick, a cultural anthropologist at the University of Manitoba who has studied online dating. "I would say that it's been in the last five years that it's become hypermainstream."
So if you are embarrassed by a passé prejudice against online dating, do your best to move beyond it. Swallow your irrational pride, and the outdated stigma you're holding on to will disappear.
Any remaining stigma about online dating you may still hold is only going to weigh you down in this process. So here are some tips for getting beyond it.
Talk to fellow cyberdaters: If you think that dating online means you're doing something reprehensible—something that's simply not done—you need to talk with some of the millions of others who are doing it. The more you talk to others who are dating online, the more you will see how normal it can be.
Talk to some dot-com-dating success stories: Just as talking to some online daters may help you see this process for what it is, so will talking with some couples who have found their soul mates online. You'll find them in any church. Just ask around. Nearly everyone knows someone who has gotten married as a result of meeting online. Ask some of these people how the process was for them. If they are like most online matches, they will be thrilled to tell you their stories and relate their experiences.
Check out online dating books: If you need further evidence of how mainstream cyberdating is, peruse the relationship section of any major bookstore. You'll see countless books on finding online love. In fact, there are so many that some are even directed toward specific groups, such as baby boomers or widows and so on.
Excerpted from dot.com dating by les parrott leslie parrott Copyright © 2010 by Les and Leslie Parrott. Excerpted by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Posted April 4, 2011
This book opens up with a good introduction to a really interesting book, it shows you how to find the right guy while avoiding the freaks, players and losers. It goes step by step to find the right guy to not only completes you but sets into place what God has meant for the person to have. We live in a world of freaks, losers and of course people who are into playing games. This book shows you how to get your partner through watching for the warning signs, how to set up a good profile and of course proper dating etiquette. Be clear with what you want and what you expect while matching what that person would want as well. It's a great book and I recommend it for the person not having any luck in finding dates or someone with bad luck finding the wrong people-this books will help!
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Posted April 20, 2011
Confession time: I've tried online dating, and it didn't go so well. So when Tyndale offered me the chance to read "dotcom dating," I was eager to see what it was all about. Would I learn something, or would it be a rehashing of all that I'd learned from my previous forays into the world of internet dating? The answer leans heavily toward the latter. Now, I'm not saying the Parrotts don't give good advice--they do--but most of what they cover I already knew. Still, they offer a good reminder: It's not "weird" or "desperate" to utilize online dating sites. In fact, it makes sense, especially if you live somewhere somewhat remote (as I do). Also, they stress the importance of keeping friends and family in the loop as far as your online dating experience goes--that's something I didn't do well the first time around because I was embarrassed to let people know, fearing they'd think I was desperate. I don't think someone who has experience in the world of online dating needs to read this book. However, I would recommend it for the person who wants to try online dating but is hesitant, or for the friends and family members of people who are trying online dating--because in my experience, those are the people who still question the validity of looking for love online. **I received a free copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for my honest review. The opinions expressed are my own."Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 20, 2011
This is a nonfiction book about the reality of today's dating scene. With the immense popularity of the internet, dating has certainly changed. More and more people are using internet sites to meet and date people. This book addresses all aspects of using the internet to date.
Times of changed - a lot! A lot of people who did not grow up with the internet may find it awkward to even think about using the internet to date. This book addresses that concern and many others. This book is divided in three sections: The Six Big Myths of Online Dating; Six Ways to Know if Online Dating Is for You; and, Five Questions You Absolutely Must Ask Before Signing Up. Each Chapter is titled to be very specific to the content, making it useful to look up specific questions.
I have been skeptical of online dating, but this book is a valuable resource. Read it and follow the advice and you will most likely find internet dating extremely helpful in meeting your mate. The authors are thorough and cover what seems to be every possible mistake that someone new to internet dating may make. It is very helpful.
I like the fact that it is a little book that is short and to the point - a very fast read. I also like how Chapters are titled to be very specific to content, making it easy to find a particular topic quickly. All chapters also have the important points emphasized at the end. This is a Christian book, so it's target audience is Christians. I believe everyone can benefit from this book, though. I highly recommend it.
Tyndale House Publishers sent me a complimentary copy of this book for me to review. This in no way influenced my review.
Posted April 20, 2011
What is your opinion of online dating? You've heard of e-harmony and a number of others; do you think they are for real? Is it possible that there is a stigma about "having to resort" to online dating?
Drs Les and Leslie Parrott want to dispel any negative connotations that come with dating on the Internet with their book, Dot com Dating.
This is a very small book. It's pretty much a gift-size book that dives into the myths about online dating, questions you should ask each dating site and ways to know if you're ready to use online dating.
The myths include:
Using online dating means you're desperate
Only liars, losers and freaks use those sites
Online dating goes against God's purposes
Some of the questions to ask are:
Does the site help you go past a picture and paragraph
Is the site lined up with your beliefs
Is it dedicated to helping you find true love
And then the kicker comes at the end.
These authors have created their own online dating service and suggest that you use their new website to find your future spouse. Isn't great that they would offer this nice advice before asking you to patron their site?
This book was provided for review, at no cost, by Tyndale Publishing
Posted April 17, 2011
"Online dating is for those who can't get a date the old-fashioned way." Phrases likes these, and other myths about online dating, are what Drs. Parrot & Parrot try to dispel in this book. The Parrots show that, when used properly, online dating can be a very useful and effective tool for finding that "special someone." It is not to be looked upon as solely for the social misfits. Gone are the stereotypes of online daters being the Quasimodos of the world. Online dating sites are being used by managers, students, blue collars, white collars, university-educated, and high school dropouts. It is for this reason that this book was written. It gives helpful tips on how to use online dating sites, some pitfalls to avoid, and if online dating is even right for the reader. However, what I enjoyed from the book was its simplicity. Drs. Parrot and Parrot do not give all the answers but merely good, sound advice on how what online dating can do and what it cannot. **I received this courtesy copy from Tyndale in exchange for this review.**Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 11, 2011
You don't have to observe very far to know what this book is about. Dr. Les, and Leslie Parrot sum it up very quickly on the front cover. This book is actually quite reassuring though for people who remain interested in online dating , and the taboos that still halt people from trying it.
This book is easy to read, and organized in a way that darts right to the point. I'm not quite sure why "avoiding the liars, losers, and freaks", is on the cover when that section is only a part of the book. You'll also learn whether finding someone online is right for you, and why people have the stigmas they do about online dating. Whether you are beginning to contemplate online dating, or one of the ones who feels embarrassed you're trying it, dot com dating will provide insight for you.
I found the book to be interesting, and truthful to what I've heard from people about online dating. The majority of the book isn't making up what really happens in the online dating world. As I said earlier if you're beginning to sign up, and see what online dating is about then this book is a quick guide to what to expect, and how to approach it tactfully. If you're an online dater who is ashamed, then this book covers why you're feeling that way, and reassures you the social stigmas aren't true. There isn't anything new introduced in this book, but considering how quickly people are to fall prey to what this book discourages it's worth reading for that reminder.
After reading I was confused by the intent of dot com dating though. I felt the authors made a good point, and would recommend it to someone trying online dating, but I also felt I was being marketed something. It isn't completely bad to take advantage of what you can to market, but it can leave readers not as accepting of the advice.
I received this complimentary copy from Tyndale House in exchange for a review.
Posted April 6, 2011
Have you ever tried online dating, but were scared to try it? Do you fear that dating online will take the romance out of the relationship? Many singles have answered yes to these questions others. Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott have written dot.comdating to help you avoid the liars, losers and freaks in cyberspace, and rule out all those myths that causes singles to be scared of online dating. Some of the myths are: dating online means you're desperate, online dating carries and embarrassing stigma, and online dating goes against God's guidance.
Through out the book you'll learn that singles, divorcées, and widowers from their 20s to their 80's have tried and have had success at online dating. There are dozens of real-life stories, some are heartbreaking and others are embarrassing. You'll also learn that a free dating site may not be the safest bet to find someone.
Being single, I was eager to review this book. I couldn't believe that the first couple to meet online was in 1982, I was one-years-old! And the couple is still married today. This story and other stories in the book will give you hope in finding true love. Here's one tip, when writing a profile, just be honest about whom you truly are. What makes dot.comdating different than other books about online dating is that this is from a Christian perspective. The only complaint that I have for the book, is at the very end, the authors are pushing their own online dating website onto the reader. I can't tell it they wrote the book to encourage people to find love or promote their site. Despite this setback, I enjoyed reading the true-life stories and recommend this to others.