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The Problem with Internet Dating

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If you recall my post on Incredibly Specific Dating Sites (Darwin Dating is still the scariest!), I like to write about the subject. In my opinion, the problem with Internet dating is not meeting people; it's knowing when to stop meeting people. I should know, because for all intents and purposes, I met my fiancé online. And while sure, some part of finding your other half is simply perseverance and ultimate good fortune, another, perhaps larger part, is knowing the best game plan. Just like in hockey, the way a coach has to know when to pull his goalie, so must those who subscribe to online dating services know when to pull their profiles.

With more than 40 million people using online dating sites now, the very idea of meeting your partner via the Internet is no longer taboo. And it's awesome that so many people are doing it. But the more people using the services, the more tempting it is to keep your profile up even after you've met someone you like. Why? Because someone better could always come down the pike, right? And besides, what if it doesn't work out with the new person you like? Why miss out on the next person, or the next, or the next...

Why indeed. My theory is this: you need to give the person you like a fair shot, without distraction. And if you keep your profile up, you're not doing that... you're still playing the field, as it were. Of course, this is just my opinion. You may have another, and if you do, by all means, that's what the comments are for! Meantime, here are some factoids that aren't opinion.

Online Dating Magazine estimates that there are more than 120,000 marriages a year that occur as a result of online dating. (Online Dating Magazine - 2007)

-U.S. Online Dating Market to Reach $932 Million in 2011 (JupiterResearch)

- 31% of adults in America say they know someone who has used an online dating service. (Source: Pew Internet & American Life Project Report: Online Dating, March 2006)

- In 2003 it was estimated that three million people paid for an online dating service listing. (Source: Jupiter Research)

- In the first half of 2003, consumers spent over $214 million for online dating services. This number is 76 percent higher than the same time last year. (Source: Online Publishers Association)

- On average, those paying for online dating services spend a total of $239 per year. (Source: Jupiter Research)

- It is estimated that the financial growth of online dating will reach $642 million in 2008. (Source: Jupiter Research)

- As of February 2005, 33% fewer consumers are browsing online personals today than one year ago, causing the industry growth to slow considerably. (Source: Jupiter Research)

- Consumers spent $214.3 million on personals and dating content during the first half of 2003, up 76 percent from the same period in 2002. (Source: Online Publishers Association).

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Live Smarter
Make Spreadsheets a Whole Lot Easier With This Excel Trick
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While data nerds may love a good spreadsheet, many office workers open Microsoft Excel with a certain amount of resistance. Inputting data can be a monotonous task. But a few tricks can make it a whole lot easier. Business Insider has a new video highlighting one of those shortcuts—a way to create a range that changes with the data you input.

Dynamic named ranges change and grow with your data, so, for instance, if one column is time and another is, say, dollar value, the value can change automatically as time goes on. If you do this, it's relatively easy to create a chart using this data, by simply inserting your named ranges as your X and Y values. The chart will automatically update as your range expands.

It's easier to see in the program itself, so watch the full video on Business Insider. Microsoft also has its own instructions here, or you can check out this video from the YouTube channel Excel Tip, which also has dozens of other useful tutorials for making Microsoft Excel your hardworking assistant.

[h/t Business Insider]

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History
Marshall McLuhan, the Man Who Predicted the Internet in 1962

Futurists of the 20th century were prone to some highly optimistic predictions. Theorists thought we might be extending our life spans to 150, working fewer hours, and operating private aircrafts from our homes. No one seemed to imagine we’d be communicating with smiley faces and poop emojis in place of words.

Marshall McLuhan didn’t call that either, but he did come closer than most to imagining our current technology-led environment. In 1962, the author and media theorist (who is the subject of today's Google Doodle) predicted we’d have an internet.

That was the year McLuhan, a professor of English born in Edmonton, Canada on this day in 1911, wrote a book called The Gutenberg Galaxy. In it, he observed that human history could be partitioned into four distinct chapters: The acoustic age, the literary age, the print age, and the then-emerging electronic age. McLuhan believed this new frontier would be home to what he dubbed a “global village”—a space where technology spread information to anyone and everyone.

Computers, McLuhan said, “could enhance retrieval, obsolesce mass library organization,” and offer “speedily tailored data.”

McLuhan elaborated on the idea in his 1962 book, Understanding Media, writing:

"Since the inception of the telegraph and radio, the globe has contracted, spatially, into a single large village. Tribalism is our only resource since the electro-magnetic discovery. Moving from print to electronic media we have given up an eye for an ear."

But McLuhan didn’t concern himself solely with the advantages of a network. He cautioned that a surrender to “private manipulation” would limit the scope of our information based on what advertisers and others choose for users to see.

Marshall McLuhan died on December 31, 1980, several years before he was able to witness first-hand how his predictions were coming to fruition.

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