Welcome to CNET's Love Syncs, where we answer your questions about online dating. I'm Erin Carson, staff reporter, resident young-enough person, refrigerdating correspondent, curator of odd stuff on the internet, most likely to leave you on "read."
This week: Let's all dial down the judgment, k?
Q: Is there still a stigma around online dating?
A: If you've spent anytime on The Apps, you're bound to have run into a profile or two containing a line like this in the bio: "Willing to lie and say we met at a bar."
That sentence encapsulates the state of online dating. Basically everyone's here but some folks are still a skosh weirded out by it.
Attitudes toward online dating have changed quite a bit over the years. Back in 2016 the Pew Research Center noted that in 2005, few people they polled were familiar with online dating, but 11 years later, 15% of adults in the US said they'd used online dating sites and apps. An even more recent study from Stanford University researchers, published this year, said 65% of same‐sex couples who met in 2017 actually met online, and for heterosexual couples who met in 2017, the number was 39%.
You know what that means? *Climbs nearest tree with megaphone* ONLINE DATING IS A THING.
In a world where you can order a burrito to your couch and a car to your front door, some folks also turn to their phones to find dates.
But I'm not here to tell you what to think about online dating, or anything else for that matter — unless you're one of those people who liked Grease 2, in which case you are WOEFULLY MISGUIDED. See me after class.
Look, everyone's got an opinion. About everything. (Ask me about Netlflix's trailer autoplay!) That means there are going to be folks out there who think online dating is weird or desperate or any number of negative things.
None of that matters. If you like online dating, if you think it's worth doing, that's reason enough to do it. If anyone gives you lip, tell them you're swiping left on their bad vibes.
And if you're someone who doesn't really get the whole online dating thing, perhaps because you met your significant other at an alligator rodeo like people USED TO — that's fine.
But it also might be worth considering that times change. If you think meeting at a bar is the right way to find a partner, don't forget that once upon a time, marriages were essentially business transactions and marrying for love is actually a relatively new concept. (This is all great news because my family is FRESH out of dowry cows.) Just because it's not what you did, or you don't understand it, doesn't mean it can't or hasn't worked for other people.
CNET's Love Syncs is an advice column focusing on online dating. If you've got a question about finding love via app, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration.