Online dating websites, as well as cell-phone dating apps, are beginning to establish a stronghold in the dating realm. This method has recently become a popular mode of finding a significant other.

According to a recent study done by PEW Research, 18 percent of young adults are picking up their laptops to find love.

The study also reported 23 percent of online daters claim to have found his or her spouse or long-term relationship through websites such as OKCupid.com, Match.com and Eharmony.com.

Recent polls have also found that college students are joining this pool of online daters. Dating sites such as Date My School, Campus Hook, University Love Connection, Student Love and College Passions have been locked in as the top 5 dating sites for students ages 18 to 24 in the past few years. In addition to these websites, apps such as Tinder, Bumble and Grindr have been on the rise as an effective method of meeting a potential love-interest.
Plattsburgh State senior Dylan Farnan met his boyfriend, Ryan Folts, on Grindr.

“I’ve never had a problem with dating sites or dating apps. I met my last boyfriend on a dating app before I met Ryan,” Farnan said. “As long as you’re being careful about who you’re talking to, they can be a good way to meet people.”

Despite his experience, Farnan said a lot of the times dating apps are used only for hook-ups.

“At a college age, not many people are looking for anything serious. I wasn’t. I never planned on dating Ryan, but I ended up liking him a lot. You never know what could happen,” he said.

Since 2005, online dating has steadily increased in popularity on college campuses. Although most students use the online forum for simply finding hook-ups or friendships, some, like Farnan, are now looking to find a steady relationship in their later schooling years.

PSUC senior Joseph Kelly met his wife, Kayleigh Williams, online.

“Right at the beginning of 2013 I was a League of Legends streamer on twitch.tv and a member of d2jsp.org. Kayleigh was also a member of d2jsp.org and an avid League of Legends player,” Kelly said. “Kayleigh saw my stream on twitch.tv via a recent tool that had been added to d2jsp.org to promote peoples’ stream channels and decided to get in touch to ask questions about my game play.

“The first time I heard her voice was when I was introduced to a Skype group conversation by a mutual friend of ours.”

When the two met, Kelly was living in Plattsburgh and Williams in the United Kingdom. They said that through the Internet, they were able to discuss everything from personal interests to their daily habits.

“I think that (dating websites) are good because they support a lot of intentions, whether that be friendship, one night stand, long-term or whatever you are looking for. In our case neither of us was seeking a relationship of any kind —it just kind of happened that way. It was destined.”

Kelly and Williams are not alone, either. According to the New York Daily News, one-third of all online relationships end in marriage.

“I think that this is the best way to meet someone,” Kelly said. “We met online as friends. There was no reason to fake anything or hide. We were both just completely open with each other as there were never any motives or anything to gain. We were on opposite sides of the world.”

A major factor as to why online dating and dating apps have become so much more popular on campuses is because of their simplicity. With the click of a button or the download of an app, one is able to begin searching for companionship.

Most dating websites or apps are set up in a way that you can add a few pictures, some personal details, and a few of your hobbies. Scanning through members of an online dating site tends to come with far less stress than approaching someone at a bar.

Email Courtney Casey at courtney.casey@cardinalpointsonline.com

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