Is online dating passing its prime?

Hand painted online dating ad on my block

One of the most under used parts of is the journal part.

The journal is like a mini blog for each user on Okcupid, very few people use them but the ones which do generally receive more attention. So its handy to reveal more about yourself, if your not like me linking to there own blog etc.

I tend to use the journal to write about online dating, which is a kind of meta (writing on a dating site about dating sites) but its great for getting opinions from others OKC users. Of course you also great journals from other users too.

One such user published a journal post titled, is online dating passing its prime?

When it was new but past the stigma of being for losers I recall a lot of people going out on online dates and not hating them. I could be projecting but it seems most of my friends seemed to have a bit of fun from online. Now all the blogs and stories and journals are filled with either banality or dating misery. Bad dates, inflated expectations, laundry lists, a consumer mentality, the numbers game, cut and paste messages, perpetual disappointment, deception, no substance. All of these things seems to be the experience of many who online date. I’ve known people, good decent people, who try a couple of dates and remove their profile because it is a lot of work for little payoff.

OKC made a huge mistake by phasing out the journals because that was actually a really decent way to interact with other people. You got to know people, good and bad, over time and sometimes indirectly. It seems much more sophisticated than the typical online dating ritual.

The post goes on but I sent a message to the user sympathising with the thoughts about the online dating and’s plan to remove journals and other non core stuff from the site. I proposed the idea that social dating (which you could argue Okcupid is a part of) is growing and that kind of fly’s in the face of the old idea of online dating. That user then suggested it might be a generational thing.

I think there is a generational thing going on that is creating a gap for the 30-50 crowd. Those in their early 20s seem to be using Facebook for everything (dating included). But I don’t see too many in their 30s for contacting people who they don’t know well for dates. The other thing is that Facebook isn’t really geared for singles as its purpose isn’t meeting other singles.

Could be right… hopefully this is the kind of discussion we’ll have on Thursday 12th July at the next Relationship 2.0 event.

Everytime I hear or think about the state of online dating, I think about my lifestreaming dating idea, further expressed when reading this post about the mainstream acceptance of lifestreaming

Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.