Granted, life will be definitely be quite different until a vaccine is created and tested for our global pandemic: COVID-19. If you doubt me search for “SNL: The Sands of Modesto” on www.youtube.com with actor Daniel Craig and the SNL cast, for a humorous glimpse of the future. As we shelter-in-place, wear barriers, limit our outdoor activities to purely essential ones, keep our social distance in public, even if it hurts, can the Internet–that weird invention by the Department of Defense (DARPNET) using the phone lines, to protect our nation’s computer data from attack be it domestic or foreign, back in the late sixties–be of assistance here. The answer is a qualified: Maybe. Remember imagery online is two-dimensional at best, and therefore, users can lie in many ways. For example, posting images that are not current or even their own along with false data to accompany those images.
Moreover, a bachelor who has never been married, I have used online dating for decades. In fact, I recall when newspapers changed five dollars to readers so they could respond to three personal ads they liked in the personals section, via USPS snail-mail. These ads contained no pictures. Talk about blind dates…
Consider www.Meetup.org. The site has changed over the years. You used to be able to just search for whatever activity intrigued you: Dating, hiking, religion, singing, running, photography, etc. Now you have to register, upload your picture and submit a number of interests. Then their software displays suggestions. Then you are allowed to search their database. Of course if you feel your privacy is being invaded unjustly, just upload any picture and make up your personal data. Your call.
However, dating sites are a tad trickier and far more deceptive. People lie about virtually everything: Marital status, age, location, even looks. There are only two free ones I recommend. When I say free, I mean it is actually free for you to participate in free two-way communication, although in the process you will have options to spend money, but do not have to. Frankly, I have paid for dating sites and I have used the free options. I find both ways to be very similar in the intended outcomes. The two sites are www.PlentyOfFish.com (a site based out of Canada, not the US) and www.OKCupid.com (a US company). Both sites have apps to download to your cellphone. Two free dating sites I absolutely do not recommend are www.Tinder.com and www.Bumble.com. A whole column could be written on each site mentioned above. For now, I have had no nibbles on either Tinder or Bumble for years. I have gotten actual dates on POF and OKC. Hint: Demand honesty and remember, establishing dates offline, without the Internet, does not always work either. Vigilance!
Ted Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL.,CKMI., has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A CDCR law librarian and instructor with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include, creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, a SUNY Communications Instructor, a YMCA Director and a Certified Krav Maga Instructor. His first book The Librarian’s Guide to Employment in the Information Age is now available on Amazon.com