"The 30s are a weird age to be dating; I wouldn't even know how to go about it without online dating," he says.Denise and Wally are two of the dozen Madisonians who shared with me their online dating stories. Whether driven by necessity or curiosity, everyone seems to be doing it these days, and few are shy to talk about it. It's so commonplace now, it's neither scary nor particularly embarrassing," says Sarah, a 31-year-old Ph. student who has been using Ok Cupid to broaden her otherwise-small graduate school world.
Most users fell in the ripe age bracket of the mid-20s to mid-40s.
As with much of life, the Internet has colonized the dating landscape.
Nationally, the stigma around online dating is fading.
The Pew poll showed that 21% of Internet users think online dating is only for the desperate, an eight-point decline from 2005.
(Perhaps this lingering stigma is why most of my interviewees opted to hide behind a pseudonym.) "It no longer feels like a movement of desperation," says Ann, 40, who has dated online on and off for the past 10 years.
Not only has it allowed her to break out of her largely paired-up and insular social circle, it has also given her a sense of control over the uncontrollable.
Toma studies the psychological effects of social networking, including online dating.
Research shows that, not surprisingly, geographic proximity is a top indicator of whom we'll marry.
Therein lie the hope, the horror and the humor of online dating in Madison. 'organic' Now a nearly 20-year-old phenomenon, with the birth of in 1995, online dating seems to have reached its prime.