FOX 29 Explores Online Dating In Young Adults - KMSP-TV

FOX 29 Explores Online Dating In Young Adults

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Koba, a successful online dater Koba, a successful online dater
Arielle Pardes, sex and dating columnist for "The Daily Pennsylvanian." Arielle Pardes, sex and dating columnist for "The Daily Pennsylvanian."

It used to be that online dating was something for adults only. Now students, college age and sometimes even younger, are heading to the web. But, why exactly? And, what are they looking for?

He's not a shy guy. And he definitely doesn't have trouble approaching the ladies. In fact, there's even a video of him serenading complete strangers on YouTube.

So why is this handsome 21-year-old Drexel student going online to meet girls? It's simple: efficiency.

"Lack of time. It's easy to find girls there. It's easy and it's an additional option," he says.

With classes, studying, jobs and internships, Koba Khitalishvilli is not alone in being super busy. And thanks to websites like date my school dot com, he's definitely not lonely, either.

"It's good for some people who don't have the time," agrees a man on the street.

"I don't know, maybe eventually, if I needed to," reflects another person on the street.

"How many dates have you gone out on, total?" asks FOX 29's Kerry Barrett.

"Total? 15," Koba replies.

In fact, more and more young people are going online to look for "love," or at least, "like," or maybe just "lust." Koba says about 60% of his friends have online dating accounts.

"Hook-ups are the most frequent thing I get from online dating websites," he says.

"It's a one billion dollar industry and they are seeing that there is this whole market that they can tap into, so we've really seen a rise in apps that are catered to younger people," says Arielle Pardes.

Arielle Pardes is a sex and dating columnist for "The Daily Pennsylvanian." She also happens to be a student at the University of Pennsylvania.

It may not be for everyone, but Pardes says that her generation is raised on technology and addicted to their smartphones. They do everything else on them; why not date? Like Koba, she says her generation is pressed for time, and it's sometimes easier to find a date online than it is to go out and try to meet someone.

"I have had friends who have seen great success and others who have epic failures," reflects Pardes.

But, just like in the real world, what you're looking for in a date determines where you look. Pardes says that there are three tiers to online dating: tier one, you've got your match dot com, eHarmony kind of thing, where people are a little older and usually looking for something serious. Tier two:

"There are a lot of websites or apps that are generated for people who want to date, but maybe a bit more casually, like "Coffee Meets Bagel," where you get a new match every day at noon and it's someone you can have a fun date with, but not necessarily someone you would expect to be your soul mate," she explains.

And then you have "those" types of websites, tier three:

"Some people will say they just want casual sex. In that case, you can use something like Tinder, and it will give you someone to hook up with. Problem solved," she explains. "There is no algorithm to see if your personality may click. It's really just, are you attracted to their picture? And, if so... you can hook up with them."

"Short term dating is a better word," says Koba.

Whatever you call it, when it comes down to it, Koba says the three tiers are not much different than what you might expect from meeting a potential date at the library or at a bar.

"She's in the library, you approach her. ‘Can we go out?' She goes ‘yes,' and you go out. You go online, find her, ask her, ‘hey can we go out' after a couple of messages. She goes ‘yes we can.' It's the same thing," concludes Koba.

Both Arielle and Koba say that they don't know anyone who has developed a long-term relationship through online dating. And they both agree that nothing can replace the face-to-face connection with someone.

Courtship, Pardes says, is a lost art, or at least an evolving one, because the way students ask one another out is not the same as how their parents did it.

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