Online dating seems to be the in thing - lots of my friends have met people through online dating sites and done really well at it.
To be honest I have never really taken it seriously - I mean it's always been up there with people who send in the ads to lonely hearts columns in the paper for me (do they still do that?) however I have actually met people off the net from forums, facebook and other sites and have pretty much always done well with it.
Years ago, back when the internet was slow and whiny (hello dial up!) and chat rooms were basically mIRC, aol or yahoo and I was a fat and ugly (but not spotty go me and my perfect skin) teen I actually made loads of friends through chat rooms - I also made loads of enemies - sorry aol for crashing your chat rooms and servers with smiley bombs! (I'm using a LOT of brackets in this post - for those that dont know - back in the day you could crash a chat room by using smileys - it worked like this - smileys are graphics, graphics are large, the internet was dial up and could only cope with so much data being uploaded at a time - to create a smiley bomb you would copy and paste in notepad :) :) :) a few thousand times (it was important to do it in notepad as notepad would leave it as text rather than convert it into smileys - afterall you didnt want to crash your own machine) then copy and paste the whole lot into a chat bx for a chatroom. You would hit enter and as soon as it was sent x out of the room. The deluge of yellow smiley faces would kill the chat room and crash it out and it would usually take a few mins for it to reset) anyways, the whole crashing chat rooms aside, I made lots of friends online.
In fact I pretty much spent all my time online late at night and into the early hours chatting to people in the USA and Oz who shared my love of pagansim, horror movies, emo music and buffy the vampire slayer! It got to the point that I remember my mum dragging me to the GP when I was 15 and demanding he do something as there was clearly something very wrong with me as I would stay up all night on the internet and then skip school - she was convinced I had some sort of autism (to be fair she still thinks I have Aspergers or autism but I like to think that I am just a socially awkward fuck up!) he told her I was just a typical teen and she left it at that.
Things were okay until I announced at 17 I was flying to Nashville in Tennessee to stay with some people off the internet I had met for a few weeks - went down like a lead balloon, my nanna was convinced I was going to get abducted or killed, but I had a job (thank you ASDA) and a passport and I booked it all myself and I went off and survived - in fact I had a pretty bloody amazing time - Nashville is fantastic, I went to Memphis too and Graceland, Dollywood (hilarious!), the Smokey Mountains in fact I went all other Tennessee and it was just a load of fun. The people I stayed with were really nice, I went to their church where I was like the second coming - a strange alien being from Wales - they LOVED my accent, other people form the chatrooms came to join us we had parties it was just the best time ever! I was kinda gutted when I had to come home again to people who didn't recognise who awesome I was.
Anyways since then I have met loads of people online and in real life too - through Uni I met up with fellow Neopet players who lived in Scotland, I went to a handfasting on the Orkney Isles of friends from a pagan forum, I spent many wonderful weekends in London with a random guy who loved Placebo, I met up with french guy who I met on a Disney forum in London and spent the day oozing our love for Disney (we remained friends and both actually worked at Disneyworld in Orlando together - he's nw back working at DLP and we remain in touch) as well as lots of other people with shared interests.
I personally love chatting to people online because I dont have to fake anything I can be as obnoxious or weird as I like and so can they then if we actually met up 9 times outta 10 we get on super well because we already KNOW each other from our crazy online chats and yes I have even ended up dating a few of them too!
So as we go into the new year I find myself thinking why havent I really considered online dating? I think it's because there used to be such a stigma about it - and you get all those stories about people lying or using old picture of themselves and so on and so on - but the stigma does seem to be lifting - people will happily proclaim they met on tindr or match etc so I have decided to take the plunge and put together an actual coherent profile and see what comes of it.
I have to be honest I am a bit nervous - I am not exactly Angelina Jolie and therefore I decided that Tinder is not for me! I am also cheap so have decided to try out a free site. My profile is written - its not particularly witty or bright but then neither am I so thats fine! So fingers crossed I get some messages and see where this goes :)