We are in an age of social media, of where everything in our lives centers on online communication: keeping in touch with family and friends, job networking, and dating. Online dating tends to have a negative connotation because you don't really know if the person you are talking to is really who they say they are. A big fear associated with online dating is that the person on the other side of the computer screen talking to a seventeen year old girl is a forty year old man. While I'm not saying that this isn't something that could happen, and that you should always practice good online safety procedures, there are definitely some pros to online dating, and cons as well.

Pro: Wide selection

Depending on the dating app that you use and whether you opt for the free version or the paid version (I used OkCupid for free and I found that was the best) you usually have a wide selection of people you can choose to message. Most apps will have you answer certain questions that determine your match percentage with another person. You can also choose to filter out your selection further by age and location. Then all you have to do is read through people's profiles and if you find one that you like, you can message them and hope for the best!

Con: Selection

The selection can also be a con because, from what I experienced, new people don't sign up often so if there isn't anyone appealing on there to you, then you might have to wait or try something else. I ended up changing my location to nearby areas a lot, and eventually the age, and that's what made the difference for me.

Pro: No face to face interaction, at first

For people who are shy or have some form of anxiety, online dating provides a good alternative to still meet new people, without any sort of face to face interaction. Not having to talk to an actual person allows people to feel more comfortable opening up and talking in general. After talking for a while (I would say at least a month) you definitely do want to have a face to face meeting with the person to make sure there's chemistry. (Also people tend to look different from how they look in a video chat.)

Con: Sleezy guys

For me, this was always one of the biggest cons. The guys that would message you because they were desperate or all the wanted was to have sex. It's usually pretty easy to weed out the serious guys from the sleezy guys,and the nice thing is on OkCupid you can apply filters for which messages actually get sent to you and which ones go into the filtered category.

Online dating can be a very good option for someone who is looking to be in a relationship. However, it is very important that if you decide to do online dating that you are safe about it. Never give out information like your address, your last name, your Facebook, your phone number, or anything that they can use to locate you until you have been talking for a least a couple of weeks and have had a video call. Having a video call is extremely important because it's how you can know that the are who they say they are.

You can also decide to go the tradition route as well and do both so that you have a lot of options available to you. The more options you have, the better your chances. I was skeptical about online dating for a long time until I saw a lot of people were having success in finding relationships. Then, I got really lucky and found a great guy from my online dating experience. I encourage other people to give it chance, I promise you won't regret it.