Online dating feedback

“All kinds of people are doing it,” says Caploe, 54, a publisher who lives in New York City.“It was—unbelievably—not a crazy experience.” Online dating has certainly lost its lonely-hearts stigma.

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They are gatekeepers to a massive population of potential partners; they control who we meet and how. So Consumer Reports decided to survey almost 115,000 subscribers about online dating and their experiences with it.

Collectively, we spend huge sums of money on matchmaking, not to mention all the time and substantial emotional investment. Given that we usually rate products (like refrigerators) and services (like banking), this is new and fairly unusual territory for us.

“It’s a product of the growing normalcy of using social media apps,” says Moira Weigel, author of “Labor of Love: The Invention of Online Dating” (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2016).

“Our real-life and online identities are more and more interwoven.” Because of this cultural shift, online dating sites now have unprecedented reach into our lives. Reams have been written about online dating, but as far as we know, no one has put the sites to the test.

It really is a consumer issue worthy of our attention." said Margot Gilman, money editor for Consumer Reports.

Overall, respondents preferred free sites like Ok Cupid, Tinder and Grindr over paid sites like Match and e Harmony, in part because of the value.

Dating does not include listings for all dating sites.

On Valentine's Day, some singles may be inspired to step up their dating game. Amy Giberson, now 34, was reluctant to try internet dating again but she decided to give it one more shot in 2014. There are a slew of sites and apps to help singles find love and, for the most part, they work, according to Consumer Reports.

Participation by those 18 to 24 has almost tripled since 2013, and boomer enrollment has doubled.

In fact, people over 50 are one of the fastest growing segments.

Just look at how many people seeking dates or mates are flocking to matchmaking sites and apps.

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