First of all, I have a very long commute — over an hour and change each way on a good day — so I have an unusually long time to ponder many different topics. Politics, employment challenges looming on the horizon, the US consumer economy, love. So, today, my thoughts centered on internet dating. There is no dispute that the internet has changed the way information flows, is gathered, is questionned, is believed. However, for the younger demographics, internet is what Encyclopedia Brittanica was to my generation growing up.
For the Gen X and Gen Y’ers, the internet and the concept of internet chatting and dating is a given. But for the 50 – 75 age demographic, internet dating is…well, just darn intimidating.
Sidebar: I only learned WordPerfect 4.0 in 1990. I learned how to use a computer by becoming a “Kelly Girl.” Signing up as a temp with Kelly, meant that you could take a tutorial on WordPerfect. Needless to say, I passed with flying colors. Needless to say, they didn’t teach me how to turn on the computer, pull up or save a file, or basic formatting! Needless to say, my first job as a temp ended abruptly after it took me a full day to type a document and then turn off the computer without saving the file.
Visit any current internet dating site — from Match.com, to JDate.com…even to my own Gen Plus Singles. Leaping from demographic to demographic, the 20-somethings looking for online love number in the multi-millions, the 30-somethings follow close behind. Pickings get slimmer…significantly slimmer for 40-somethings, and for 50-somethings…well, it becomes challenging.
Even as the older demographic is USING the internet far more, it is not their preferred resource for meeting a love match. They are wary of posting pictures online, unsure as to internet protocol, and the toughest part is that they lack the self-confidence of youth. If you are visiting this blog, it is either because you are 50 plus or because you have a parent who is. In any event, I’m interested in hearing your thoughts on the challenges facing 50 plus daters…your stories, your laughs, your successes.