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Should You Use A Free Dating Site?
There is a stigma sometimes in people's minds, related as the 'something for nothing' fallacy. People say, 'You get what you pay for.' And that's true in just about every aspect - until computing came along. Since the boom of the Internet Age, economists are confronted with the puzzling model of the free content or free service website.
This extends all the way to operating systems; you can get Linux, BSD, and many other systems, plus all of the software you can run on them, for the price of a download and burning them to disk. Install it and use as much as you want; you can even modify the code (hence the term open source) and redistribute it as much as you want.
In websites, the factors are that web hosting is so cheap these days that you can be an A-list blogger with 100,000 visitors per month for pocket change. The revenue comes from advertising. Consider Google, which in providing search and also a huge number of other services, is supported by advertising and appears to run on almost nothing.
In online dating websites, free is actually the normal course. Even before the Internet, people could take out a 2-line ad in the classified section of the local newspaper for free.
When the Internet was in its infancy, Bulletin Board Systems (BBS), email group lists, and Usenet access was also a free culture, and many of these had a subsection for personal messages. Instant messaging is another example, as many such services have age-segregated chat rooms where singles can meet and mingle. It wasn't until only recently that personals websites started charging to post and reply to ads.
There is not a bit of difference between the quality of dating you'll find on a free dating site and a paid one. The difference is simply that some sites charge for membership, and some are ad-supported. After all, it isn't like there's an elite group of bachelors and bachelorettes who reserve themselves exclusively for paid websites! You're in online dating to find people, and the people you meet on the free site are pretty much the same people you meet on paid sites.
And yes, successful meet-ups and lasting relationships happen on free dating websites. If you poll amongst your friends and acquaintances, finding out from the couples how they met, a sizable number of those who met online will say that they did so without having to pay a personals website.
But even more so, we owe it to ourselves to keep as much content and services on the web free for as long as possible. Free services tend to promote an atmosphere of liberty. With all the alarming news out there about net neutrality and the media industry trying to stamp out free file sharing, plus the various countries out there which are censoring Internet content, we need to push for all the liberty they can get.
They did it with television; remember when it was all free? Now we pay for it on a channel-by-channel basis with cable and satellite. Did the quality get better? Did the number of commercials you have to watch on the average channel even go down some? Well, there you go.