Online dating very popular, but many still meeting mates in traditional ways


When online dating websites first popped up nearly 20 years ago, many early users were viewed as weird or desperate.

That, according to UBC Okanagan adjunct psychology professor Jocelyn Wentland.

But fast-forward to 2019, most single people will tell you they have online dated at some point.

WATCH BELOW: (Aired Nov. 8, 2018) Can you make meaningful connections online?

“It’s become very popular,” Wentland told Global News. “If you think about where people are meeting their friends, how they are engaging online, it makes sense that people have just taken this to their dating realm, to the romantic realm, so it’s not so surprising.

“When you think about now, you might pay a bill online; you didn’t do that 30 years ago. And that’s just the same with dating; it’s just become part and parcel of a single person right now.”

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Wentland said there are a number of advantages to looking for love in the digital world.

“Online opens you up to people that you would just never meet in your day-to-day world,” she said. “That’s a huge, huge benefit.”

She added that another benefit of online dating is being able to filter out people who are not matches a lot faster.

But she said there’s also a negative side to digital love searches, including disingenuous intentions.

“Some people might just be window-shopping or they’re on Tinder with their friend at a party, just swiping around to see who is on there and you have matches on your phone you have no intention of following up,” Wentland said.

“So there is some kind of an almost game element to it, where it’s not that real.”

‘Dating Sunday’ the busiest for those looking for love online, experts say

Arun Alleluia started online dating nearly seven years ago.

“It seemed like the hip thing to do,” he said. “Everybody seemed to be doing it.”

And while the West Kelowna man is using numerous websites in trying to find love, he said he’d much rather meet someone the more natural way — in person.

“I would actually rather go to a bar or a coffee shop and meet someone more naturally,” he said.

Alleluia may find some comfort knowing that despite the popularity of online dating, many are still finding love offline.

“We had one study that we looked at that we asked people where they met, online or in person. And it was actually quite surprising: 70 per cent of people said they were still meeting in person,” Wentland said.

For now, Alleluia will continue looking for love, on and offline.

‘I’ll never give up on love,” he said. “I’d love to meet someone; it would be great.”


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Former teacher facing 27 sex charges dating to 1970s and 1980s


A 66-year-old Halifax man who worked as both a teacher and a volunteer coach is facing 27 charges in relation to alleged sexual assaults against more than a dozen youths in the 1970s and 1980s in the Halifax area.

Police began an investigation in October 2016 after several people came forward and reported being sexually assaulted decades ago, Halifax Regional Police said in a news release.

Investigators arrested Michael Patrick McNutt without incident at a home in Halifax Wednesday morning. 

He’s facing 14 counts of gross indecency and 13 counts of indecent assault — the charge that was in effect in the Criminal Code at the time of the alleged offences.

Police said the 13 victims were youths at the time they were allegedly assaulted. They said McNutt, who worked as both a teacher and a volunteer coach, was in a position of trust. Police said they will not release any other details to protect the identity of the victims.

McNutt appeared in Dartmouth provincial court Thursday. He was released on $1,500 bail with the following conditions: no contact with males under the age of 18 and to maintain a distance of more than 10 metres from schools, parks, community centres or places where youths may be. 

His next court date is Feb. 27.

Police said they anticipate laying more charges against McNutt and encourage any other victims to come forward. 

« They want victims to know they will not be judged, and will be treated with compassion, dignity and respect throughout the entire investigative process, » Const. John MacLeod said in the news release.


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‘Dating Sunday’ the busiest for those looking for love online, experts say – Saskatoon


During the week, online dating websites and apps see the most traction on Sunday.

Online dating experts have identified Sunday January 6th as the largest single-day digital love fest of the entire year, after an increase in sign-ups for online dating in the last week.

‘Dating Sunday’: Why you’re more likely to find love over the weekend is predicting they will have a 69 per cent increase in new singles logging in over any other day of the year. In Canada, over 1.5 million messages will be sent on ‘dating Sunday’ alone.

Swiping left or right has become a way for singles to meet around the globe. The dating app Tinder has over 50 million users every month, who are swiping approximately a billion times a day.

WATCH: How you can start dating as a single parent and how you should tell the kids

Locally, if singles are looking to meet someone off screen, Saskatoon Speed Dating offers the opportunity for people to meet face-to-face.

Amy Rederburg with Saskatoon Speed Dating said they have at least one event every month for singles looking for their match.

“I think people are really frustrated with dating,” she said. “It’s changed quite a bit and it’s really fast paced.”

Here’s what dating will look like in 2019

Rederburg explained people today are working longer hours with heavier schedules than in past years, meaning they have difficulty meeting someone organically.

“I think it’s really time and authenticity of people,” she said. “Talking to someone face-to-face is a lot different than talking to someone online and setting up a meeting, then you’re disappointed because they lied about who they are.”

Rederburg said they see a spike in the number of singles taking part in speed dating events in January and August.


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Le service de rencontres Facebook Dating arrive au Canada


Si le service est officiellement lancé au Canada aujourd’hui, il n’y sera pas entièrement fonctionnel avant quelque temps. L’entreprise veut attendre qu’assez de gens s’y soient inscrits avant d’y donner accès.

Contrairement à d’autres services de rencontres comme Tinder, Bumble ou Grindr, Facebook Dating n’a pas droit à son application indépendante. Les utilisateurs doivent s’y inscrire en passant par l’application Facebook.

Pour les relations sérieuses

Le réseau social veut en faire une application pour les relations sérieuses, et non pour les rencontres d’un soir.

Il n’est pas question de faire glisser les profils à gauche ou à droite pour signifier son intérêt. Les utilisateurs devront donc laisser un message sur le profil d’une autre personne pour entamer la conversation. Facebook dit avoir choisi cette approche pour éviter que les gens considèrent Facebook Dating comme un lieu de rencontres rapides et éphémères.

Pour éviter le harcèlement, Facebook limite les premiers contacts à un seul message constitué uniquement de texte. Si la personne interpellée ne répond pas, il n’y a pas de deuxième chance.

Seuls les utilisateurs de 18 ans et plus peuvent s’y inscrire pour y chercher l’amour.

Un profil indépendant de Facebook

Aucune information n’est importée du compte Facebook associé au compte Dating, sauf le nom et l’âge. Les utilisateurs doivent donc entrer les renseignements qu’ils souhaitent dévoiler, comme leur lieu de résidence, leur genre, leur taille, leur métier, etc. Il est par la suite possible de filtrer les suggestions de rencontres selon ces renseignements.

L’une des particularités de Dating est que l’application peut se servir des fonctionnalités de Facebook pour suggérer des rencontres. Les utilisateurs peuvent notamment choisir des événements auxquels ils ont assisté ou vont assister et indiquer qu’ils sont ouverts à faire des rencontres parmi les autres participants. Cela vaut à la fois pour les grands événements publics comme les festivals et les concerts que pour les événements privés comme un anniversaire.


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Facebook chooses Canada for Dating feature launch today


Mark Zuckerberg is ready to play matchmaker for Canadians.

His company Facebook Inc. will aim to make its social media platform’s users more than just friends with a new dating feature that will mark its North American launch in Canada on Thursday.

Facebook Dating, which was previously piloted in Colombia, operates with users creating profiles that are separate from their Facebook ones and kept out of sight of friends.

The more you share about yourself, the more there is potential exposure from a privacy point of view.– Imran Ahmad, cybersecurity lawyer

The company will recommend matches that users aren’t already friends with, but who share dating preferences, interests and if they’d like, mutual friends or groups and events.

The offering will support text-only conversations between matches in an effort to minimize « casual encounters » by building long-term relationships instead and will attempt to reduce catfishing — using a fake online identity to trick prospective love interests — by importing ages and locations from a user’s traditional Facebook profile.

« We were really thinking about how inauthentic experiences are making online dating really difficult… and preventing people from trusting online dating and forming a meaningful connection, » said Charmaine Hung, Facebook Dating’s technical program manager. « We wanted to make sure you could build that trust with someone. »

Privacy concerns

Facebook Dating’s Canadian rollout comes as the technology giant is embroiled in privacy concerns following a series of data breaches. The most high-profile came last winter, when the company admitted the data of up to 50 million Facebook users was misused by analytics firm Cambridge Analytica. User privacy was at risk again this September when the company reported a major security breach in which 50 million accounts may have been accessed by unknown attackers.

The company will recommend matches that users aren’t already friends with, but who share dating preferences, interests and if they’d like, mutual friends or groups and events. (Facebook)

Some experts said the dating offering will raise privacy concerns of its own and is unlikely to assuage worries about the platform — even if Zuckerberg previously claimed « we have designed this with privacy and safety in mind from the beginning. »

Tamir Israel, a lawyer at the Samuelson-Glushko Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic at the University of Ottawa, said he had concerns around how separate someone’s Facebook and Dating profiles will truly be because they’re contained within the same app.

« People will think there is a degree of insulation because they are deciding what goes into their (Dating) profile…but we have seen over and over again that those types of divides are difficult to maintain, » Israel said.

« It looks like, in spite of the challenges, they are making an effort to silo this a bit from the rest of their ecosystem, but the problem is they have a bit of a bad track record of eroding that over time. »

Privacy concerns are why Facebook has introduced Dating with a slew of measures aimed at « integrity and safety, » said Hung.

Users will have to opt in

For example, users will have to opt-in for the dating feature instead of being automatically enrolled. When they opt in, they will need to initialize their location services to verify they are in the city they are purporting to be in, but they can rescind that access once they’ve signed up.

There will also be a feature that allows people to be blocked and prevents users from messaging potential interests more than once, if the other person hasn’t reciprocated with a response.

If a user is overwhelmed with matches or wants to take a break from dating, they can pause Dating and if they decide the app isn’t for them, they can opt out and all their Dating data will be destroyed, Hung said.

« Good on Facebook for having thought through some of these issues, given some of the concerns they have had on privacy, » said Imran Ahmad, a partner at Miller Thomson who leads the firm’s cybersecurity practice.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks about the dating feature at Facebook Inc’s annual F8 developers conference in San Jose, California, U.S. May 1, 2018. (Stephen Lam/Reuters)

« The more you share about yourself, the more there is potential exposure from a privacy point of view. »

He said he was going to give Facebook the benefit of the doubt because it has pledged to address its privacy issues and has helped create a culture where social media users are becoming more attuned to privacy concerns.

« Arguably folks should be more comfortable with Facebook now given all the scrutiny they have gone through in terms of their recent missteps because everyone is watching everything they have done, » he said. « Their information is probably more secure than it was in the past. »


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