This decision was hard to come to, because online dating sort of seems like it was custom-made for someone like me who is spectacularly afraid of social rejection, likes to go to bed at 10 PM, talks way too much out of nervousness, and is generally the sort of girl who buys panties in an extra-large value pack at the drugstore. I do enjoy window shopping at fashionable boutiques, so I know there are girls who buy really cute lacy panties that have cheeky designs on them like flowers across the bum. Those girls don't need online dating, probably.
In any case, I will list the arguments most often given in favour of online dating, then will address them one at a time, like I did with clubbing:
1) It's a more efficient use of time because it's mostly people who are looking for the right relationship who do online dating, so you don't have to deal with people who just want to mess around.
2) It's a more efficient use of time because you don't have the time or resources to go out and meet enough people any other way.
3) It's a more efficient use of time because you can focus immediately on people who share your interests.
4) It's a more efficient use of time because you don't have to go through the whole rigamarole of flirting and playing around and can cut right to the chase.
5) It's a more efficient use of time because at least you're going out on dates when you do online dating.
Here are my responses to these arguments:
1) It's actually not a more efficient use of time. My assumption, which I believe to be correct, is that everyone on earth is theoretically looking for the right relationship for them, but that does not mean the right relationship for them is with me or you. This is true online as well as off.
2) It's actually not a more efficient use of time. If you don't have the time or resources to meet people any other way, what you are saying is that you do not have an active social life. I don't believe that I of all people am saying this, but if you don't have an active social life, you should reassess your priorities because online dating will not solve your problem. Even if you meet a great significant other, you will probably continue to be unhappy because you will continue to not have an active social life. By the same token, if you do have an active social life, you will probably find you don't really need online dating.
3) It's actually not a more efficient use of time. Shared interests, like liking the same movies or the same sports, don't matter at all. Chemistry and shared values matter. If you have those, you will surely be able to open your mind to the other person's interests. Someone's online profile can't tell you anything about their values or the chemistry they may have with you.
4) It's actually not a more efficient use of time. Do you think you could accurately assess whether or not you found someone attractive on the basis of seeing them only once in such a contrived situation? I couldn't.
5) It's actually not a more efficient use of time. Going out on dates with arbitrary people doesn't mean you are getting closer to finding the right person. Granted I may be unusually hard to like, but I would say that in order to make a new friend, which is to say someone who can stand talking to me for more than five minutes and laughs at at least one of my jokes, I probably need to meet between 50 and a hundred people - and that's to make a friend. To meet a significant other, the odds will obviously be far less favourable, since you only have one of those at a time. This means that when someone met their partner through online dating, even if they say they went on tons of bad dates, they probably actually had a stroke of luck pretty close to the beginning because I can assure you that nobody will go on three thousand or so bad blind dates. You will burn out way before you get to that point.
As far as I can tell, the best answer to dating woes is still to just be a social animal and try to meet new people naturally. That way, if you have nothing to say to someone, politeness won't demand that you sit with them and have a coffee for an utterly tedious hour. And if you do have something to say to someone, you can go for an untedious coffee with them, and you can say it.