Many baby boomers see themselves as trendsetters. This is great news for online dating sites and the industry itself.
The Associated Press recently reported, “Half of all people ages 40 to 69 are either divorced or separated, and 30 percent have never married. Baby boomers are turning to the Internet, speed dating or the old fashioned hook-up for companionship.”
Many dating websites now report that the over 50 crowd makes up one of the fastest growing segments in the online dating world. In referring to online dating, Stephanie Coontz, a family historian of the Evergreen State College in Washington recently said, "people in their 40s and 50s don't want to be hanging out at bars. Now they have access to this incredible pool of single people their age."
Boomers find online dating very convenient. They have less hang-ups about meeting people online then the generation before them. They appear to be more comfortable with themselves and realize how convenient online dating can be. They don’t necessarily turn to online dating as the only way to meet people, but they certainly see the convenience of adding online dating as a way of complementing the more traditional ways of meeting new people.
How will baby boomers change the face of online dating?
Baby boomers will change the online dating industry through their expectations of customer service levels and their honesty about themselves.
Two of the biggest criticisms of online dating are the level of customer service members receive from individual dating websites and wondering if the profiles that are posted on many of the sites, are real or fake.
Boomers have come to expect first class customer service. They will not tolerate poor customer service from an online dating website site that charges them a monthly fee while not providing an easy way to access customer service. They will not tolerate dating websites that clearly do not have contact information posted. Baby boomers will not tolerate having their credit card charged for membership renewals without their consent.
This is a good thing because it will force online dating websites to increase their level of customer service to attract the disposable income that comes from dealing with baby boomers. In order to attract baby boomers, online dating websites must do a better job of meeting the needs of this very important customer base. Baby boomers expectations will increase the overall customer service level of the online dating industry.
Baby boomers are also very comfortable about who they are as a group. Many baby boomers are past the “I care what other people think” stage of their lives. They are more interested in doing what they think is right for them. They are more honest about themselves and expect the same from others.
With this freedom, baby boomers appear more likely to post their real pictures online.
Baby boomers also appear to be less tolerant of other people who misrepresent themselves online. Because they are comfortable with themselves, they are less likely to jump right in to a relationship. They are less likely to believe they must act now.
People who post a real picture and real description about themselves in their profiles are more likely to have success with online dating.
Hopefully, this will become the standard for the industry.
An increase in customer service and an increase in honesty can only be good for online dating members and the industry itself.