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Searching For Love In Britney’s Poker Room

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Where do broken hearts go? Can they find their way home; back to the open screen of a chat room waiting there? And if somebody searches, what are they searching for? They look at the query bar, and know a poker game is there somewhere My apologies to Whitney. Wait. After that reality show with Bobby, she should apologize to us.

It seems Romance (yes with a capital R) is in trouble in America. Perhaps after those Subway commercials, Cupid snapped his bow and left for Europe. According to Pew Internet, only 16% of single Americans polled said they were searching for love-or even a date. That group represents only 7% of the entire adult population.

Only 5% of US Internet users used paid dating websites in 2005, according to Jupiter Research, a 1% decline from 2004. Most users cited high prices as their reasoning for not signing up.

“Only one-third of internet users who went to online dating sites in the last year became paying subscribers,” according to Jupiter’s Nate Elliott.

In Europe, however, the torrid flames of passion are licking at the combustible door of paid dating services. Online dating surged 80% in 2004, even if it slowed a little last year.

The decline in paid dating services may be a reflection of the surge in popularity of free community websites like MySpace, which has something like 57 million members at last count. In the UK, says Nielsen/NetRatings, member community sites attract over half of the Internet population.

Another factor may be more localized, highly targeted services like FarmersOnly.com, that helps the crofter plow a larger field. This jives with Pew data that says 55% of those actively seeking dates said it was difficult to meet people and this was especially true of those living in non-urban areas.

So, if the majority of American singles aren’t looking for love on the Internet (or anywhere else for that matter), what are they looking for?

Lycos released its list of top searches for the week before Valentine’s Day, and it seems that after the panicky “must find something or she’ll kill me” top search, America’s mind is just about as far from love as it can get.

Top 10 Lycos searches for the week ending February 11, 2006:

1. Valentine’s Day
2. Poker
3. WWE
4. Pam Anderson
5. Britney Spears
6. Super Bowl
7. Love Poems
8. NFL
9. Paris Hilton
10. Pokemon

Football and chicks. I’m sensing a skew here that I can’t quite place my finger on. I’m saving my poker and liquor jokes for another time.

I hardly know her!

Darn it. Never was good at that waiting thing.

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Searching For Love In Britney’s Poker Room
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