It’s not so easy to discern the genuine article from a lie online, those looking for a shag and those looking for a wife. Profiles can sound similar. Sporty male looking for adventurous girl. How do I know? Well, I tried it. A friend persuaded me to join up. promised the highest matchmaking results and said they would help me find my one true love. He had some recent success and four couples in his group had met online. One couple swore their undying love and would soon marry. How bad could it be? There used to be a stigma attached. This appeared to no longer exist. How was I not aware that everyone was online dating? I soon found out.

After signing up and getting overly excited at the prospect of browsing some hunky profiles, I realised I would also have to send a wink or an email to let the person know I was interested. It was hard to figure out. A person can look good online but not match up in reality. I decided not to lie about my age and uploaded an up-to-date smiley faced photo. A male friend on match told me to say I was two years younger. His theory was that a woman over 30 would be winked at or emailed less. “Why?” I asked. “Because you want to have babies” he said. No, I don’t. I really don’t. Not right now. Apparently it doesn’t matter. Men my age would search for a woman aged 20 – 30. I would be put in this ‘32 year old wants babies’ box. I quickly changed my profile to read ‘a young 32’.

I got some hits. Winks and emails followed. I felt quite high and did my own search. A few winks and emails were sent. Musicguy told me he was looking for a dirty girl. I told him I washed on a daily basis. He decided I was too clean for him. Taxi96 sounded promising when he threw in some Dylan Moran quotes. I had mentioned on my profile that he was my favourite comedian. He seemed interested but must have changed his mind as I never heard from him again. Was it something I typed? I pondered this as I laughed my head off at the Dylan Moran quotes. This happened frequently. As if buoyed by an ego boost of flirting, some are too afraid to take the next step. kidcoop told me he was taking baby steps and loved the banter but had not worked up the courage to meet someone for a drink. It appeared there were a lot of people online looking but not actually meeting up in person.

Online Dating Horror Stories

Another friend suggested speed dating next. I thought why not. In person, there are cues. Body language, speech and that secret ingredient chemistry all have a part to play in attraction. With online dating, you are guessing. Off we went to a paid speed dating event. It started out well. There were lots of candle lit booths with a number at each table. I was number 13. I sat down and tried not to think about it. With four minutes to ask lots of questions and figure out if you would like to meet this person again, the pressure was on. I fired so many questions at one guy that he forgot to ask me a single one. Guess he didn’t have much to go on when he was ticking those boxes. I decided to take it down a notch. One guy moaned about the fact that the women didn’t have to change seats. Another guy told me he quit his banking job because he had to teach his £100k a year boss how to cut and paste. I felt like telling him, as an Irish person, we know how stupid bankers are.

The event was fun and relaxed. We made new friends. The outcome was a meal and drinks with our new found speed dating friends. Speed dating now showed promise above and beyond what online had to offer. It was so much better in person. I told everyone to sign up. The boxes were ticked and the day arrived to all meet up. One girl didn’t show up. Two guys and two girls left. One guy left halfway during the night to go to a ceilidh. Or so we believed. I found out later from guy left behind that his friend was not what he appeared to be. He had just broken up with his wife and was looking for sex only. Ceilidh was code for meeting up with a potential shag. We both drowned our sorrows and called all men bastards in the process. Last guy left without a number.

The next speed dating event was free. First guy to approach for a chat before it all kicked off was a homeless, drug taking khat guy from Inverness. His friend, also staying in the Salvation Army, came from Somalia. I hoped they wouldn’t be in my group. Not due to their situation but due to the fact that they would pause for a few minutes mid-conversation and then speak again. I got another drink and a friend to rescue us. Turned out, I wasn’t so lucky. Inverness guy was in my speed dating group. Sitting opposite me, I was given a question by the organiser. To break the ice. I felt like telling her the ice was well and truly broken. The question was “Do you like to kiss with a peck on the lips or French kiss?” I asked. He responded by leaning in and reaching his hands to cup my face and said “Why don’t you find out?” I declined. He turned his face to the side and ignored me. I decided that I didn’t have to look at the side of his face for four minutes and went to the loo. He walked out.

Speed Dating Hell

I didn’t go back for more. The girls seemed so much hotter than the guys. I couldn’t figure it out. This was my experience and the cynical part in me says try both but leave if it doesn’t work for you. It doesn’t work for everyone. You need to have patience, a good filter and a wing person to back you up. There were some nice guys. One of the speed daters sent me a letter saying he had ticked my box but I didn’t fancy him. You have to meet a lot of guys to filter out the right one for you. In the end, I picked up the courage to ask a guy I fancied in a pub for his number. He gave it to me. We met up. He texted. We went on another date. The old fashioned way. To be continued…


The war on paper is upon us. Technology is fighting alongside its “Save the trees” friends. Page one of this tale, involves a mighty Newspaper giant wielding its worthy words which are slowly turning to expensive, recycled dust. Is the New York Times soon to be no more?

Page one, a documentary which looks behind the scenes of the New York Times for one year, tries to find the answer to this question.  With falling revenue and readership, a battle between old and new has begun. There have been losses in sales and advertising, job cuts and a large number of Newspapers have closed down. Is print out and online in?

The most fascination and exhilarating outcome of this documentary was old school hack David Carr. A brilliant investigative journalist, who prefers to use older methods of investigation such as reliable offline sources, the telephone and leaving his desk to find out more. The new, younger hack Brian Stelter uses two computers simultaneously while sourcing information on Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, Blogs and various Websites etc. Carr swears he is a robot sent out to destroy him. And so the battle begins…

Carr effectively points out that many newspaper websites aggregate their stories. In other words, they source them from somewhere else online. Usually, it is the New York Times website that is the original source. His point is compelling. Who is on the ground doing the dirty work? Everyone seems to be at their computer researching stories and not getting their hands dirty. News will always exist but now there is less time and money to research a story which results in more pressure and less quality reporting. Print may be dying out but will online provide the same quality?

This documentary effectively questions and attempts to answer where online news will take us. Greed, corruption and abuse of power will always exist but are we willing to pay to hear about it online? We are used to reading online for free. Who will enforce the standards of justice, fairness and integrity with objectivity?

I, for one, hope it will be David Carr.