Online dating services allow users to become "members" by creating a profile and uploading personal information including (but not limited to) age, gender, sexual orientation, location, and appearance.

Most services also encourage members to add photos or videos to their profile.

An online dating service is a company that provides specific mechanisms (generally websites or applications) for online dating through the use of Internet-connected personal computers or mobile devices.

Under this metaphor, members of a given service can both "shop" for potential relationship partners and "sell" themselves in hopes of finding a successful match.

At the end of November 2004, there were 844 lifestyle and dating sites, a 38% increase since the start of the year, according to Hitwise Inc.

In contrast, men were more likely to report that a current or former partner had breached their privacy (28%) than women (23%) through internet stalking or checking email. 2 — December 2006 available at https://www3gov.au/cfca/publications/family-relationships-quarterly-no-2. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 36(5), 498-509.

There were no significant differences in the responses of men and women on the question relating to whether use of the internet negatively impacted on family time.

The internet can also make it easy for a person to stalk or bully someone else, or make personally damaging comments that can be read instantly by a wide audience (Morris 2002, Mitchell et al. In February 2015, Relationships Australia’s monthly online survey asked visitors to our website to report if their partner’s use of the internet had caused problems for them in their past and current relationships.

More than 1830 people responded to Relationships Australia’s online survey in February 2015.Opinions and usage of online dating services also differ widely.A 2005 study of data collected by the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that individuals are more likely to use an online dating service if they use the Internet for a greater number of tasks, and less likely to use such a service if they are trusting of others.The internet can allow parents to telecommute, work at home as they raise young children, and easily access learning experiences.Unfortunately, recent studies also suggest that the internet can have negative effects on family relationships.Some have a broad membership base of diverse users looking for many different types of relationships.