'Dr. Love' presents pros and cons of online dating
Monday, February 11, 2013 9:00 AM

The scripts are available for printing and for sound bite identification.

Go to http://www.wichita.edu/newsline to get the current Wichita State University Newsline. If you cannot access the Newsline at the Web address above, contact Joe Kleinsasser at (316) 978-3013 or cell (316) 204-8266 or joe.kleinsasser@wichita.edu. Newsline cuts may be edited to suit your needs.

If you have additional questions for Deborah Ballard-Reisch after listening to the WSU Newsline, please contact her at (316) 978-6066 or deborah.ballard-reisch@wichita.edu.

If you ask a young couple, "Where did you meet?," don't be surprised if they say, "We met online." According to online dating statistics, 40 million people in the United States have tried online dating. Who better to discuss the pros and cons of online dating than someone who was once called "Dr. Love" by a Nevada radio station? Today's Newsline features comments by "Dr. Love," aka Wichita State University's Deborah Ballard-Reisch, who has researched the subject of communication and relationships for about 20 years.

Voice wrap:
Announcer: Through the years, the most common way to develop friendships and romantic relationships has come from acquaintances at school, through church or introductions from family and friends. That has been supplemented in recent years by meeting people online. Deborah Ballard Reisch, called "Dr. Love" by a Nevada radio station, is an expert on communication and relationships at Wichita State University. She explains how the opportunity of meeting others has exploded exponentially through online dating.

Ballard-Reisch: "There are 54 million single Americans today. Forty million of them are online in one way or another. You have a better chance of meeting Mr. or Ms. Right today than you ever have."

Announcer: Ballard-Reisch offers some tips for those who are interested in online dating. She says always meet in a public place the first few times. Drive yourself. Let your friends and family know where you're going, with whom and when you plan to return. And if something feels wrong, get out. This is Joe Kleinsasser at Wichita State University.

Sound bite #1
Ballard-Reisch says online dating has become a common way for people to meet. The sound bite is 11 seconds and the outcue is "online today."

Ballard-Reisch: "Online dating has become a really common way for people to meet one another and start romantic relationships. Estimates are that one in five romantic relationships start online today."

Sound bite #2
Ballard-Reisch looks at how people used to get to know each other. The sound bite is 15 seconds and the outcue is "because of that."

Ballard Reisch: "We used to develop romantic relationships with people we went to school with or knew through church or family or friends introduced us to, and now we supplement that by meeting people online. And the world of people available to us has exploded exponentially because of that."

Sound bite #3
Ballard-Reisch says there are some downsides to online dating. The sound bite is 16 seconds and the outcue is "run."

Ballard-Reisch: "Like any new technology, there are some downsides to online dating, too. One of the biggest is fraud. There are a number of international consortiums that get on online dating sites and pretend to be someone they're not in order to get money out of people. So if someone asks you to send them money, especially out of the country, run."

Sound bite #4
Ballard-Reisch says language fluency is something to pay attention to in online dating. The sound bite is 11 seconds and the outcue is "it likely isn't."

Ballard-Reisch: "One of the things to look out for in online dating is that, when people claim language fluency and then they have grammar and syntax and spelling errors, if their language doesn't seem right, it likely isn't."

Sound bite #5
Ballard-Reisch says be sure to check out someone you have only met online. The sound bite is 21 seconds and the outcue is "do that anymore."

Ballard-Reisch: "This might sound coarse, but so much information is available to us online now. If you're thinking of meeting someone you have met only online, Google them. Use multiple search engines. Consider seeking criminal background checks. Make sure that people are who they say they are. We used to be able to rely on our support networks — our family, our friends, et cetera — to vet people for us, and when we meet people online we can't do that anymore."

Sound bite #6
Ballard-Reisch offers some tips about online dating. The sound bite is 26 seconds and the outcue is "get out."

Ballard-Reisch: "If you decide to meet someone in person that you've spoken with only online, there are some tips and some cautions to be aware of. Always meet in a public place the first few times. Drive yourself. Let your friends and family know where you're going, with whom and when you plan to return. Have a panic word in case you have a quick second to call them if you need help. And keep your phone online so you can be tracked through GPS if necessary. Trust your instincts. If something feels wrong, get out."

Sounds bite #7
Ballard-Reisch says if you engage in online dating, protect your identity. The sound bite is 11 seconds and the outcue is "who you really are."

Ballard-Reisch: "If you decide to engage in online dating, the first tip is to protect your identity. Don't give information about yourself too quickly. Get to know people before you share with them personal information about who you really are."

Sounds bite #8
Ballard-Reisch says someone who wants to try online dating should choose a site that's consistent with his or her interests. The sound bite is 10 seconds and the outcue is "your interests."

Ballard-Reisch: "If you decide you want to try online dating, check out multiple sites. There are a lot of them out there now. Figure out what each site is looking for and choose the one that's most consistent with your interests."

Sounds bite #9
Ballard-Reisch says to be yourself when creating an online profile. The sound bite is 13 seconds and the outcue is "come and find you."

Ballard-Reisch: "In creating your online profile, be yourself. Be clear about what you're looking for, what types of people, relationships and so forth. Include flattering pictures of yourself and reach out to people that you find interesting. Don't wait for them to come and find you."

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Contact: Deborah Ballard-Reisch, (316) 978-6066 or deborah.ballard-reisch@wichita.edu.