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Having a good experience with online dating is very possible—you just need to be educated and feel empowered.

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Until we crack the courtship code, one thing's for sure: While tech isn't really the problem, it has certainly provided a solution.

This article has been corrected since it appeared in print editions.

It can be daunting to put yourself out there for all to see, no matter what your age—and for older adults who may be less familiar with digital culture, it can be an even bigger step outside their comfort zone.

Understanding how to navigate this world can empower your loved one to make the most of the experience.

"I feel invisible in San Francisco and attractive whenever I leave." No surprise, then, that in that same Facebook study, San Francisco also ranked dead last in the likelihood of relationship formation, based on the number of Facebook users who changed their status from "single" to "in a relationship" during the period studied last fall. Is it possible that single, straight guys in San Francisco are just not interested in meeting women? We've all heard about Silicon Valley's epic "Peter Pan syndrome," in which thousands of young workers from around the world prolong their independence while carving out careers, heading west to strike (tech) gold.

"The courtship culture is just much less aggressive here," acknowledges Colin Hodge, 28, CEO of Down, an app that lets users connect to date or "get down." He says that many men might find women in the Bay Area harder to approach, partly because there aren't as many of us to go around.

Kevin Lewis, an assistant professor of sociology at UC San Diego, blames the Bay Area's progressive gender norms, with men less likely to believe they need to make the first move.

"It's easier when you have a script to follow - that is, 'You're a guy, you have to do the work here,' " Lewis says. To increase my odds of going on a date, I developed a thrillingly distracting Tinder habit.

With each profile, you can see shared friends and interests, browse photos and swipe left for "no," right for "yes." When two people say "yes" to each other, the magic happens: You're given the power to chat.

The premise is simple; the practice, revolutionary.

"It's like being at a cocktail party or a coffee shop," says Tinder co-founder Justin Mateen of Tinder's way of mimicking real-life interactions. For the past week, I'd been evaluating guys on my commute (what's with all the facial hair?