I'm Italian, from a city in the south east called Taranto.
I lived 4 and a half years in UK, then 3 in Spain. Now I recently moved to Hong Kong. I'm hoping to live here at least 3-4 years, even though I don't have a working visa yet. I'm trying to get one.
I'm an expat, have been an expat for many years in different countries now, so meeting people from the web is my main way of making new friends. This is normal for me.
My experience in meeting people for friendship-or-potentially-more has been mixed, so far. I did meet a lot of people in person. Not only through okcupid, but through other websites as well like couchsurfing or facebook.
Most of the times, when I meet someone, we only meet once and then never meet again. This is not because the first meeting goes terribly, quite the contrary, I think that pretty much always when I meet someone, we have a fairly good time. I'm very talkative and easygoing so even when the other person is shy or doesn't talk much, we can still have some sort of conversation going. No awkward silences.
But most of the girls I've met through okcupid, we've only met once, or at best, two-three times. I came to realise this is because people simply can't be bothered to get to know someone and actually meet them often enough to not completely lose contact with each other (say, 2-4 times a month?).
People would simply prioritize the long time friends they already have, which, I guess, is fair enough. In today's busy world, where everyone is always working or studying and never has time for anything, people would rather meet up with their old time friends than "invest" their time with a random person from the internet.
I met some people in person and it looked like we had a good time and we could at least be good friends. But ask them if they are free to meet again at any time, and they will always be busy.
Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that whenever I meet someone new, I never act like I'm prospecting a potential relationship or anything, I just meet you, talk to you, and see what happens. Most of the times, nothing happens. Sometimes, there is a mutual attraction and things do happen. Either way, as words like "relationship" are never mentioned, some people perhaps think they are just wasting their time. Maybe some people do look for that commitment, even verbal, to keep them going seeing another person. Just meeting every so often, in quality of "friends or perhaps more", feels like a waste of time to them, perhaps.
Another thing is that people simply "can't be bothered". A lot of the girls who join okcupid come here for sheer boredom, they install the app on their phone to check it out after a friend told them about it and they get flooded with messages in a few days, hardly reply to any, then likely disable or delete their accounts after a while. Most of the people here are not really looking for anything or anyone in particular, they are just bored and curious to see what happens here.
I don't know. Either way, I usually prefer to skip the text chat and just have a conversation face to face, usually over some food. And see what happens. If nothing happens, well, it was nice to meet you, if there is a mutual interest or attraction, then great, maybe we can meet again.