It's a short cut.
Its fast food.
If fast food has adverse affects on the body as opposed to home cooked meals, then online dating is likely to do the same. There are several guys that can consistently get laid via online dating, but can not get laid without it. The same way there are guys who can order up a meal at a restaurant, but can't cook themselves one at home.
Once you're solidified, you're solidified though. Its like learning to ride a bike. If you never actually learned it could be challenging to figure it out years later after picking it back up. But once you got it, you pretty much have it. After a couple peddles you'll be riding again like normal.
Makes sense. I go to the point where I was relying on it much, though I was having much success. In the end, decided to give it up.