I find that many people consider online dating less stressful than walking up to someone randomly. It gives you a chance to consider your options and lessens the chance of being turned down. Most sites make it an easy process. You upload a profile picture, describe yourself in the description box and from there browse other hopeful companions pages. As you get to know someone you can suggest to talk on the phone or video chat options to get to know each other, and after some time plan to meet up for a nice walk or coffee (Or whatever you prefer)once you decide they are the one for you.
I'd say that when done correctly, online dating is a nice choice for finding a date, a friend or maybe someone you might one day walk across the aisle with.