How internet dating works
(Read: The 5 years that changed dating I figured my Twitter audience—entirely online, disproportionately young, and intimately familiar with dating sites—would accept the inevitability of online matchmaking.
But the most common responses to my post were not hearty cheers.
In almost any other period, this project would have been an excruciating bore.
That’s because for centuries, most couples met the same way: They relied on their families and friends to set them up.
Last week, I tweeted the main graph from Rosenfeld’s latest, a decision we both mildly regret, because it inundated my mentions and ruined his inbox.
“I think I got about 100 media requests over the weekend,” he told me ruefully on the phone when I called him on Monday.
The rapid adoption of online dating among the LGBTQ community speaks to a deeper truth about the internet: It’s most powerful (for better and for worse) as a tool for helping minorities of all stripes—political, social, cultural, sexual—find one another.
“Anybody looking for something hard to find is advantaged by the bigger choice set.
That’s true whether you’re looking for a Jewish person in a mostly Christian area; or a gay person in a mostly straight area; or a vegan, mountain-climbing former Catholic anywhere,” Rosenfeld said.
They were lamentations about the spiritual bankruptcy of modern love.
Bryan Scott Anderson, for example, suggested that the rise of online dating “may be an illustration of heightened isolation and a diminished sense of belonging within communities.”It is true, as Rosenfeld’s data show, that online dating has freed young adults from the limitations and biases of their hometowns.
My family story also serves as a brief history of romance. But they’re supplanting the role of matchmaker once held by friends and family.