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The New Romantic Landscape Is Digital

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Looking for love in the all the wrong places is nothing new but now thanks to technology, we can do it by swiping left or right. How is technology changing the way people meet and develop relationships? 

Dating sites started popping up in the mid-1990s, the most popular being Match.com which launched in 1995. Americans' rapid adoption of smartphone technology spurred an increase of online dating and contributed to lessening the stigmaTinder, the leading mobile dating app in the United States, debuted in 2012. 

Twenty-nine percent of heterosexual and 65 percent of gay couples met online, according to a recently published Stanford study of American adults in 2017. Globally, there are about a million dates happening every week between people who met on Tinder.

Users can be left with swipe fatigue from trying to fish out "the one." Some users report feelings of anxiety and loneliness, self-confidence and body confidence issues, and even depression after using dating apps. Cumulative rejections or "ghostings" can be harmful to a user's mental health. Potential suitors can become aggressive.

Has digital matchmaking killed the magic of romance? Or has it made it easier and more efficient to find your soulmate? What are the risks and opportunities when using the Internet to find compatibility and companionship? 

You can find millions of potential love interests with the touch of a button. How are you dealing with dating in the modern world? 

"The Source" is a live call-in program airing Mondays through Thursdays from 12-1 p.m. Leave a message before the program at (210) 615-8982. During the live show, call 210-614-8980, email thesource@tpr.org or tweet at @TPRSource. 

This interview aired on Thursday, February 14, 2019. 

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Kim Johnson is the producer for Texas Public Radio’s live, call-in show The Source. She is a Trinity University alum with bachelor’s degrees in Communication and Spanish, and a Master of Arts Degree from the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin.
David Martin Davies can be reached at dmdavies@tpr.org and on Twitter at @DavidMartinDavi