The New Romantic Landscape Is Digital
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 stigma. Tinder, 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?
- Helen Fisher, biological anthropologist, senior research fellow at The Kinsey Institute, chief scientific advisor to the Internet dating site Match.com, and author of "Anatomy of Love: A Natural History of Mating, Marriage and Why We Stray"
- Jordana Abraham, co-host of the dating advice podcast "U Up?" and co-founder of the multi-platform media company Betches
- Reuben Thomas, sociologist at the University of New Mexico who studies interpersonal social networks, their origins, and how they are related to other social phenomena
- Adam Popescu, novelist and journalist; his recent piece for The New York Times is titled "Why People Ghost — and How to Get Over It"
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This interview aired on Thursday, February 14, 2019.