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Since the invention of the Internet 30 years ago, we have gained the world at our fingertips with the use of our phones. When it comes to love, the use of mobile devices has radically changed how people have relationships. Millennials, those born between 1982 and 2000 have completely changed the way people start relationships; they are breaking the rules that preceding generations have established and followed.
The best approach to visualize how dating has changed over time is to start with the older generations; so, I decided to ask my grandfather about his experience with dating.
“My best friend and I were driving down Shore Street, when we saw two girls walking on the side of the road. We asked them if they wanted a ride to the beach, because that’s what people did back then. By the time we got to the beach, my friend had a date with one of the girls: your grandmother. That night I went to her house an hour before my friend was suppose to pick her up, saying he couldn’t make it. Six months later we were married”.
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When people imagine dating in the 50’s, they think of going to a diner, having a milkshake and a cheeseburger before a drive-in movie. In some cases, that may have been the reality, but mostly marriages in the 50’s were based on convenience. Less than 20% of marriages were between people who lived in different towns. The appeal of dating apps is people meet people they wouldn’t in their daily lives.
Whenever there is a social change and new technology there is always resistance. Even though dating websites are fairly new, they have been accused of creating a “Dating Apocalypse”. Are mobile dating apps a revolution or an armageddon?
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The creation of a dating profile is a modern invention that affects how people view others, and also the way people view themselves. When it comes to men and women, they’re very different in what profiles they are interested in. Men swipe in a simple way that is predictable and their data looks like a bell curve. When you look at the curve of women swiping men, it doesn’t look anything like a bell curve. The graph is skewed, it’s harder to predict the type of men women will be interested in, rather than what type of women men will be interested in. People are finding that they’re matching with people they are more compatible with. A while ago the divorce rate spiked, but since the mid 2000’s the divorce rate is lowering and leveling out.
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Unlike meeting someone in person, online dating allows one to know the basic information about someone and create a connection, but you don’t gain the physical connection. When you meet someone online, you miss out on get body language, sounds, and expressions. Online dating is killing romance because it’s making it too easy. It’s easier to respond to a text with a calculated response, rather than meeting at a coffee shop and having the awkwardness of a face-to-face interaction, coming up with responses in the moment.
Tinder gathers massive amounts of data, with over 26 million matches a day, it is one of the most used social apps in the world. It creates an easy way for people to meet people close to their age who share a common interest, but it is also eliminating the need for in-person social interaction. When you walk into a lecture, everyone is on their phones and people are less likely to make conversation with the person sitting next to them.
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Mobile dating apps create access to meet more people than you normally would, but it makes it less likely for people to settle down and be in a relationship. Dating apps create a way for people to find the partner that they want when they want. Dating apps are not going to end real relationships, but they are also not a sure way of finding a partner. Where a person is living and where they work are still very important, which is why it is still the most popular place for someone to find their partner. Mobile dating apps are not completely changing the way people view relationships. Mobile dating websites are used because they are an effective source, but it’s up to the people using them to figure out what they want to use these apps for.