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Of course, others have worried about these sorts of questions before.But the fear that online dating is changing us, collectively, that it's creating unhealthy habits and preferences that aren't in our best interests, is being driven more by paranoia than it is by actual facts.Surrounded by potential partners, she pulled out her phone, hid it coyly beneath the counter, and opened the online dating app Tinder.On her screen, images of men appeared and then disappeared to the left and right, depending on the direction in which she wiped.It also helps the people who use the apps by allowing them to enjoy a pattern of regular hookups that don’t have to lead to relationships.
There are online sites that cater to hookups, sure, but there are also online sites that cater to people looking for long-term relationships.And that’s not the life that young people lead anymore.The age of first marriage is now in the late twenties, and more people in their 30s and even 40s are deciding not to settle down."There are a lot of theories out there about how online dating is bad for us," Michael Rosenfeld, a sociologist at Stanford who has been conducting a long-running study of online dating, told me the other day."And mostly they're pretty unfounded." Rosenfeld, who has been keeping tabs on the dating lives of more than 3,000 people, has gleaned many insights about the growing role of apps like Tinder.
There’s no obvious pattern by which people who meet online are worse off. For people who have a hard time finding partners in their day-to-day, face-to-face life, the larger subset of potential partners online is a big advantage for them.