(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.want partners, and online dating seems to be serving that need adequately. “In the past, even if mom was supportive of her gay kids, she probably didn’t know other gay people to introduce them to,” Rosenfeld said.
With the declining influence of friends and family and most other social institutions, more single people today are on their own, having set up shop at a digital bazaar where one’s appearance, interestingness, quick humor, lighthearted banter, sex appeal, photo selection—one’s is submitted for 24/7 evaluation before an audience of distracted or cruel strangers, whose distraction and cruelty might be related to the fact that they are also undergoing the same anxious appraisal.Read: A psychologist’s guide to online dating This is the part where most writers name-drop the “paradox of choice”—a dubious finding from the annals of behavioral psychology, which claims that decision makers are always paralyzed when faced with an abundance of options for jam, or hot sauce, or future husbands.In a new paper awaiting publication, Rosenfeld finds that the online-dating phenomenon shows no signs of abating.According to data collected through 2017, the majority of straight couples now meet online or at bars and restaurants.Online dating’s rapid success got an assist from several other demographic trends.
For example, college graduates are getting married later, using the bulk of their 20s to pay down their student debt, try on different occupations, establish a career, and maybe even save a bit of money.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.For the past 10 years, the Stanford sociologist Michael Rosenfeld has been compiling data on how couples meet.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.A 2012 paper co-written by Rosenfeld found that the share of straight couples who met online rose from about zero percent in the mid-1990s to about 20 percent in 2009.