Digital match-making services have done more than just change how we find our perfect squeeze; they're changing the fundamental nature of our social networks. According to a pair of researchers investigating online dating, the way we're looking for love and lust is connecting communities in completely novel ways, breaking down boundaries and possibly even making for stronger long-term relationships. It wasn't all that long ago that most relationships would begin with a smile and a handshake, rather than a click or a swipe. That began to change in the mids, when websites like Match.
How Self-Disclosure Affects Relationships
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In the midst of our technology-crazed generation, we must ask ourselves: how is this going to affect not only us, but future generations as well? It's obvious that our technology-driven lives are truly affecting how we date each other. Texting, social media, and dating apps like Tinder are changing how our generation views first impressions, trust, physical attraction, and relationships in general. With smart phones so readily available, it is no question to text your significant other, or even the person you're casually dating, to see what they're up to.
When Tinder became available to all smartphone users in , it ushered in a new era in the history of romance. It aimed to give readers the backstory on marrying couples and, in the meantime, to explore how romance was changing with the times. But in , seven of the 53 couples profiled in the Vows column met on dating apps. The year before, 71 couples whose weddings were announced by the Times met on dating apps.
Ortega explained over Skype that while he'd been witnessing the trend all around him, he realized he "had no idea" what the experience or real-world impacts could be. So Ortega, an economics lecturer at the University of Essex, and Hergovich, who's pursuing a PhD in economics at the University of Vienna, decided to test their hypotheses on how the internet has changed modern dating by crunching the numbers. To investigate the effects of online dating over time, they developed a theoretical framework and mathematical models which harnessed previous such exercises, decades' worth of data, and good old game-theoretic stability.