He also found that online dating had been a huge boon to people in “thin dating markets” — think LGBT daters or older women — and hypothesized that marriage and partnership rates of Americans would actually rise as more of these people got online.
Finkel et al’s (very lengthy) review of several top dating sites and the literature on them is basically a wash for all involves: Most sites are pretty bad, they conclude, in the sense that their matching algorithms don’t actually work.
The magical app bringing people together, blessing us with dick pics and the joy of male feminists, and turning finding love into an endlessly addictive game that leaves you feeling slightly hollow and disappointed in the world. Why do people who have swiped right on us always seem to show up first, so we get the rush of an instant match? No one knows for certain, other than the actual developers of the app – who keep their algorithms private so there aren’t a load of equally successful copycat apps. These attractive people are likely those who’ve recently received lots of right swipes.
There are, it turns out: Bellou concludes that “Internet expansion is associated with increased marriage rates” among 20-somethings, and hypothesizes that the relationship is causal — in other words, that greater access to online dating, online social networks and other means of communicating with strangers directly causes people to pair up.
As Brad Plumer observed at the time, of course, this doesn’t definitively prove a casual relationship; it’s still very possible that the two things just tend to go hand-in-hand, and don’t contribute to each other.
It was also sponsored by online dating behemoth e Harmony, for whom Cacioppo is an advisor, though independent statisticians reviewed the work prior to publication.
This is not, strictly speaking, a paper about online dating.
Another day, another moral panic over The Kids and their sexy, promiscuous online dating.