In recent years, online romantic dating has gone mainstream. Just think about it: over one third of the 90 million singles in the United States do have a profile at least in one online dating website or app. So, as Match.com often touts in its commercials, nearly one in five romantic relationships nowadays start on the web.
Furthermore, many experts claim that online dating, as it grows more and more popular, might lead to much healthier relationships. Online daters appear to be setting the bar pretty high in terms of what they really wish to see in their partners. However, at the same time, the entire system has a fair downside.
A good deal of therapists and psychologists speculate that online dating sites give people the impression that "there are way more fish in the sea" and this simehow leads to many people not committing to long-term relationships.
But how does the reality of big data affect the way people meet each other and start relationships in addition to what can they expect from such relationships?
1. Network effects
One of the major changes brought about to dating by big data is undoubtedly the efficiency of network effects.
In their early days, online dating platforms like Tinder had fewer registered users. As an example,
consider a perwon who lived in San Francisco some time during the mid-1990s when Match.com was being launched. A 35-year-old man might have turned truly lucky to log on and discover as many as 20 people near in his area who were fit his criteria. But, today, if you log on to a dating site or app and find only 20 people around you, it would be considered a low number.
2. Social circles
Many people, according to some statistics, are getting married when they are older than when you compare with decades and centuries before.
Thus, as a result, as one grows older, your social circles tend to shrink a little bit. Online dating has become really useful in this case with its ability to use big data to find people who might interest you and in a way increase your social circle.
3. Find a companion
Online dating makes it easier for people to find one another. Loneliness can be horrible. And a technology that comes along saying, “Hey, we actually have a solution to your problem” is a pretty decent thing.
Some might try to take the online romantic dating scene to a whole new level by putting a fresh brand on it or bringing some innovations. Instead of naming it the online dating services, some of the new resources are commonly branded as “social discovery sites.”
Basically, it is still that good old social media yet with a new twist – it is injected with the essence of online romantic dating, which, in fact, is meeting personalities you don’t know yet online.
Obviously, there is no shortage of topics and articles on how exactly dating apps and web platforms are eroding intimacy between two individuals, leading them to completely soulless left-right swipes. Still aren’t the technologies supposed to make it much easier for us to find those people out there who are right for us? And if yes, can you reliably go on a date with someone based only on the fact they got same interests and hobbies written in their bio?