We turn to screens for nearly every decision. Where to eat. Where to vacation. Where to eat on vacation. Where to get treatment for the food poisoning you got at that restaurant where you ate on vacation. Where to write a negative review calling out the restaurant that gave you food poisoning and ruined your vacation. So it’s no surprise our screens are becoming the first place we turn to when looking for romance — because you need someone to take care of you when you get food poisoning on your vacation, right?
One of the most amazing social changes is the rise of online dating and the decline of other ways of meeting a romantic partner. In 1940, 24 percent of heterosexual romantic couples in the United States met through family, 21 percent through friends, 21 percent through school, 13 percent through neighbors, 13 percent through church, 12 percent at a bar or restaurant and 10 percent through co-workers. (Some categories overlapped.)
By 2009, half of all straight couples still met through friends or at a bar or restaurant, but 22 percent met online, and all other sources had shrunk. Remarkably, almost 70 percent of gay and lesbian couples met online, according to the Stanford sociologist Michael J. Rosenfeld, who compiled this data.
And Internet dating isn’t just about casual hookups. According to the University of Chicago psychologist John T. Cacioppo, more than one-third of couples who married in the United States from 2005 to 2012 met online.
altM coverage of Muslim dating apps: