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Others take on a more active matchmaking role, in which computer algorithms select pre-screened matches for users based on various criteria (e Harmony is the most well-known of these “algorithmic” matching services).
More recently, a third model has emerged in the form of cell phone dating apps.
Still others have speculated that the rise of online dating has encouraged young adults, especially men, to forego marriage because they can always find women to date and that lowers their interest in committing to long term relationships.
The report that follows is based on survey data from the Pew Research Center’s second national telephone survey of online dating.
For as long as romantic relationships have existed, people have sought assistance in meeting potential partners using whatever options were at their disposal.
Matchmaking and arranged marriages have existed for centuries, and printed personal ads are nearly as old as the newspaper industry itself.
The online dating sites that we studied in 2005 continue to exist and play a prominent role, but are now supplemented by mobile apps from which users can do everything from browsing profiles to setting up real-time dates from the comfort of their smartphones.The first change involves mobile technologies, particularly smartphones.When we conducted our first study of online dating, the release of the i Phone was still two years in the future.In 2005, My Space was the dominant player in the social networking field, Facebook was not yet open to the entire public, and Twitter did not exist.Today roughly three-quarters of online adults use sites such as Facebook and Twitter, and the impact of these online social networks on the dating process is potentially profound.
The Center last conducted a detailed survey of the internet’s impact on dating and relationships in 2005, and a primary goal of this study is to update key trends on the internet and dating—such as the overall prevalence of online dating, how attitudes towards online dating have changed over time, and whether or not more people are meeting online than in the past.