I’ll admit it – I’ve always been a romantic – a cheesy romantic.

I blame Troy Bolton for some of that, he made me look for someone who would climb up a questionably unstable vine on the side of a house and up to Gabriella’s bedroom, presenting her with chocolate covered strawberries – think the food aspect drew me in too much as well.

This was romance to me, and to some extent it still is – ok, I’ll let them go through the front door now as long as they give me the food. But on a serious note, traditional romance has always won me over, from watching romance films, to seeing old couples walking hand-in-hand, this was where dating should lead to.

heart drawn on beach with sunset - linked with transition to online dating blog post

So why has it all had to change to swiping left or right? Where has the romance gone? I know I sound like your parents but I think that if online dating wasn’t as popular as it is, maybe more people would agree? But that’s the thing – it is popular, in fact;

 “a new survey conducted by psychologists in the US at the University of Rochester, found that online dating is the second most common way of starting a relationship – after meeting through friends.”

So where did it all begin?

  • The use of data in dating actually began in the 1940s where a Newark based company charged customers 25 cents for contact information about their match, based on social equivalents.
  • This was developed in 1959 when a Stanford student project enabled an IBM 650 to be able to find similarities between 98 people and their 30 question-based profile.
  • Following on from this, in 1965, a Harvard student co-founded Operation Match, but it wasn’t until 2004, whereby recognisable dating sites today were launched, such as OkCupid. Find out more about this here.

I don’t know about any of you but when I think about dating today, lots of algorithms spring to mind – although this is the case, what’s interesting to tell from the timeline of events above, is that data in dating has actually existed for many years and has just been constantly developed since the 1940s – bit of a history lesson kids.

The Transition to online dating 

I guess it could be argued that the transition to online dating began when smartphones became more advanced and popular. For example, this webpage mentioned how the average smartphone user checks their phone 47 times a day(!) What’s more, with the release of Tinder in 2012 making dating easier by a simple swipe and articles suggesting that society is becoming lazier, no wonder online dating has become so popular.

I think social trends also have a part to play in this. We all know that Tinder is a popular dating site to use today but did everyone want to get Tinder in the first place or did a few ‘opinion leaders’ get it and then the word spread at school? As I said before, it makes me wonder how popular online dating is – is it really just favoured with a select few, who have then persuaded others? I went a bit deep there, didn’t I? Oh well, something to consider anyway.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m kinda glad that things have moved on from passing a scrunched up note written in pencil across the classroom, but are things moving too fast? Apparently, Tinder’s user base is growing by almost 25% each week?! Even my ever-growing waistline couldn’t keep up with that.

Couple sat together with faces hidden by heart sign

Does anyone else worry about catfishes? The fact that MTV had to create a show based on people pretending to have different identities online, sums up where we are with the transition to online dating, doesn’t it? Perhaps I am too much of an online dating skeptic but the idea of talking to a – how do I put this – ‘senior dating app user’ when I thought I was talking to Chris Hemsworth just doesn’t seem right? 😉

Meh, what do I know, but that’s the whole point – how much do we really know about the digital impact on dating? Join me on my next post to discover more.

As always, if you want to find out more about me and blog, click here!

References for this post:

bankmycell.com., (no date). Smartphone Addiction Facts & Phone Usage Statistics [online]. Available from: https://www.bankmycell.com/blog/smartphone-addiction/#chapter1 [Accessed 11th December 2018].

Jeffries, S., 2012. Is Online Dating Destroying Love? The Guardian [online], 6th February 2012. Available from: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2012/feb/06/is-online-dating-destroying-love [Accessed 9th December 2018].

Nelson, J., 2017. Is Technology Making Us Lazy?. Medium/Digital Society [online]. 15th May 2017. Available from: https://medium.com/digital-society/is-technology-making-us-lazy-ec3a3e58140a [Accessed 11th December 2018].

POV., (no date). Infographic: A History of Love & Technology [online]. Available from: http://archive.pov.org/xoxosms/infographic-technology-dating/ [Accessed 10th December 2018].