Big online internet dating

But the fear that online dating is changing us, collectively, that it's creating unhealthy habits and preferences that aren't in our best interests, is being driven more by paranoia than it is by actual facts.

"There are a lot of theories out there about how online dating is bad for us," Michael Rosenfeld, a sociologist at Stanford who has been conducting a long-running study of online dating, told me the other day.

A couple of months ago, I was sitting at a bar minding my own business when the woman next to me did something strange.

On her screen, images of men appeared and then disappeared to the left and right, depending on the direction in which she wiped.

I felt a deep sense a rejection -- not personally, but on behalf of everyone at the bar.

Two thirds of online daters—66%—tell us that they have gone on a date with someone they met through a dating site or dating app.

That is a substantial increase from the 43% of online daters who had actually progressed to the date stage when we first asked this question in 2005.

Digital technology and smartphones in particular have transformed many aspects of our society, including how people seek out and establish romantic relationships.

Few Americans had online dating experience when Pew Research Center first polled on the activity in 2005, but today 15% of U. adults report they have used online dating sites or mobile dating apps.

One factor behind the substantial growth among younger adults is their use of mobile dating apps.

About one-in-five 18- to 24-year olds (22%) now report using mobile dating apps; in 2013, only 5% reported doing so.

Women are especially likely to enlist a friend in helping them craft the perfect profile—30% of female online daters have done this, compared with 16% of men.

5% of Americans who are in a marriage or committed relationship say they met their significant other online.

In fact, by several measures, online dating has proved even more useful — both to individuals and society — than the traditional avenues it has replaced.

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