Two out of every five American couples now meet online

couple

(Pablo Heimplatz, Unsplash)

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Charlotte Edmond, Formative Content


GSOH. VGL. WLTM. The chances are, if you understand these acronyms, you are of a certain age.

Personal ads in newspapers used to be scattered with these widely understood shortenings (good sense of humour, very good looking, and would like to meet – in case you were wondering) as a way of keeping down the cost of newspaper column inches.

But the hunt for love has evolved. Heterosexual couples in the United States are now more likely to meet online than in any other way, according to a study by Stanford University. Short descriptions in the back pages are no longer considered an option when photos and videos adorn most online profiles.

Image: Stanford University

Two in five couples now meet through dating websites like eHarmony and Tinder, with the internet shaking up the search for a soulmate and increasingly displacing the matchmaking role previously played by friends and family.

Up until a decade ago, being introduced through friends was the most common way that couples met – and that had been the case since the end of the Second World War.

Image: Stanford University

Swipe right

2013 was the year the tide turned and more heterosexuals met online than via friends and acquaintances. That’s a big shift in a short space of time: in 1995, shortly after the first web browser was launched, just 2% of couples met online.

Tinder, the leading US phone dating app, was first released in 2012. Grindr, the main app for gay men, was released in 2009. Last year, Facebook announced it too would be entering the online dating technology market.

The proliferation of smartphones, launched around 2007, was key to the rise of the online dating market. As well as allowing apps to determine your location and suggest matches nearby, they also made dating available anywhere and anytime.

Image: Statista

Most of the “traditional” ways of hooking up have declined in recent years. The number of couples who meet at school, church or at work has fallen since 1995.

But the picture in the US is not reflective of the rest of the world: it is the biggest user of online dating apps globally and in many other parts of the world uptake has been shaped by cultural norms.

Image: Statista

Although Stanford’s research found no link between how couples meet and the rate of break-ups, back in 2013 research by the University of Chicago found that couples who meet online have happier and longer marriages.

 

The study wasn’t able to pinpoint why this was, but the sheer volume of potential partners online and the ability to vet them prior to meeting are likely to contribute.

Specialist interest sites also help people target like-minded individuals or those with similar desires – there are sites for everyone from fitness fans and vegans to rural singles and bikers. As well as one especially for supporters of President Donald Trump, which says it wants to make America date again.

Advertising

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

European Citizens’ Initiative: Commission registers ‘Mandatory food labelling Non-Vegetarian / Vegetarian / Vegan’ initiative’

The Council unblocks all EU budgets

G20 LIVE: “International communities and leaders have great expectations for 2016 G20 summit in Hangzhou China”, Mr Wang Xiaolong, the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s special envoy stresses live from G20 in Antalya Turkey

Deutsche Bank slammed by the US-based trio of IMF, Fed and Moody’s

On our way to China

International Women’s Day: Where does she belong?

Commission publishes the first report on the issuance of a Eurobond

Remarks by Commissioner Lenarčič on the deployment of EU Medical Teams to Italy

How to build a fairer gig economy in 4 steps

Iran: BBC and other broadcast journalists harassed; families threatened – UN experts

Reception conditions for asylum-seekers agreed between MEPs and Council

Migration has set EU’s political clock ticking; the stagnating economy cannot help it and Turkey doesn’t cooperate

Why sustainable products are a win-win for all of us

Global ageing is a challenge – and an opportunity

Female directors reached record highs in 2019 Hollywood

The West and Russia took what they wanted from Ukraine

European elections: A chance to repel both nationalism and no-deal Brexit

Accountability in Sudan ‘crucial’ to avoid ‘further bloodshed’, says UN rights office

Women outliving men ‘everywhere’, new UN health agency statistics report shows

US-North Korea summit ‘an important milestone’ towards denuclearization, says Guterres

A world first: Women at the helm of every UN Regional Commission

New study shows close link between GVCs participation and economic development

EU migrant crisis: Germany, France and UK to show the way. Will the rest of the EU follow?

Key economic forum in Russia: New technology a ‘vector of hope’ but also ‘a source of fear’ says Guterres

Towards the new era of medicine

Humanitarian Aid: EU mobilises €6 million for people in need in Colombia

G20 LIVE: World Leaders in Turkey for G20 Summit. Global Economy will be discussed in Antalya

Parliament seals ban on throwaway plastics by 2021

EU-Western Balkans summit in Sofia

Lifting the lid on the value of a company’s human capital

Brexit: The Conservative Party drives the UK and Europe to a perilous road

Here are 4 tips for governing by design in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

European Commission recommends common EU approach to the security of 5G networks

Mother of all mergers between Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram: EU Data Privacy restrictions against Facebook’s imperialistic plans

Deal agreed to protect consumers against misleading and unfair practices

UN agencies call for action to bolster rights of Europe’s stateless children

India is building a high-tech sustainable city from scratch

EU crisis aggravates structural differences, threatens cohesion

3 ways to accelerate the energy transition

Powering through the pandemic

These fishing pioneers are making it easier to eat sustainable seafood

Venezuela: Parliament recognises Guaidó, urges EU to follow suit

Switzerland: prepare for population ageing to maintain high living standards

This is what a smart city should do for its people

May a parody constitute a copyright infringement? European Court of Justice to give the answer

GSMA announces first speakers for Mobile 360 Series-Middle East and North Africa

Happens now in Brussels: Green Week sets the EU and global climate policy agenda

How the North Korea-U.S. detente is a leveling of the playing field

This AI outperformed 20 corporate lawyers at legal work

Threat to biodiversity risks a flood of economic ruin

Universal Health Care: can it exist only in utopic society?

How to stop plastic pollution at source

UN chief welcomes announcement by Emir of Qatar to allocate $50 million to support Syrian refugees, displaced persons

Netherlands: Budget MEPs back €1.2m in job-search aid for 450 redundant workers

Parliament endorses landmark EU-Japan free trade agreement

One small flight for a drone, one ‘big leap’ for global health

High internet taxes are restricting access and slowing economic growth

3 ways to rebuild trust in how we regulate technology

Why the next 4 months are crucial to the future of the ocean

Quarantine: A mental health guide for every mood

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s