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Today, online dating sites peddle a radical vision: a new future for love as we know it; a more efficient, more targeted way to meet a compatible mate. Forget about hanging out in bars, or volunteering at community functions, or awkwardly asking friends if their friends are single.
Many of the biggest online sites are marketing themselves not just as places to get a date, but as a place to find a lifelong mate.
“We will reach a point when people don’t distinguish between meeting online and off-line,” he says.
“We won’t refer to online dating; it will just be dating.” And we aren’t far away.
Online dating sites offer a panacea: a soulmate whose interests, background and disposition are congruent with ours.
And they share some common conceits: that similarity is good for a relationship, and that mathematical algorithms can predict compatibility.
“The other side is there will be more breakups, because people won’t feel imprisoned in relationships that aren’t right.” And that, Slater and others predict, could erode the values of commitment.
As the story goes, the first-ever matchmaker made his first match in the city of Haran, in what is now Turkey.
Last week, Facebook unveiled “Graph Search,” a new search engine that will allow users to comb through data from their existing online networks.
The problem is that the scientific jury is still out on whether similarity is, in fact, good for long-term commitment.
And there’s no strong evidence that computers can predict compatibility through measurable psychological variables.
In 2003, a young Mark Zuckerberg sat in front of his computer and instant-messaged a friend.
Back then, “the facebook thing” was still a rough idea, and 18-year-old Zuckerberg was trying to finesse the concept. “I don’t think people would sign up for the facebook thing if they knew it was for dating,” Zuckerberg wrote.
On the day of the announcement, the stock price of Inter Active Corp—the parent site of online dating behemoths —dropped by more than two per cent. Over the past two decades, the Internet has become a fixture of the modern-day romance plot.