Internet dating research
“Our real-life and online identities are more and more interwoven.” Because of this cultural shift, online dating sites now have unprecedented reach into our lives. Reams have been written about online dating, but as far as we know, no one has put the sites to the test.They are gatekeepers to a massive population of potential partners; they control who we meet and how. So Consumer Reports decided to survey almost 115,000 subscribers about online dating and their experiences with it.In fact, people over 50 are one of the fastest growing segments.“It’s a product of the growing normalcy of using social media apps,” says Moira Weigel, author of “Labor of Love: The Invention of Online Dating” (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2016).A whopping 44 percent of respondents who tried online dating said the experience led to a serious long-term relationship or marriage.That kind of connection rate would shatter Hall of Fame records, at least in baseball.But the responses from the more active group suggest they’re highly frustrated.They gave online dating sites the lowest satisfaction scores Consumer Reports has ever seen for services rendered—lower even than for tech-support providers, notoriously poor performers in our ratings. Well, finding a mate can be arduous and exhausting.
So when Roberta Caploe was ready to start dating again after a divorce, she didn’t ask her friends to fix her up or feel the need to frequent bars or health clubs.D., a junior fellow in economics at Harvard University.In other words, there’s no incentive for them to make the experience speedy.Our survey included many people who at some point had used a dating website or an app, as well as a subset of 9,600 respondents who used them in the past two years.
The more recently active group rated specific sites. On the one hand, the numbers indicate that these sites are helping people find mates.
Many dating sites rely on matchmaking algorithms the same way that Netflix uses them to recommend movies.