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from Brooklyn, NY for suggesting this week’s topic: Online dating, once a fringe and stigmatized activity, is now over a $2 billion industry.

Over 40 million Americans have given online dating a try, and over a of the American couples married between 20 met online.

If it wasn’t for online dating, most of my generation would be single.

Tinder, OKCupid, Plenty of Fish are all standard apps you'd expect to see on a single person’s smartphone. Now, having your own ‘oh, we met on the internet’ story is just as romantic as meeting IRL (in real life).

Ok, everyone is abuzz about it, and I know I’m late to the party. Basically it’s a location-based app that pulls info from your Facebook to create your profile, and then pulls up ‘matches’ that meet your age/sex/location criteria.

But the other day, I said to my productivity, “Hey, workflow, let’s take an unexpected 2 hour break and check this sucker out.” For anyone who doesn’t yet know what I’m talking about, ‘this sucker’ is Tinder: a ‘dating’ app that’s like if (remember that?! All you see of these potential matches are a few photos, any mutual friends or interests (according to your FB profile) and one tagline. The fact that you can tell when someone is “less than a mile away” made me believe that I was one mis-swipe away from ending up in some guy named Xenon’s trunk never to be seen again all because he had a cheeky tagline and a photo of a puppy in his profile pic. What started out as an experiment got me thinking about what this app says about dating in general.

You never really know who it is that is behind the screen name.

Hiding behind a made-up moniker could be a rapist, a child molester, a wife-beater, a criminal, or an otherwise unsavory character. You wouldn’t if you’d read some of the horror stories posted on some sites that seek to reveal the dangers and the risks posed by use of online dating services.

Then you ‘swipe right’ if you find them attractive, and left if you don’t (bonus: when you swipe left you get a satisfying stamp across their picture that says ‘NOPE.’) It’s slightly vain and shallow but it’s also addictive. Is Tinder simply a microcosm of what we do in real life (p.s. File people away as attractive or unattractive, make split second decisions based on minimal facts, trust complete strangers?

233 Comments

  1. Although Payfirma sells an external swiping unit, the stand-alone app lets you type in credit card information (and accept signatures) using the touchscreen on your Apple device.

  2. You roll your eyes and move on but you might also catch yourself wondering why you're single, and when you're going to find your match. population consisted of single adults, which has increased from 48% in 2011.

  3. These models are streaming themselves with a live cam.

  4. Marie Kensington and a cover persona as a fashion photographer.

  5. En español | Ask adult children if they would like their widowed or divorced parent to find a new partner, and most would say, "Of course.

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