The research summarized here suggests that online dating has changed the landscape of romantic relationships, at least when it comes to the early stages of dating.
There is evidence that having access to such a wide selection of potential partners can at times transform dating into an evaluative process.
As the authors state, online profiles “reduce three-dimensional people to two-dimensional displays of information”; as such, online profiles cannot capture some of the experiential elements of an in-person meetup.
The goal of their review was to evaluate whether online dating was 1) fundamentally different from face-to-face dating and 2) was superior.
Results of their assessment indicated that dating online was indeed different from "traditional" dating in a number of ways.
There are a few fundamental ways the Internet has changed the dating scene.
For one, the majority of dating websites implement matchmaking algorithms (though, there is not much evidence to support their accuracy ).
Is online dating really that different from offline dating? Recently, social psychologists who study the development of romantic relationships have begun to explore the phenomenon of online dating, specifically examining the extent to which it does or doesn’t mirror “traditional” dating.
In the specific study that I’ll summarize here, researchers reviewed existing dating websites with the goal of identifying ways that online dating is similar to and different from romantic relationship initiation in offline contexts.
When I first saw the movie “You’ve Got Mail” at the ripe old age of 8, the idea of developing a relationship through online chatrooms seemed novel, unconventional and even…creepy?
Fast-forward 15 years later, where one in ten people are using an online dating website, and much of the stigma associated with this activity has declined.
Emerging scientific evidence from psychology and other domains, like the research discussed here, may help to enhance the effectiveness of online dating websites and the way that users approach these sorts of relationships.