How Has Technology Changed Dating?

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With the portability of smartphones and tablets, any online activity can become a social activity. And Tinder did. It’s common for groups of friends to sit around “playing Tinder” together, showing each other pictures and messages. Online dating is not a private, embarrassing activity anymore. It’s now part of how we spend time with friends and entertain ourselves at parties. My friends send me screenshots of their Grindr chats and I hear guys talking about Grouper dates on my morning Redline commute. Online dating is becoming part of our offline lives more than ever before.


My name is Nick and I am one of the editors of Secret Lives. From the get-go our group has been fascinated with the social, and generational aspects of dating. We’re basically graduate-level Love Anthropologists. Besides being avid daters, we all work in the strange career field of digital (and grassroots) communication. You can see why we nerd out over wine flights to this stuff.

When we chose to tackle this specific topic, I remembered a study, done recently, using data gathered from the popular dating app, Tinder. It revealed just how much race matters in romance.

Researchers for the app looked at 2.4 million heterosexual interactions by users who are mostly aged 35 and over, to collect the stats.

Among a plethora of different finding, the study found black men and women get the lowest response rates to their messages.

Also noted, most men prefer Asian women (with the exception of Asian men,) while all women (except black women) are most drawn to white men, according to the research.

Interestingly, it found men from all racial groups tend to prefer women from races other than their own.


Additionally, this confirms what some (including myself) have pointed out that online dating is causing today’s singles to approach dating like a shopping experience. The plethora of options available make it easier for us to feel constantly dissatisfied, making it easy to give up something good in favor of an ‘upgrade’.

While online dating does make it increasingly more easy to initiate conversation without fear of rejection, the same can be true for how easy it is becoming to miss out on someone great, simply because they’re not photogenic.

Life is not a Chipotle, and you can’t ask them not to put “wears dago-tees” in the burrito bowl that is your warped view of love everlasting.

Online Dating is a great tool, but should be used wisely, and with just as my finesse as you would if you met a guy at the bar.

Lisa makes a point that many other studies have shown that technology is also causing us to have sex sooner than we normally would. Although I simply attribute this to the changing views of our generation, that marriage isn’t the end-all be-all, blah blah blah, and a bunch of other garbage.

Gay Sidenote: Men of Grindr, stop initiating a really thoughtful hello, if you’re just going to reply back to my “hows it going?” with, “nm. horny lol [Insert d**k pic].”





Every so often, you’ll hear senior citizens sharing the story of how they met. Usually it goes something like: “I saw her walking into the diner and I told my friend, ‘I’m going to marry that woman! Three months later, we were married.” If you’ve ever seen ‘When Harry Met Sally’, you know exactly what I’m talking about. As for our generation? Well, given the fact that an estimated one-third of married couples in the US have met online, let’s just say that things are different. Technology has made dating as easy as, well, ordering a pizza. Now, we can find dates our couch, in our PJs, while watching a movie.

While there are tons of ways technology has made dating better, at times I feel as if it’s made it difficult to connect with people on a deeper level. I remember meeting a guy back in 2005 when use of social media wasn’t as common and not everyone had text messaging (him included). As a result, we’d spend hours talking on the phone and laughing. Since that relationship, it’s been all text messaging, all the time, and now, it’s so rare to receive a phone call that I actually panic a bit at the thought! 1297161244587_ORIGINAL

Last year, I decided to conduct an experiment. I realized that anytime I’d meet someone online, we’d move to text messaging and wind up sending each other endless pointless texts throughout the day. We’d automatically fall into boring banter and completely skip over that part where you’d learn more about each other and form a deeper bond. With this in mind, I decided to withhold my phone number from someone until we were able to meet, which forced us to exchange lengthy emails back and forth. As a result, we connected on a deeper level, and ended up having a great conversation on our first date, which led to us spending our second date on the couch until 5am talking about everything from the type of personal life stories you don’t find out until a few months into a relationship to spirituality to… well, you get the picture.

The moral of the story? While technology is awesome, sometimes going back to the ‘old fashioned’ way of doing things can make all the difference in the world.



BrandyIn college I had a long-distance boyfriend and our communication would consist of nighttime phone calls and text messages. For the first year, it was doable, with both of us being wrapped up in school, but by the second year, the strain of limited and visual communication gave way to the end. Had we had Facetime or Skype, we may have been able to sustain a longer relationship (or at least a more creative one). These days, everyone is mobile and communication is available on every platform, making it seem as if we are almost there, except we are not. In this new era of interaction, we’ve been able to connect on every platform possible without really connecting at all. Good or bad, I can’t tell yet, but this ain’t what it used to be . . . speaking of, I just got texted by #1, Facebook’ed by #2, emailed by #1 again and Tindered by #Won’t Leave Me Alone . . . all at the same time. Is there an app to manage all this?

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