Online dating has changed everything, author says

    1:03 PM, Feb 8, 2013   |    comments
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    UNDATED (USA TODAY) -- In his new book, Love in the Time of Algorithms: What Technology Does to Meeting and Mating, writer Dan Slater argues that online dating has changed society profoundly. Slater, 35, a Brooklyn, N.Y., newlywed, tells USA TODAY's Sharon Jayson just how and why.

    Q: What is it about online dating today that you believe has made such a big difference?

    A: It's the vast expansion of the dating pool. Everyone has access to so many more people than they were accustomed to in the past. I started to wonder how that might affect how people approach their relationship lives. Many of my friends are married to people they met online. Many have been using online dating a long, long time and have yet to settle down. The main thing was the ubiquity of it and how it suddenly expanded the mating pool.

    Q: You suggest that online dating has made relationships more disposable. Why?

    A: An element of commitment is based on the availability of alternatives. Online dating made a lot more people feel they are part of a larger mating pool than they were used to. What I found when I interviewed a lot of daters (more than 100, plus 50 industry executives) is that people tended to be moving from one relationship to the next a lot faster than they seemed to before online dating existed. That was based on my interviews with online daters and the opinions of about 90% of the industry executives I interviewed. It was a combination of the anecdotal and statistical.

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