When will social networking dethrone online dating?

Year of making love professionals

On the plane I read a number of posts including, Could Instagram Dethrone Online Dating?

The latest word is that online dating may be on its way out – and that even includes explosively popular mobile apps like Tinder – and that social networks may be on their way in.

Which leads to a post from the same people asking… Is Facebook Becoming an Alternative to Online Dating?

…over 19,000 people who had been married between 2005 and 2012, and asked them how they’d met. Those who met on social networking sites were more likely to be younger and married more recently compared to those who met online in other ways. He was surprised to find that those who met via social networking sites were just as happy as those who met online, and those who met online in general were happier than those couples who met in more traditional ways, such as through friends.

I’ve been banging on about this for yonks

No matter what the online dating sites think or even say (and I’m surprised how short sighted OKcupid and PoF CEOs are on this). They should be worrying about facebook.

So rather than go on about the obvious, I did spot something interesting in another related posted, Why Mobile Dating Is So Popular?

Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, professor of psychology at University College London, told The Times: “[Using a dating website] is almost like booking a holiday or a job application, as you try to customize your partners. Mobile dating – and Tinder is a good example – is different. It is more linked to impulse and emotions and focuses on attractiveness and looks, which is more realistic, even if it is a bit more lazy. It replicates the traditional version of dating more closely than Match.com or eHarmony as it allows for more serendipity.”

Now you may already noticed Tomas’s name from the Year of Making Love that crazy show I was involved in (well somewhat…). Anyway passing over that, its a interesting point. I don’t think its necessarily true but who knows, the behavior of people on Tinder and Grindr is questionable and addictive. Not far off a night on the town? Or at least the last part of the night when you look around for someone to hook up with?

The browsing and snap judgments are somewhat part of Tinder and Grindr. If they happen to have something in common, thats a bonus. If a friend of a friend, then thats certainly a +1.

Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.

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