So it seems that the media has latched on to the new dating app called Precisely and billed it as “Tinder for lazy people.” This is a nice idea (we very much enjoy things targeted at the lazy person demographic). ’s count) to select for things like hair color, politics, booty size, and relative levels of 420 friendliness.
At no point during the process did anyone pull a phone out of their pocket and swipe right.
But microprocessors evolve, products iterate, paradigms shift …
and the next thing you know, falling in love is forever changed.
Vox recently analyzed data from 35 years’ worth of wedding announcements in The New York Times, and found that “online” now ranks as the third most common way people meet — second only to “school” and “mutual friend.” In the older-than-40 age range, it creeps into the second spot. We already trust our computers to do our shopping and banking, why shouldn’t the fruits of the home computer revolution help us find love?
Even more remarkable than the speed with which such services became mainstream is our willingness to fess up: Maybe it wasn’t so much a meet cute as it was a photo swipe while sitting on the john. Online dating will be a $2 billion industry in 2016, according to market research firm Ibisworld.
And the rise of the smartphone is only going to increase that adoption. How did matchmaker services make the transition from embarrassing, mullet-wearing, VHS tape services to the thing we do while waiting in line at Trader Joe’s?
And more important, when did it become OK to finally stop lying to our parents about how we met our significant others?
More than 10 years ago, the Pew Research Center published a study simply titled “Online Dating.” There was apparently no need for a clever name.
After all, even a full decade after a site called entered that brave new world with .7 million in startup funding (enough to warrant the 1995 Wired article “Love and Money”), the phenomenon was still an emerging novelty.
“When we first studied online dating habits in 2005,” the research center explained in a follow-up published earlier this year, “most Americans had little exposure to online dating or to the people who used it, and they tended to view it as a subpar way of meeting people.” At the time of the study, was number two on Pew’s list of the top 10 “personals sites,” with e Harmony (founded in 2000 during the dot-com boom) a distant seventh.
Otherwise, the list is largely unrecognizable today, dominated by long-forgotten names like Mate1.com, True.com, and Market Range Inc., which sounds more like a pork-futures trading company than a dating site.