This assumption is so prevalent that MTV has an entire show, “Catfish,” devoted to investigating whether people in online relationships are representing themselves honestly to their partners.In one extreme example of an online lie, Notre Dame football star Manti Te’o was tricked a few years ago into virtually dating a woman who never existed.The Guardian warns that these sites have created a “throwaway dating culture.” This is silly.People have always sought out casual sex — flings are key plot points in “Pride and Prejudice” (1813) and “The Fires of Autumn” (1942).Compare that with meetings at bars or parties, where people might be a few drinks in when the flirting starts (studies show that alcohol use increases the risk of sexual assault).Also, people almost universally pick public places for their initial online dates: coffee shops, restaurants and the like.
I remember only a handful in my 12 years at the company.
It’s very deliberate — after all, you’re looking for a partner through an interface — and that creates a safer environment. This premise is so well-worn that sites like Tinder, Hinge and Coffee Meets Bagel offer little information about users beyond a collection of pictures and a two-line profile.
“Online services enable a downright Seinfeld-ian level of superficial nitpickiness,” one Fortune article lamented.
They’ve “given rise to a pick-and-choose shopping behavior that prioritizes looks more than ever before.” In reality, how someone looks in a couple of pictures is no indicator of whether you’ll be attracted to them.
That point was driven home for me during a small publicity stunt Ok Cupid ran to promote a blind dating app; we called it Love Is Blind Day.One sociologist found that college-age students are having no more sex today than they were in 1988.