Best of 2017: First Evidence That Online Dating Is Changing the Nature of Society
In October, we revealed how dating websites have changed the way couples meet and how this change is influencing levels of interracial marriage and even the stability of marriage itself.
Not so long ago, nobody met a partner online. Then, in the 1990s, came the first dating websites.
Match.com went live in 1995. A new wave of dating websites, such as OKCupid, emerged in the early 2000s. And the 2012 arrival of Tinder changed dating even further. Today, more than one-third of marriages start online.
Clearly, these sites have had a huge impact on dating behavior. But now the first evidence is emerging that their effect is much more profound.
For more than 50 years, researchers have studied the nature of the networks that link people to each other. These social networks turn out to have a peculiar property.