The idea is that if you’re faced with too many options you will find it harder to pick one, that too much choice is demotivating.We see this in consumer goods — if there are too many flavors of jam at the store, for instance, you might feel that it’s just too complicated to consider the jam aisle, you might end up skipping it all together, you might decide it's not worth settling down with one jam. I don’t think that that theory, even if it’s true for something like jam, applies to dating.And that’s not the life that young people lead anymore.The age of first marriage is now in the late twenties, and more people in their 30s and even 40s are deciding not to settle down.I wondered to myself, is this what online dating has done to us?Is it creating a new reality in which people actively avoid real-life interactions?The rise of phone apps and online dating websites gives people access to more potential partners than they could meet at work or in the neighborhood.
In fact, by several measures, online dating has proved even more useful — both to individuals and society — than the traditional avenues it has replaced.
Surrounded by potential partners, she pulled out her phone, hid it coyly beneath the counter, and opened the online dating app Tinder.
On her screen, images of men appeared and then disappeared to the left and right, depending on the direction in which she wiped.
It also helps the people who use the apps by allowing them to enjoy a pattern of regular hookups that don’t have to lead to relationships.
I think these things are definitely characteristic of modern romance.
"There are a lot of theories out there about how online dating is bad for us," Michael Rosenfeld, a sociologist at Stanford who has been conducting a long-running study of online dating, told me the other day.