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A new book by journalist Dan Slater, , argues that something momentous and irreversible has happened to modern-day dating and relationships.
Slater says it heralds a shift akin in significance to the sexual revolution.
Today, online dating sites peddle a radical vision: a new future for love as we know it; a more efficient, more targeted way to meet a compatible mate. Forget about hanging out in bars, or volunteering at community functions, or awkwardly asking friends if their friends are single.
Many of the biggest online sites are marketing themselves not just as places to get a date, but as a place to find a lifelong mate.
“We will reach a point when people don’t distinguish between meeting online and off-line,” he says.
And they share some common conceits: that similarity is good for a relationship, and that mathematical algorithms can predict compatibility.“The other side is there will be more breakups, because people won’t feel imprisoned in relationships that aren’t right.” And that, Slater and others predict, could erode the values of commitment.As the story goes, the first-ever matchmaker made his first match in the city of Haran, in what is now Turkey.At a press launch, Facebook reps showed off the new product, explaining that it could be used to search for restaurants, or for job recruiting.
At one point, a Facebook employee stood to demonstrate a search for “friends of my friends who are single and living in San Francisco.” And that’s when Facebook entered the online dating game, doing away with what was, until now, a fragile divide between quotidian online activity and the act of browsing for potential mates.Slater doesn’t think that online dating will necessarily destroy monogamy, but he does think that monogamy will change and become more transient.