Online dating has made dating better. It's not necessarily easier or simpler or a solution to finding Your One True Love – but it's so much more visibly entertaining than dating used to be.
Here are two stories – just from the past couple days – that illustrate this theory.
Online dating has allowed the specialness about each individual person (for better or worse) to be broadcast to the world. Exhibit A: One woman on Imgur who happened across this man while swiping through Tinder. Of Mateo, 32, who perhaps owns a unicorn, she wrote, "As a recently divorced woman, jumping back into the dating pool has been...interesting." Yes it has! Weird slash amazing facets of human interaction are constantly just a click away. They're doing jerky things with their OkCupid messages or funny things with their Tinder profiles or heartwarming things by meeting on Instagram and it is all very fresh.
While regular dating has encourage people to do weird things to find their loves, the data available via online dating has pushed that creativity to new heights. Exhibit B: the tale of "math genius" Chris McKinlay, who created multiple fake OkCupid accounts to gather data from the questions answered on the site by thousands of women. McKinlay used those answers to sort the women into categories and created two real profiles so he would be matched to the groups of women he found most appealing. Then he wrote a program that forced his profile to visit the pages of the women he had the highest match rating with according to the site's algorithm. Women started messaging him, not the other way around, and he ended up finding one he liked in real life. McKinlay has since written a Kindle book on applying his strategies to your own dating life.
So while online dating might not have made actual dating any better, it has certainly taken the universal stories that come from the search for love and put them where everyone can find them, share them and laugh/cry at them.
Images via Warner Bros.