How Online Dating Is Making U.S. Marriages Stronger and More Diverse
Once upon a time, we would only marry people we were somehow already connected to in our
A new study from Cornell University, and
published in the journal
Physics and Society
, suggests the way we meet our soulmates is changing the shape of society itself. Using currently available statistics, researchers Josue Ortega and Philipp Hergovich created an advanced
But with online dating, your network changes dramatically. You're meeting people who are-more often than not-total and complete strangers, and you start to set up social links that never would have existed before. This leads to new social circles which may be outside of your own cultural or racial background. And when you consider the fact that one third of modern marriages start online these days, and online
Observed rates of interracial marriage have been on the rise for awhile in the U.S., but when the researchers compared their model to the stats they found those rates noticeably increased when online dating first became popular in the late 90s. Then it jumped again in the 2000s when online dating became more commonplace, and once more in 2014 after the launch of Tinder (considered to be the most popular online dating app).
So what does that mean? People of a wide variety of backgrounds and subcultures are mixing together now more than ever before, and Ortega and Hergovich believe that's a good thing for society overall . It breeds better cultural understanding and helps create more diversified and open-minded generations down the line. Now, it should be noted that their data doesn't prove that online dating is solely responsible for the increases, but it is very consistent with their hypothesis.
Furthermore, Ortega and Hergovich's data model-along with current statistics-suggests that marriages created in societies with online dating tend to be stronger. Essentially, married couples who meet online are less likely to get divorced, which can also help benefit society in the long run. It makes sense, right? When you can actually see and communicate with all the fish in the sea, you're more likely to hook the on you really want-not just the one in your neck of the reef. Online dating has plenty of ups and downs-you know if you've tried it-but in regards to society as a whole, it appears to be pretty beneficial.