Some people use spreadsheets to help keep track of what they did and didn't like about dates.And filters on dating apps and sites allow users to create a pool of potential matches based on specific criteria.Wang, who identifies as gay, says before he and his friends go out to a bar, his friends go on dating apps Tinder and Grindr to meet people at the bars where they're headed."Now, the 'gayborhood' is in your cell phone," he says.These days, thanks to technology, many more of us end up paired up with people who were perfect strangers before some algorithm brought them to our attention.One knock-on effect of this is increasing rates of interracial marriage, the researchers suspect.Murray says that people who turn their filters off tend to have longer conversations with their matches."Maybe what this is saying is that the perfect person doesn't live next door," Murray says.
Thankfully, a pair of international researchers, Josue Ortega of the University of Essex and Philipp Hergovich of the University of Vienna, are on the case.
As the MIT Technology Review recently reported the pair have been busy hypothesizing about how the rise of online dating might affect society and then comparing these predictions to real-world data.
And while they haven't proven anything entirely yet, their work does suggest Tinder, OKCupid and the rest are shifting marriage in two significant - and positive - ways.
Men who waited two days to reply to their Zoosk matches got responses 45 percent of the time, while men who replied same day and got responses 63 percent of the time.
Data-driven romance For many, the gradual shift in America to a data-driven culture is also shaping our dating lives."Basically, people use lists nowadays to get a better sense who they're attracted to and put a very quantitative twist to something that didn't used to be like that," Wang says.