Kirkus Reviews QR Code


What Technology Does to Meeting and Mating

by Dan Slater

Pub Date: Jan. 24th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-59184-531-7
Publisher: Current

A thorough examination of online dating sites.

Finding a companion in life has never been an easy task. In fact, as Fast Company contributor Slater writes, "for virtually all of human history the search for a mate has been predicated on scarcity: One met only so many people in his or her lifetime." It is a logical jump in today's world to use modern technology to help improve the chances of meeting someone. Using personal interviews and extensive research, Slater shows how the latest mode of dating, online, has amplified one's chances by thousands of times as people connect in cyberspace. From its humble beginnings to the thousands of sites now available, cyberdating is the new way to mingle, with complex algorithms and extensive questionnaires analyzed by computers, which decide who might be the perfect mate. Sites like Match and OkCupid bring together millions of people, and the industry continues to flourish. In 2010, it was estimated that one out of every five couples got together through online dating. This new tool to finding a soul mate has changed the way society looks at relationships, as one does not have to settle for a partner from the immediate area. But, as Slater writes, "these new means of connection are threatening the old paradigm of adult life”—not every match made online lasts. Many users find it easier to break up with someone who is not quite the perfect fit rather than work on accepting differences. Choice overload becomes an issue as well, as users question how long to stick with someone; after all, there could be someone better on the next webpage. Although not a choice for everyone, online dating is here to stay; whether it is the best way to find a mate is still under debate.

An enjoyable exploration of the evolution and implications of online dating.