The whole thing is framed in opposition to the claims of a pro-online-dating “26-year-old” guy who Greenspun met at a Hanukkah Party (“suspiciously held on Christmas Eve”).To reframe his questionable argument as a question: Given 1) people’s desire to find true love and a wonderful life partner; 2) the near-ubiquity of internet access in the U.
Adrianne Jeffries of Betabeat pinged me yesterday with a link to a post from Philip Greenspun titled, “Is this continued existence of involuntarily single people proof that online dating is a failure?
” STC (Save the Click): Here’s a summary of Greenspun’s piece: He argues that, given the falling rates of marriage over the past few decades and the continued plethora of single people who want to be married, online dating is a de facto failure.
He believes that self-description in online dating should be abandoned for more of a peer-testimony system.
His evidence is some census data about marriage rates and the success of a lengthy testimony he wrote on behalf of a now-married friend.
More broadly, I’d say that contrary to the tremendous historical forces driving marriage and love-finding rates down (transformations in employment patterns, gender dynamics, mass entitlement, the decline of men, post-industrial depletion, etc.—that’s for another post) is —the internet-driven, global, connected, do-it-yourself, change-oriented, active, healthy, actualist movement that is also upon us.
Internet dating was born of this 21st century spirit.
Accordingly, the best sites are fairly effective at helping the most highly motivated ring-seekers find a match—and therefore account for some of the differential between the two curves we drew a minute ago.
Check out the ecstatic German poet Rilke on the topic: And I believe this is becoming increasingly difficult. The second: Time versus the Ease of Finding and Sustaining True Love (or even good-enough-love).
This curve, I think, would be curving downward even more steeply than the marriage rate.
If you buy this math—then what accounts for the difference in steepness?
I’d venture that at least one cause is online dating.