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want partners, and online dating seems to be serving that need adequately. “In the past, even if mom was supportive of her gay kids, she probably didn’t know other gay people to introduce them to,” Rosenfeld said.

The rapid adoption of online dating among the LGBTQ community speaks to a deeper truth about the internet: It’s most powerful (for better and for worse) as a tool for helping minorities of all stripes—political, social, cultural, sexual—find one another.

With the declining influence of friends and family and most other social institutions, more single people today are on their own, having set up shop at a digital bazaar where one’s appearance, interestingness, quick humor, lighthearted banter, sex appeal, photo selection—one’s is submitted for 24/7 evaluation before an audience of distracted or cruel strangers, whose distraction and cruelty might be related to the fact that they are also undergoing the same anxious appraisal.

Read: A psychologist’s guide to online dating This is the part where most writers name-drop the “paradox of choice”—a dubious finding from the annals of behavioral psychology, which claims that decision makers are always paralyzed when faced with an abundance of options for jam, or hot sauce, or future husbands.

(Read: The 5 years that changed dating I figured my Twitter audience—entirely online, disproportionately young, and intimately familiar with dating sites—would accept the inevitability of online matchmaking.

But the most common responses to my post were not hearty cheers.

“Anybody looking for something hard to find is advantaged by the bigger choice set.

That’s true whether you’re looking for a Jewish person in a mostly Christian area; or a gay person in a mostly straight area; or a vegan, mountain-climbing former Catholic anywhere,” Rosenfeld said.

Forty years after that, when I met my girlfriend in the summer of 2015, one sophisticated algorithm and two rightward swipes did all the work.In sociology-speak, our relationships were “mediated.” In human-speak, your wingman was your dad.Derek Thompson: The future of the city is childless But dating has changed more in the past two decades than in the previous 2,000 years, thanks to the explosion of matchmaking sites such as Tinder, OKCupid, and Bumble.They were lamentations about the spiritual bankruptcy of modern love.Bryan Scott Anderson, for example, suggested that the rise of online dating “may be an illustration of heightened isolation and a diminished sense of belonging within communities.”It is true, as Rosenfeld’s data show, that online dating has freed young adults from the limitations and biases of their hometowns.

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