I'm not surprised to hear, this week, that Britain has the highest internet dating turnover of any European nation. More than nine million Britons have logged on to a dating site. But today the climate is much less censorious. Dating has changed exponentially. It had to. Not only does the UK have a high concentration of single people, many of us work in virtually single-sex environments.
Those beautifully awkward initial moments. The butterflies as you toy with the best thing to say. Watching her confusion turn to skepticism, interest and finally attraction as you natter away. The success of Tinder has led to the development of several copycat apps.
Some let you scope out profiles of people in the same room. Happn, for example, uses GPS technology to alert you when a fellow member strolls past. You can learn their name, hobbies and send a flirty message without having to even glance across the bar at them. How romantic. What if this becomes the new norm, just as Tinder-dates have?
How far will these easy-access apps go? Will chatting up someone cute become a thing of the past? Some may hope it does. Hitting on women is a terrifying process for the shy-guys, while even the biggest alpha-males have egos to protect. This fear is eliminated in online dating, which is a huge part of what makes it popular. It appeals to our inherently lazy natures as well. Why muster up the courage to approach a gorgeous girl when we could easily swipe another hundred just like her?
For me, being able to charm a gorgeous girl to her face is part of being a real man. These four steps are all you need to enjoy every interaction with the opposite sex.
Could you see yourself to rekindle the passion coming to an Intelligence Squared debate to sort of - [laughter] - get things fired - Daniel Jones: What are you asking really?
John Donvan: I'm not asking you out. I just want to share. We've had some - we've had people connect romantically by coming to these debates. Daniel Jones: I believe it, yeah. John Donvan: And we - we had - we had one marriage result - actually two a few years ago inI got an email from a guy in Denver named Ryan who wrote and said, "My girlfriend and I have been listening to your debates.
And we were having a lot of disagreements that were keeping us apart. But listening to your debates let us sort out what - you know, what we believe about things and to learn to respect the differences with each other.
And now I think I'm ready to pop the question. And I sent the audio file out to him. And four years ago, he played it in the kitchen while - while Nicole was making dinner. And then he got down on his knees and proposed to her. And I checked in with him this weekend. Daniel Jones: - probably. John Donvan: And we - we're very interested in these topics that kind of mix technology and the human spirit.
We've debated the impact of technology on the way we think on whether it makes it smarter, whether video games make us smarter. You know, artificial intelligence, and jobs. So, tonight's entrance in this category of Intellidating, we think, is really on target for us. Daniel Jones: [affirmative] John Donvan: But to get back to one other - a couple of other insights from your book that I just found fascinating - and your book, by the way, is called, "Love Illuminated: Exploring Life's Most Mystifying Subject.
Daniel Jones: Thank you. John Donvan: I really loved this book, because you had - first of all, you're a fantastic writer. You - so many people are competing to get into your column. I'm thinking, "Who is the guy who is judging all of these writers? First of all, all those pieces are really well-written - Daniel Jones: Thanks, John. That's nice of you to say. John Donvan: - but your writing is fantastic.
But you mentioned that men are three times more likely to declare themselves in love before sex, and that this was a study done at Penn State. Do you recall that? Daniel Jones: Yeah, yeah.
John Donvan: So, what's that about? Daniel Jones: That surprised me. Well, it didn't surprise me once I knew why. It was a study about who says "I love you" first in relationships. And I just - you know, I assumed it would be - very sexist of me, but I assumed it would be the women who would get emotionally involved before the man. And maybe they do. But the person who says, "I love you" first is the man, more commonly - three times more commonly, I think, and - John Donvan: Yeah, yeah.
Daniel Jones: - and he says it before sex. So, there's sort of a motive to - [laughter] - to saying it. I mean, I don't dispute its sincerity in the moment. John Donvan: At the time. Daniel Jones: In the moment. John Donvan: Yes.
Daniel Jones: And then women are much more likely to say, "I love you" after sex, at which point the man is less likely to reciprocate. John Donvan: - the - yeah, let's not. You also talk about the accidental "I love you," when one person blurts out, "I love you," not meaning to, and then - Daniel Jones: [affirmative] John Donvan: - and then it lands and becomes often unreciprocated.
John Donvan: I recommend the book just for these couple of pages, because this is a brilliant story. I mean, it - but again, we're so guarded. And this is - it's funny how "I love you," has become this sort of threshold.
You know, like saying these words - like, in some cultures you don't even say "I love you" ever. And for us, it's so loaded. And then the - I mean, my favorite of stories that have come my way - many of which actually are about this exact issue - how do you say I love you? What does a person say in response? And the classic responses are, like, "Thanks," you know? Well, yeah. You are a catch. And you've helped set up this conversation spectacularly well. The book, again, "Love Illuminated.
So, far, 80, We've got another several hundred here, of people who can write and tell their stories. But I want to thank you - Daniel Jones: Sure.
John Donvan: [laughs] I want to thank you so much for taking the time and for helping us - Daniel Jones: Thanks, John. John Donvan: - set this table this way. John Donvan: Daniel Jones. My pleasure. John Donvan: And now, let's please welcome our debaters to the stage, starting with Tom Jacques. Manoush Zomorodi.
And Eric Klinenberg. Eric Klinenberg: Hello. John Donvan: Welcome to Intelligence Squared. You are a professor at New York University. You're co-author of the best-seller, "Modern Romance. And that's a field that has been looking at mating rituals for as long as anyone can really remember. And tonight, we're debating the impact of dating apps on people.
But how have these apps changed sociology itself? Eric Klinenberg: So far, they haven't really changed sociology, but it is inevitable that they're going to. And there's a very simple reason for that, and that is that the things we do on apps are recorded by the companies that make them. And we can turn that into data that we learn to discover all kinds of things about our secrets, the things we do.
And actually, I should say that is just one of the many unromantic things about dating apps. Eric Klinenberg - [applause] - trying to slip one by us. And Eric's partner is - ladies and gentlemen, please welcome again Manoush Zomorodi. Manoush Zomorodi: Hi, John. John Donvan: You host the "Note to Self" podcast. It's known as the tech show about being human.
Your recent book, "Bored and Brilliant," also makes another sort of fascinating breakthrough argument that is based on new research. You have found, you report, that we come up with some of our best and most creative thinking during periods when we are off of social media and just spacing out, because that's when our minds get busy, you say, in interesting and creative ways. So, given that, is the advice that you would give your opponents tonight, if they want to win this debate, that they should just space out now and then?
Manoush Zomorodi: Yeah, I would say, if they have not ignited the default mode in their brain and allowed their minds to wander towards brilliance, it's a little late, so Ladies and gentlemen, the team arguing for the motion. You've been to many debates as a member of the audience. It's great to have you up here. You are a biological anthropologist.
You are the chief scientific adviser to Match.
Aside! has online dating killed traditional ideas about romance and marriage with you agree
That's what your book "Anatomy of Love" is all about, which raises the question, which probably will come up tonight, are we stuck with the chemistry that we're born with? We've evolved a huge cerebral cortex with which we make decisions. It's amazing we don't do it better, but we do.
We have, although, you know - although we are flexible, we have personalities that are based in biology. And we're naturally drawn to some people rather than others. So, people are correct when they say, "We have chemistry. Ladies and gentlemen, Helen Fisher. And next in line is Tom Jacques.
Welcome to Intelligence Squared, Tom. Tom Jacques: Thank you. You are - that is a leading date site for anybody who might not know that.
It boasts more than 3. You, Tom, got your degree in computer science from Carnegie Mellon. And that makes you the numbers guy on the stage tonight, more than anybody else. So being good with numbers - Tom Jacques: Yes. John Donvan: - can you please settle the most important mathematical question to have burdened sages and songwriters for generations. Is one the loneliest number? So, I think one certainly, you know, is a lonely number.
But like all questions, the context matters. So, if we're talking about the number of relationships in the world, then zero is the loneliest number because it means that everybody's alone. John Donvan: Oh. Tom Jacques: If you have - [laughter]. You know, if you have one, but, you know, you might have access to a dating app like OkCupid, you can quickly turn that into two. John Donvan: Okay. Also getting ahead of yourself. Ladies and gentlemen, Tom Jacques.
Everybody, we're going to move on. As always, our debate goes in three rounds. And it's the difference between the first and the second vote that declares our winners, and only one side wins. Let's move onto Round 1. Speaking first for the motion and making his way to the Intelligence Square there on the floor, Eric Klinenberg. He is sociologist and co-author of the book, "Modern Romance.
You heard I'm a sociologist. I love sociology. I can't stop doing it. So, I thought, let's start tonight by getting to know each other a little bit. I'm going to do an old-fashioned instant survey to get us going. So, let me just ask, how many people in this room - can you clap, please - if you have never done online dating - if you've never used an - [applause] - oh, this is the National Public Radio crowd here tonight.
And can you also clap loudly if you have used a dating app? We have - people, we have a future. Can you clap if you're single? Clap if you're married, please. Somewhat disturbing. And just finally, if you could clap if you're currently in an extramarital relationship. Ashley Madison, a dating app that is not dead yet. I have traveled around the world doing interviews and focus groups with people who are single.
I have studied the data that come from dating companies. And I can tell you that it's true - millions of people are using dating apps and many are finding relationships.
But we are here not to talk about the numbers so much as to talk about the experience. And let me tell you that the experiences of people who use dating apps are anything but romantic. And let's remember why we're here tonight, ladies and gentlemen.
Our question is not "Are dating apps popular? We concede that. It's whether dating apps are bad for romance. And Manoush and I tonight are going to tell you why they are. But before we can do that, let's define the term. What is romance? Let's go to the Oxford English dictionary, a great source for this. It tells us that romance is this kind of feeling of mystery and wonder - Helen has written about this - that we get around love, but there's something else in the definition that's important to me.
It's the sense of being swept away, remote from reality, away from everyday life. It's that sense of being preoccupied with some other person. You think about them and care about them so much that everything else kind of melts away.
You forget about the mundane. That's the feeling that we try to recapture when we go on vacation, or when we go on a date, or when we make a meal for our special person. It's that idea that we're lost in love. There's not another care we have in the world. Now, it is worth nothing that since the advent of the Internet, marriage rates have gone down. There are more people in the world who are single today than ever before.
There are more people who are living alone. Still, I think that most people who are looking for love are able to find it, and technology won't change that. The thing is that dating apps are making just about every part of our search for love less romantic. Think about it.
Consider, that has online dating killed traditional ideas about romance and marriage speaking
If you've been on a dating app, you know that it encourages you to treat people like products. People routinely lie about their height, their age, their weight, their income. They put huge amounts of attention into their photograph - and for good reason. About 90 percent of the action - online dating - is about the quality of your picture.
Are you hot or not? But then we sent out heartless and sometimes cruel messages - things we would never say to a person in person - because the phones encourage us to treat people like bubbles on a screen. Unfortunately, the things that we do online are changing the culture. My fellow sociologists say that they're changing our norms, making us ruder, and flakier, and more self-involved.
Have you taken a selfie recently? Here's the most important thing. Dating apps make it harder, not easier to be swept away by another person. Why is that? Because the phone demands our attention. It is always telling us that there's something or someone that deserves our attention more than the person we're with or the thing we're doing now. That's true for new couples, but it's also true for established couples as well.
I mean, think about it. How often have you come home at night, if you're in a couple, looking for affection and connection only to find your partner cuddled up on the couch with his iPhone? How romantic is that? Real life and real relationships have a hard time competing with the stimulation that apps give us. On dating apps, the problem is there's too much going on. Today, people go into their phones, and they perceive a world of limitless dating choices.
And unfortunately, this means it's very hard to settle on the person that we're with. We're always wondering, isn't there something better out there? Let's go online and find out. I have interviewed people who are on Tinder while in an Uber on their way to a date that they organized on Tinder hours before.
And this matters because romance and love don't come from superficial connections. It's not really about whether you're hot or not.
At the end of the day, romance is impossible without sustained face-to-face contact. What's important is not the quantity of our dates; it's the quality of our interactions. And the main reason that you should vote for the motion tonight is because apps and the phone culture that they're part of have made spending quality time with another human being a very hard thing to do.
Thank you. I really appreciate the opportunity to come out here tonight to debate. So, I usually don't do media or public speaking things. Like most people, it terrifies me. And being a programmer, I'm more likely to talk to a computer than another human being.
But, you know, even though I'm not going to be as eloquent as Eric just was, I'm going to do my best. So, hello, everybody. So, I grew up in a small town of Wayland, Massachusetts. And, you know, after graduating, I moved to New York to join this crazy startup called OkCupid that was trying to use the internet to help people find love.
And, you know, working on a dating app, you know, let me tell you some of my interests. I love to travel, love candle-lit dinners, long walks on the beach, and writing algorithms. You know, it's literally what I've spent the last eight years of my life thinking about every single day. And I may not look like a traditional matchmaker but today, you know, as Eric told you, I am the typical matchmaker because, you know, dating apps are the most common way to meet people now.
And today, you know, I'm going to show you that instead of killing romance, the data actually shows that dating apps are creating romance. And even though Eric didn't want to talk about the numbers, I do. So, I've got three main points that I want to get across tonight. The first point is that more and more people are using dating apps to get together. You know, since building momentum in when the first dating apps started coming about, there's been a steady increase in the percent of couples that are using dating apps to get together.
This is especially true of people who were marginalized before, the handicapped, the LGBTQI community and people over the age of You know, says - a quick question to the audience, and remember, it's radio so make a lot of noise.
Who knows somebody who's in a relationship because of a dating app? Turns out you're not alone. A number of studies estimate that over 40 percent of relationships today come from meeting on a dating app, and over 70 percent of LGBTQI relationships do.
A recent study, called the Strength of Apps [unintelligible] that got global attention insays that we're actually seeing an unorthamericanjunioramateur.comecedented rise in the number of interracial marriages. And this sharp rise in interracial marriages correlates exactly to moments when popular dating apps were released - things like Match. This is what dating apps do. They break down barriers and allow you to connect, form relationships, get married to people who you might otherwise never have the chance to meet.
What isn't romantic about that? So, my second point is that it's working. Not only are people getting together, they're staying together and they're happy. Studies have shown that married couples who met online report higher marital satisfaction and have a lower rate of breaking up than couples who met offline. And you might be thinking, "Alright. So, what? Anybody can cite a study that makes them look good, right? Well, let's talk about something you can't fake - more data.
It turns out that because marriages are registered with the government in the United States, the CDC happens to track marriage and divorce rates. Don't ask me why the CDC thinks that marriage is a disease.
According to them, marriage has been steadily declining in the United States since the '80s. And this trend only began to change inwhere it started to bottom out, and it's actually started to rise again. You know, if you take a look at divorces - and specifically the rate of divorces per marriage - that's a trend line that's been going up over time.
You know, people have been getting divorced more and more. But that trend also reversed in It's actually come back down to one of the lowest points in the last 20 years. So, now, well, correlation doesn't imply causation. You know, how could these negative trends have been reversed during the rise of dating apps?
It's a hard pill to swallow. If dating apps have killed romance, where's the body? Qualitatively, people don't think that dating apps are killing romance. Pew Research surveyed 55 percent of people who don't use dating apps - think that they're good. A lot of people who do use them - 80 percent - think that they're a good way to meet people. Quantitatively, people are still forming relationships and getting together. Again, over 40 percent of relationships today and over a third of marriages are due to dating apps.
And you know, if this stuff didn't work, I wouldn't have a job. They're making romance possible. And because of that, I ask you to vote no on the motion. I'm John Donvan. I am not a sociologist. I am not a data scientist. I'm a mom of two kids. I'm a wife. I'm a journalist. And I host a podcast that is about how technology is changing everything in our lives. And my audience is extremely generous. Every day, we get emails and voice memos about how technology is specifically changing the way that they work, the way that they parent, the way that they fall in love.
And oftentimes, they are looking for guidance on how to cope with this accelerating world. And so, that is what I hope to offer them on this podcast. But when I told them I was going to be doing this debate tonight, they had a message for you. In fact, they had a few things that they wanted you to know about their experiences on these dating apps. Some simply wanted to share the messages that they had exchanged with potential suitors.
Manoush Zomorodi: And tell me if this would spark online romance for you. Yeah, those weren't too bad. Can I read you my favorite? What are you looking for? My kids aren't listening. I just want you to know that. To be fair, several of my listeners did say that they eventually did meet a special someone with the help of an online dating site. But like anyone who has spent time on these apps, they first had to run the gauntlet of lewd messages or spend time exchanging messages with people who seemed really interested but then just seemed to disappear from their screens.
One person wrote me, "All the apps have bots of beautiful people who seem amazing and educated and hot and available and who will engage you for a few sessions, but then they ghost you.
But let's say you do make a connection. Okay, let's stay positive. Let's say you make a connection with the person, a real person, with the help of an app, and you go on an actual date. Then what? So many people told me that the transactional quality of their experience on these apps just seeps over into real life.
Chrissy wrote me, "I have come to despise that look a man gives you when you first meet, the gleam in their eye, the smirk.
Necessary phrase... has online dating killed traditional ideas about romance and marriage speaking, advise you
It makes me shudder. Immediately, I have to decide how hard I'm going to push to split the bill because clearly they think they're buying something. But at least that guy showed up. Listen to this story about a dude who really used one of these apps to manipulate people. Clip one. Female Speaker: He was on Match. So, he told me that what he liked to do was start relationships with women and get to the point where it was going to be their first meeting.
And I guess that was like the most exciting fun part for him, as it is for most people. And then you would set up a time and place for them to finally meet for the first time, and then he wouldn't show up. And he would do it over and over and over again.
Good times. Now, listen. Have I shared with you the worst cts of online dating? And maybe you're thinking, like, oh my God, if it's so terrible, just don't do it, right? But here is the problem. The destruction of romance extends IRL, into real life. Clip two? Female Speaker: Yeah, so I walked into this bar kind of excited to see if I could connect with a guy.
And I looked around, and every single guy at the bar was on their phone on dating apps, every single one. I got to the point where I realized I should just get on the dating apps and see if any of them are actually on it. But there's no point in interacting. Manoush Zomorodi: "No point in interacting," much less exchanging glances over a pint of Brooklyn Lager. Are you feeling tired? Are you exhausted by all these stories?
Not has online dating killed traditional ideas about romance and marriage opinion
Are you thinking, oh my God, this is so straining, especially for women. Well, you're not alone. Here's Becca. Female Speaker: It's just very exhausting.
Swipe Left: Dating Apps Have Killed Romance
Like online dating is very exhausting. I'm like, obviously, not opposed to meeting someone in my life. It's just like, for me personally, I don't know where the [bleep] I would meet anyone in real life. They've taken away mystery, remoteness.
But I want to add that dating apps have destroyed another important ct of romance, civility and conversation, basic emotional intelligence, eye contact, being able to read someone's body language and make them think, like at your best, like your best self, make them think that you are just amazing, and they are the most special person in the world, at least until you get to know each other, right?
Has online dating killed traditional ideas about romance and marriage
Look, we all know the internet is extraordinary. Information goes around so quickly we are connecting people all over the world. But is it good for romance?
When human beings interact online, they often revert to their crudest instincts. Dating apps are no different and certainly not better. Give me a Twitter where people punctuate properly and treat each other with respect, and I will grant you a dating app that brings out people's most caring, loving, and romantic selves.
Not gonna happen. John Donvan: Thank you. I'm delighted to be here, and I'm delighted that you're here. I do an annual study with Match.
We do not poll the Match members. It's a demographically and national representative sample based on the U. We've done it for the last eight years and we've got data on over 35, singles of every age and every background. And today, this past year, 6 percent of singles met somebody in a bar - I'm not surprised about that.
Moreover, 57 percent think that online dating is a good way to meet people. Are they all crazy? Before we get into deep yogurt on this, into the weeds on this whole issue, I'd like to add a broader, more evolutionary, more anthropological perspective to apps, to romance, and to human nature. And I'm going to begin with a story. I was traveling in New Guinea, in the highlands of New Guinea, and I ran into a man who had three wives. And I asked him, "How many wives would you like to have? And I thought to myself, "Is he going to say five?
Is he going to say 10? We are a pair-bonding species. Even in polygamous societies, the vast majority of men and women pair up with one person at a time. And along with the evolution of human pair-bonding, millions of years ago, we evolved the brain circuitry for romance. I study this brain system of romantic love. I and my colleagues, Lucy Brown, Bianca Acevedo, and others, have put over people into a brain scanner, using FMRI to study the brain's circuitry of romantic love.
And we've been able to show that the main circuits lie way below the cortex, where you do your thinking, way below the brain regions linked with the emotions - at the very base of the brain linked with drive. In this case, the drive to find life's greatest prize, which is a mating partner.
In fact, this brain system lies right near the factories that orchestrate thirst and hunger. Thirst and hunger keep you alive today, romantic love enables you to focus your mating energy on somebody else and pass your DNA on into tomorrow.
This is a survival mechanism and it will not die, whether you swipe left or right on Tinder. In the s, we suddenly had a rolling bedroom. What about the birth control pill in the '70s or Viagra in ? Technology cannot change the basic brain structure of romance. Technology is changing the way we court, and you're going to hear more and more about that. In the past, people pulled up in their horse and buggy and wooed at the lunch - on Sunday lunch.
In my day, they called on the phone. Today, people email, and text, and meet, and seek a mate on the internet with apps. It's just the newest way to do the same old thing.
In fact, these really aren't even dating sites. They're introducing sites. The only real algorithm is your own brain. When you go out and meet the person - and you've got to meet the person - your own brain snaps into action and you court the way you always have - smiling, laughing, listening, watching, parading, the way you did long before apps. In fact, romantic love is a little bit like a sleeping cat. And 89 percent of singles today believe that you can find the - if - when you find the right person, you could remain married for life.
If that's not romance, I don't know what is. And I think they're looking in the right place. I did this study myself with Match, and I found that people who use internet to date have more education, are more fully employed, and more likely to want to marry.
These sites certainly do have problems. But like any new technology, you've got to learn how to use it. And you've seen how people are not using it properly tonight. The biggest problem - and it was mentioned by Eric - is cognitive overload. The brain is not well built to choose between hundreds if not thousands of alternatives. So, what I would recommend is that you stop. If you're a dating person, after you've met nine people - the brain doesn't deal with more than about nine - stop and get to know one person more.
And the more you get to know a person, the more you like him, and the more you think that that person is like you. Actually, I think romance is expanding due to something that I call slow love. Today, singles are taking different routes to love. Many of them are just hanging out for months before they even kiss.
Others are working slowly into friends with benefits, then slowly into dating somebody. Dating has actually acquired a new significance, more important. And then slowly into living together before they marry. What we're seeing is a real extension of the pre-commitment stage before we tie the knot. Where marriage used to be the beginning of a relationship, now it's the finale.
And we have even more time for romance. So, nobody gets out of love alive. You've heard about some of these people. We all suffer on the internet and off the internet as the poet William Butler Yeats once said, "Love is the crooked thing. But I will close with this, the drive for romance and love is one of the most powerful brain system the human animal has ever evolved.
Apps have their problems, but apps cannot, never have, and never will kill the brain circuitry for romance. And that concludes round one of this Intelligence Squared U. And round two is where the debaters address one another directly, and they take questions from me and from you, our live audience here in New York City. Manoush Zomorodi and Eric Klinenberg argue that dating by apps is anything but romantic, that it makes it harder to be swept away when meeting another person or encountering another person which they define as the essence of romance.
They point out that the apps are a transactional activity whose quality is seeping into real life and destroying - destroying romance actually in real life even in offline relationships, killing things like civility and decency. Dating apps making it just - people ruder and they used the word "flakier. And they also point out one of the principles I think is involved here is the problem of having too much choice, that when people know that they have always the opportunity to swipe for somebody else, they're always going to be looking for something better.
So that's part of the argument being made by the team arguing for the motion. The team arguing against the motion, Helen Fisher and Tom Jacques, they say that data actually backs up the argument - their argument that apps are aiding and abetting romance, that the numbers support their argument, that there are people in the world getting together who otherwise would not be able to, including people in the disabled community, the LGBT community, where apps are, they say, responsible for 70 percent of relationships that have developed.
They also say there is a correlation to a breaking down of all kinds of social barriers with the appearance of apps. Also, going to the level of brain chemistry that the brain circuitry of romantic love is too deeply etched in our brains to be dislodged by one generation of dating apps. They point out that time and time again technology has been blamed for destroying romance, but it's always turned out to be a false alarm.
They say it's a false alarm this time again. I want to go to the team arguing for the motion. Essentially, you're making a qualitative argument I would say, primarily. And your opponents are making a quantitative argument.
Let's take on their quantitative argument. They're basically pointing out that the numbers so strongly suggest that people are using these apps because they're working for them - that all by itself, they win the debate - public behavior wins the debate for them, that people are using these apps. And as you already conceded, there have been many, many relationships developing out of them. Would you like to take that on, Eric? Eric Klinenberg: By all means, because we would never concede that millions of people are using those apps.
We just think that's a very poor way to measure their effect on romance. So, let me ask you to consider, for instance, Facebook. Do you know that Americans get their news from Facebook like no other place? Ladies and gentlemen, would any single person in this room argue that Facebook is good for news, for journalism, or truth?
As you may have heard, dangerous online dating has been destroying and ruining dating, romance and commitment for years. Now that there are apps for that, too, it's time to [ ]. Jul 29, New computer technology has greatly expanded people's potential and freedom to communicate with one another, some of which may generate love and romantic relationships, but online dating/matching. Love stories have obviously sprung about in the decade of online dating, and it's only thanks to a connection made online that these couples were able to make .
Teenagers all over the world are using their smartphones to text each other incessantly. Are smartphones good for conversation? What are the most popular restaurants in the United States today? Are they good for nutrition? John Donvan: Tom Jacques, what's the response to - your opponents are basically saying that dating apps, like the one that you work for, they are the fast food of romance.
And they're quite seriously arguing that it's coarsening the culture and that anything that coarsens the culture can't be called romantic. Tom Jacques: So, I think that there are some fair points they brought up, you know? But one of those points that was brought up was - is Facebook good for news?
Well, I'd actually say yes. I think Facebook and Twitter have been great for news. Dating apps allow you to expand your options and get down to the point of meeting people who you're actually going to talk with and connect with and get to know. John Donvan: Manoush, so the - embedded in that response is also the argument that team is making - that people who normally would not have the opportunity to meet are meeting.
And definitely, I don't think you would even argue against the fact that communities like the disabled communities - that would have been shut out before - are now connecting. And again, that if romance is sparking in those situations in places it wouldn't before, then that supports their argument. What's your response? Manoush Zomorodi: Well, I think, using this word romance, as a journalist who doesn't believe that Facebook is good for news - and in fact, it is destroying what has been held true - [applause] - and how we disseminate information - I would argue that when we say - for example, Helen says 70 percent say that online dating is a good way to meet people.
That is not disputed. What we're talking about is romance. And that has all kinds of - you can't quantify romance. That is a moment where you have butterflies in your stomach or your - you meet - I'll give you an example of a young woman who told a story to me yesterday, who said she met this guy and he ticked all her boxes - literally. He was a doctor.
He was tall. He had brown hair, all those things. He even had a golden retriever. And they - [laughs] - she's like, "It's happening. It's happening. I did it online. I'm going - we're meeting. He's cool.
It's in the afternoon. Do you want to meet my golden retriever? And - sorry - meaning that she went back to his apartment, and he was like, "Well, let's get into bed. Manoush Zomorodi: There was a dog. But my point being that romance is subjective and numbers are not. So, while we say - John Donvan: Okay. Manoush Zomorodi: - 70 percent are meeting that way, that does not mean that romance is happening.
John Donvan: Let me take that response to Helen Fisher, then. Your opponents are basically saying, "If we're going to be talking about romance, about this mysterious swept-away thing - that that's a different thing from numbers of introductions, and even numbers of relationships that connect.
So, what's your response to that? Helen Fisher: Well, it's interesting that they keep on talking about one individual here and one individual there, whereas we are talking about huge numbers of 40 million people. And all of our data shows that one-third of relationships - Manoush, relationships - [laughter] - start, you know, on the internet - relationships - and that one-fifth of all marriages.
There's romance in relationships. There's romance in marriages.
- A boyfriend actually told me he only felt we were really dating once we'd put it on Facebook. How does that make any sense? If you are a couple, that's it. We don't need to have the validity of social networks to have a real relationship. So, is this just the way that modern dating has to be now? Changing with the times and all of that.
Manoush Zomorodi: I think that people are beaten down. I mean, like getting - [laughter] Like when Tom says people are getting together and staying together, that's because they're too tired to move on, people. Let's just call it, you know? The game's over. And as someone who's been married for quite some time. Some days there are romance, some days there are not. And I think what Eric actually and I - has said to me that I found very fortifying is actually that romance that you have at the very beginning of a relationship bodes well for you down the road because it's a touch point that you can go back to.
Thank you for that, Eric. Eric Klinenberg: Just so that sociology doesn't get left out of here altogether, because I - we do have some numbers. Manoush Zomorodi: Oh! There are more people who are living alone than there have ever been before.
And that when I interviewed enormous numbers of people - and by the way, I have no self-interest in this. I have no company that's paying me to do this. I mean, the data is all about me being a scientist and trying to get things. Well, we should take that into consideration because if it was 30 - John Donvan: If your - if your suggestion is that they are shills for their companies, I just want to say, in the spirit of Intelligence Squared, we strike that because we actually want to hear the merits of the arguments that they had.
So, if it was 30 years ago and we were debating whether cigarettes were bad for you and the cigarette industry told us, "Here's our evidence," we would all say - John Donvan: All right, again - Eric Klinenberg: - "well, how do we judge that? I just want - I just want to - [laughter] Eric Klinenberg: So, let me say, for the sake of science, that there is incredible disparity in the numbers of what we get from different sources.
Jul 19, The transactional nature of dating apps has seeped into real life in a way that, experts argue, kills the romance that leads to love: "Dating apps have destroyed another important ct of romance: civility and conversation, basic emotional intelligence, eye contact, [and] being able to read someone's body language," said Zomorodi. Mar 06, Online dating is an attractive option for casual northamericanjunioramateur.coms. Some have even found love through online dating. If you are still doubting online dating, take a look at why online dating is a good way to step into a relationship. 1. Couples who meet online have lasting relationships. Saying dating apps killed romance is saying that other people looking for love should be denied that same opportunity. [laughter] The reason that I do what I do for a living is because I think everyone should have that opportunity. And because of that, I urge you to vote no on the motion. [applause] John Donvan: Thank you, Tom Jacques.
Manoush Zomorodi: Yes, that's right. Eric Klinenberg: So, the Match. And for instance, let me just pick one - let me just pick one bone for a moment here. The claim that the rise in interethnic marriage is coincident with the rise of online dating. This is not a claim that holds water. The preeminent researcher of this is Mike Rosenfeld from Stanford University.
He's a dear colleague of mine. He wrote a book called "The Age of Independence" that I know well from my work, and it shows, that the rise of intermarriage happens when young people start marrying later, get places of their own, and free themselves from parental control, and so therefore can make decisions about who they want to interact with, who they want to mate with without that kind of pressure before.
And so, to say that this is about online dating is just plain wrong. We have to adhere the facts. John Donvan: Okay, Eric, I just want to break in because this side has had quite a run. I want to let this side talk for a while now. Take it, Helen. Helen Fisher: Well, two things. First of all, I loved your book, "Going Solo.
We're hyper-connected. You can't walk down the street without dodging people because they're so busy connecting with everybody. So, you know, I mean, this is not a - going solo doesn't necessarily mean that these people are sitting in their - you know.
That's number one. Eric Klinenberg: No, just different than romance. Helen Fisher: Number two. I want to do talk about this interracial marriage, too, because I don't know if we're referring to the same article. But I was really moved by a particular article that really - there's two things that we actually do know that inter- - that online dating is helping, and it is increasing more interracial marriages. And I say that because in this data of - we have at Match, of - they have.
I'm just a consultant - of 35, people, we ask what you're looking for every year. And the top things that people are looking for is somebody they respect, somebody they can trust and confide in, somebody who makes them laugh, somebody who makes them - gives them enough time, and somebody who they find physically attractive.
And way down the road is ethic background. Over 70 percent of singles today would go out with somebody from a different racial group. John Donvan: Tom, I want to take - give you a moment to build on the argument that you were making in the beginning about algorithms. You talked a lot about algorithms, the implication being - I believe the implication being that these algorithms are better than people at looking at a large group of people and figuring out who's going to be compatible.
Jul 18, 5 Reasons Why Online Dating Has Ruined Finding Love July 18, by Jason Levoy 15 Comments This man says that while online dating has led to opportunities, it's ruined how we find lasting love. I wouldn't say that online dating is what killed it. With the rise of modern feminism came a rise in divorce and over time hook-up culture. Those things of course came about way before online dating was even a thing. Dec 01, As someone who fell in love online, I do think internet dating is a Good Thing. Of course it's lovely to meet in "real life". The fact that someone has .
I think that's your - that's the basis of your business. And my question to you is, how do we know that that's really any better than if you just got a large group of people together and got them in contact with each other that they would figure out their own matches?
So, that's a different question from, it's a larger group of people. It's once you get that large group of people, why is your algorithm - what does your algorithm know about dating and romance that the rest of us don't?