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durch  |  23-Sep-2015 02:41

Is it creating a new reality in which people actively avoid real-life interactions?

Of course, others have worried about these sorts of questions before.

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But the fear that online dating is changing us, collectively, that it's creating unhealthy habits and preferences that aren't in our best interests, is being driven more by paranoia than it is by actual facts.

"There are a lot of theories out there about how online dating is bad for us," Michael Rosenfeld, a sociologist at Stanford who has been conducting a long-running study of online dating, told me the other day.

"And mostly they're pretty unfounded." Rosenfeld, who has been keeping tabs on the dating lives of more than 3,000 people, has gleaned many insights about the growing role of apps like Tinder.

They are important today — roughly one of every four straight couples now meet on the Internet.

In fact, by several measures, online dating has proved even more useful — both to individuals and society — than the traditional avenues it has replaced.

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