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A: Before the pandemic, online dating was still largely centered around text-based messaging

A: Before the pandemic, online dating was still largely centered around text-based messaging

Then when COVID-19 hit, many platforms started rolling out video dating features, which were an improvement but still not the same as interacting with someone face-to-face. I see a lot of potential in using VR for online dating because it lets you experience what it’s like to be with someone without having to actually be there in person. On a VR date, people can do things with each other instead of just asking questions back and forth as if they’re in an interview. I’ve also been collaborating with (VR company) Foretell Reality and (date coaching company) A Good First Date to study how VR can be used to teach people interpersonal skills that they can use to form relationships in the real world. As you can see, there are lots of exciting ways VR can be used to enhance interpersonal connections.

A: These days, it really is everyone. Online dating is the most common way to meet a romantic partner in the U.S., more common even than meeting people at bars or through friends. However, online dating is especially popular among people under 30.

Q: How does online communication influence first date success, and what does the track record look like for the translation of online communication to long-term relationship success?

Q: What are online daters looking for in a mate? What do they find attractive in their communication with other dating users?

A: People often judge others based on what researcher Jenna Frost and others Citation: Frost, J. H., Chance, Z., Norton, M. I., & Ariely, D. (2008). “People are experience goods: Improving online dating with virtual dates.” Journal of Interactive Marketing, 22, 51-61. refer to as “searchable attributes” – things like height, income, political leaning and religious affiliation. Yet these things often aren’t very good indicators of what it would be like to interact with someone in person. This can leave people feeling frustrated if they think they’ve found someone who “checks all the boxes” but later find out there’s just no connection in person. You’re better off getting to know someone and seeing what it feels like to interact with them rather than overemphasizing superficial traits.

A: There are so many ways that people’s online communication can set them up for success or failure after meeting face-to-face for the first time. First dates no longer mark the beginning of a relationship because by the time people meet, they may have already come to know each other quite well online. In terms of long-term outcomes, researchers have shared findings Citation: Cacioppo, J. T., Cacioppo, S., Gonzaga, G. C., Ogburn, E. L., & VanderWeele, T. J. (2013). “Marital satisfaction and break-ups local hookup site Tampa differ across on-line and off-line meeting venues.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 110(25), 10135-10140. that show one-third of marriages in the U.S. started online nearly 10 years ago. These relationships were also found to be a little more satisfying and a little less likely to end in divorce than those that started offline. This demonstrates that online dating isn’t just getting people first dates – in some cases, it’s also leading to committed relationships.

I’d say that’s largely because of Tinder, Bumble and other apps that have been able to reach a younger audience by gamifying dating and making it feel more fun

Q: Back to “You’ve Got Mail,” do you think Joe and Kathleen’s AOL internet connection would have survived in today’s 5G social apps dating ecosystem?

A: I like to think so. But it wouldn’t have been the same kind of love story that it was in the 90s. I think it’s becoming more and more rare to see people forming relationships online that are entirely separate from their offline lives. The reality today is there’s a lot more blending between what we do online and offline. If Joe and Kathleen were to meet in 2022, their story would be a lot more complicated because they would have so many more tools available for getting to know each other.

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