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Although opposites don’t tend to attract, by its nature internet dating does encourage diverse matches.The authors argue that it is changing the face of marriage by bring together types of people who previously never would have met.Recipients answered only 30% of men’s messages to women and 45% of women’s messages to men.The percentage that lead to conversations is even lower (around 20% and 30% respectively).The lab photos were only a little less attractive than those chosen for online dating profiles (about 5% for women and 4% for men). Clues to which types of profile photos work come from one online dating site which has analysed 7,000 photographs in its database (oktrends, 2010): (Remember, these are all associations so we can’t be sure about causality.) Even amongst a diverse population of online daters, people still prefer someone who is similar to themselves.
On average people are looking for someone about the same as themselves.
Somewhere between one-third and three-quarters of single people with internet access have used it to try and meet someone new.
But, over the years, we’ve heard conflicting stories about how successful it is.
Part of the problem is that people are encouraged by online dating to think in consumerist terms (Heino et al., 2010).
Users are ‘relationshopping’: looking at other people’s features, weighing them up, then choosing potential partners, as though from a catalogue; it’s human relationships reduced to check-boxes.