A couple of months ago, I was sitting at a bar minding my own business when the woman next to me did something strange.Surrounded by potential partners, she pulled out her phone, hid it coyly beneath the counter, and opened the online dating app Tinder.Among couples who were still married during the survey, those who met online reported higher marital satisfaction -- an average score of 5.64 on a satisfaction survey -- than those who met offline and averaged 5.48.The lowest satisfaction rates were reported by people who met through family, work, bars/clubs or blind dates.Anna Wilkinson has been married for seven years, has two young children, and – although exhausted – is delighted with her lot.“I was 33, had just broken up with my boyfriend and was beginning to think I’d never have a family life.I filled forms about my interests, my opinions and my personal goals – which was having a family – something I’d been too frightened to mention to my exes in the early days for fear of scaring them off.
The difference remained statistically significant even after controlling for variables like year of marriage, sex, age, education, ethnicity, household income, religion and employment status.
On her screen, images of men appeared and then disappeared to the left and right, depending on the direction in which she wiped.
I felt a deep sense a rejection -- not personally, but on behalf of everyone at the bar.
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.