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Last week, a year-old hoy became the youngest person in Britain to be prosecuted under so-called revenge porn laws. His year-old girlfriend had sent him naked pictures of herself and when they broke up he sold the pictures on Facebook for a tenner. So she sued him. But perhaps the real scandal is that kids are growing up in an environment where it is normal to send each other naked pictures. Consequently, what young people know about romance you could write on a Tinder profile.

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The ancient art of courtship is dying. Or Deborah Kerr asking Yul Brynner to dance?

What light from yonder window breaks? Fine, I get that. But even fixing people up in an artificial way used to be more romantic. When I was a student, I worked for a dating agency during the summer.

Click and flick – the Brutal side of Dating apps

We put these hopefuls together with lots of tactical thought about how they might mix, personality-wise. It was big in the Nineties. It used to be what counted before online porn made men want their sexual partners to look like Paris Hilton.


People picked each other at this dating agency by flicking through photos. Often, these were the happiest pairings. The marriage rate was impressive. They want quick and disposable flings. They want virtual not real. Which brings me back to sexting. Some years ago, a male friend started pestering me to send him naked pictures. But whenever I put it to him that I was single, and he was single, and that we could always meet up and go on a date, he always hacked off.

Sext is not sex. It is its own particular creature.

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It is the lowest maintenance human contact possible. And, above all, it is fast. The same goes for Tinder, which boasts: Stung by a bad divorce, he decided to get himself out there. Flick, flick, flick, he goes, his finger pushing at his iPhone screen as he trawls through the endless photos of hopeful-looking women attempting seductive pouts. Occasionally, he meets one lie likes the look of and they go on a date.

What Makes Us Click: How Online Dating Shapes Our Relationships : NPR

The women might be looking for love, but not the men. Every now and then, he tells me I ought to get myself on it. The worse thing is that the Tinder contagion is spreading. The flick, flick, flick attitude has taken hold in clubs and bars.

According to a Pew study conducted in , its most recent look at online dating, 59 percent of American adults say going online is a good way meet people — a 15 percent increase from a decade ago. In fact, in , 15 percent of American adults used a dating app or website — a number that has likely increased in the years since the study. Clearly, Americans' attitudes have changed about online dating.

Click and flick – the Brutal Side of Dating Apps – By Melissa Kite

But how has online dating changed the connections we make? To find out, Morning Edition asked two online daters who also spend their days thinking about online dating: Megan Murray, a senior content strategist for Zoosk, an online dating site and mobile app, and Skyler Wang, a Ph. Wang also taught an undergraduate course at the University of British Columbia called What Makes Us Click, about online dating and he gave NPR permission to use his course title for Morning Edition 's series on online dating. What was once taboo and unusual is so commonplace that for some, it's strange to meet a date in person before making any online connection.

Wang, who identifies as gay, says before he and his friends go out to a bar, his friends go on dating apps Tinder and Grindr to meet people at the bars where they're headed. Apps have made online dating more accessible; from to , the number of American adults that have used a dating app has tripled. And as Americans try new ways to connect, the norms of dating are evolving.

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Murray says that when it comes to online dating, the two-day rule — waiting a period of time, generally 48 hours days, to respond to messages — does not generally apply. Men who waited two days to reply to their Zoosk matches got responses 45 percent of the time, while men who replied same day and got responses 63 percent of the time. For many, the gradual shift in America to a data-driven culture is also shaping our dating lives. Megan Murray is a senior content strategist for Zoosk, an online dating site and mobile app. Some people use spreadsheets to help keep track of what they did and didn't like about dates. And filters on dating apps and sites allow users to create a pool of potential matches based on specific criteria. Filters let users set preferences for age or location, and some services allow daters to search for matches by interests, religion or occupation.