For folks who are meeting people everyday—really younger people in their early twenties—online dating is relevant, but it really becomes a powerful force for people in thin dating markets.

In a 2012 paper, I wrote about how among heterosexuals, the people who are most likely to use online dating are the middle-aged folks, because they’re the ones in the thinnest dating market.

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

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That's something not everyone thinks this is a good thing. The worry about online dating comes from theories about how too much choice might be bad for you.

The idea is that if you’re faced with too many options you will find it harder to pick one, that too much choice is demotivating.

In fact, people who meet their partners online are not more likely to break up — they don’t have more transitory relationships.

Once you’re in a relationship with somebody, it doesn’t really matter how you met that other person.

(For gay couples, it's more like two out of every three).

The apps have been surprisingly successful -- and in ways many people would not expect.

The age of first marriage is now in the late twenties, and more people in their 30s and even 40s are deciding not to settle down.

The rise of phone apps and online dating websites gives people access to more potential partners than they could meet at work or in the neighborhood.

People used to marry in their early 20s, which meant that most dating that was done, or most courting that was done, was done with the intention of settling down right away.

And that’s not the life that young people lead anymore.

It makes it easier for someone who is looking for something very specific in a partner to find what they are looking for.