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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.
They are important today — roughly one of every four straight couples now meet on the Internet.(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.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.
This environment, mind you, is just like the one we see in the offline world.