Abstract and Keywords
Early theorists in the field of computer-mediated communication posited it would be difficult, if not impossible, to form interpersonal relationships over computer networks because of the lack of physical proximity of communicators. Despite these dire predictions, online dating has flourished, recently becoming the third most common way that people met their spouses in both the United States and Europe, and it continues to grow in developing nations like China and India. The following chapter surveys the extant research on the demographics, issues, and outcomes surrounding online matchmaking and relationship formation, beginning with an historical overview of the technological developments that have facilitated it since the early 1990s. The chapter ends with a discussion of new technological developments impacting the genre, including the emergence of geolocation-based matching made possible by the migration toward smartphones and mobility, and the implications of the convergence of the physical and virtual worlds.
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