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The question nagged at me—not least because of my own experiences watching promising relationships peter out over text message—so I set out on a mission.I read dozens of studies about love, how people connect and why they do or don’t stay together.But Derek of 2013 simply clicked an X on a web-browser tab and deleted her without thinking twice.Watching him comb through those profiles, it became clear that online, every bozo could now be a stud.If he walked into a bar, you’d probably go, “Oh, there’s a white guy.” At our focus group on online dating in Manhattan, Derek got on Ok Cupid and let us watch as he went through his options.These were women whom Ok Cupid had selected as potential matches for him based on his profile and the site’s algorithm.What I’m about to say is going to sound very mean, but Derek is a pretty boring guy.Medium height, thinning brown hair, nicely dressed and personable, but not immediately magnetic or charming.

The biggest changes have been brought by the .4 billion online-­dating industry, which has exploded in the past few years with the arrival of dozens of mobile apps.Our phones and texts and apps might just be bringing us full circle, back to an old-fashioned version of courting that is closer to what my own parents experienced than you might guess.Where Bozos Are Studs Today, if you own a smartphone, you’re carrying a 24-7 singles bar in your pocket.As of this writing, 38% of Americans who describe themselves as “single and looking” have used an online-­dating site.It’s not just my ­generation—boomers are as likely as college kids to give online dating a whirl.

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