Every day, millions of people turn to dating apps to find love. Americans have given digital dating a try and the companies facilitating these matches are raking in billions. But are dating apps really designed to promote long-lasting romance? Apps like Tinder and Bumble make finding a date as easy as swiping right, while digital platforms like Match.com and OkCupid use specialized algorithms to help users find the perfect partner, regardless of age or personal preferences. Further, a range of niche sites connect people with highly specific interests, whether it’s single parenthood, a gluten-free lifestyle, or a devotion to Ayn Rand. But some argue that online dating is rife with sexism, racism, and misogyny, and that dating apps ultimately create a culture that prioritizes sex over committed and lasting love. After all, why settle on one match when there may be someone better just a swipe away? Arguing for the motion is Eric Klinenberg, a professor of sociology and director of the Institute for Public Knowledge at New York University with Manoush Zomorodi, the host and managing editor of "Note to Self" from WNYC Studios. Arguing against the motion is Helen Fisher, PhD, a biological anthropologist with Tom Jacques, the vice president of engineering at OKCupid. Keynote conversation with Daniel Jones, editor of "Modern Love" from the New York Times. John Donvan moderates. This debate was taped on February 6, 2018.
· Match-making algorithms are grounded in a false logic that suggests a 'soulmate' can be determined by a series of characteristics and lifestyle preferences. Further, they filter away potential connections based on arbitrary metrics like hair color, height, and Facebook likes.
· Be it racist or sexist comments, coarse language generally, or unsolicited personal photos, dating apps are a breeding ground for a bad behavior that not only degrades romance but society itself.
· Apps like Tinder have made dating an exercise in excess. Why settle for one match when thousands of others are just a swipe away?
· By necessity, dating apps are designed to keep users from long-term commitments like marriage. If lasting love was the goal, the sites would go out of business.
· Using targeted algorithms, dating apps help users find compatible life partners who share similar values, aspirations, and interests.
· By bringing singles from various social, economic, and geographic backgrounds together, dating apps break down barriers associated with traditional dating and foster meaningful connections across cultures and social strata.
· Easy-to-use apps make dating simple and accessible. This is particularly noteworthy for LGBT singles, single parents, and those over 55, who have turned to online platforms to find love in record numbers.
· The financial success of digital dating is a testament to its effectiveness. If users were disappointed by outcomes, they would leave the platforms.