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A new book by journalist Dan Slater, , argues that something momentous and irreversible has happened to modern-day dating and relationships.Slater says it heralds a shift akin in significance to the sexual revolution.At a press launch, Facebook reps showed off the new product, explaining that it could be used to search for restaurants, or for job recruiting.At one point, a Facebook employee stood to demonstrate a search for “friends of my friends who are single and living in San Francisco.” And that’s when Facebook entered the online dating game, doing away with what was, until now, a fragile divide between quotidian online activity and the act of browsing for potential mates.The problem is that the scientific jury is still out on whether similarity is, in fact, good for long-term commitment.And there’s no strong evidence that computers can predict compatibility through measurable psychological variables.The question, casting forward, is how that will change the very institution that many daters seek—marriage.
As online dating becomes the dominant path to relationships, it shifts the way these unions are built.
“We will reach a point when people don’t distinguish between meeting online and off-line,” he says.
“We won’t refer to online dating; it will just be dating.” And we aren’t far away.
“The other side is there will be more breakups, because people won’t feel imprisoned in relationships that aren’t right.” And that, Slater and others predict, could erode the values of commitment.
As the story goes, the first-ever matchmaker made his first match in the city of Haran, in what is now Turkey.
In the Bible, Abraham sends the loyal servant Eliezer to find a suitable wife for his son Isaac, who, at 40, isn’t getting any younger.