The most beneficial and convenient invention most individuals can own are handheld mobile devices (smart phones) with internet access. Ordering products from our favorite store’s app. and/or website, then having that product delivered to our front door is as easy as a click of a button. Coral Ouellette, a writer who specializes in digital marketing claims the percentage of people that shop online are “91% of the entire country’s population! So far, 69% of Americans have shopped online…” (Ouellette, 2020). Online shopping saves us time and is stress-free. Similar to shopping online, nowadays many eligible bachelors and bachelorettes are turning to online dating apps. to find their potential partner or at the very least, to meet new acquaintances. Author, actor, and comedian Aziz Ansari, along with author and Sociologist Professor from New York University, Eric Klinenberg (2015) offer some convincing advice to single people who are pursuing compatible partners that are worth meeting during our new digital era of technology in their New York Times entry, “How to Make Online Dating Work.” Online dating apps. are evolving toward a new norm in ways that bring people together and meet one another, no matter their residing distance unless filtering out those people in inaccessible locations (Ansari & Klinenberg, 2015). The intended audience is aimed toward educated young adults to middle-aged adults who are single, that are actively logging into their dating apps., and are not distracted by priorities, meaning preferably adults that are child-free with spare time on their hands. The authors connect with their audience on many levels, we’ll analyze three of those connections, which are comparing where past generations met their partners a half century ago to the advanced technology our generation currently operates with today, through the authors’ appeal to logic and lastly, by the amount of participants using dating apps., which indicates a type of social influence.
There’s a considerable difference when comparing couples from past generations and where they met one another to where our current generation meets their significant other today. A sociologist at the University of Pennsylvania, James Bossard (1932) reviewed five thousand marriages that had been filed in the year of 1932 for residents in Philadelphia. Ansari includes Bossard’s claim that “one-third of couples had lived within a five-block radius of each other before they wed, one in six within a block, and one in eight at the same address!” (Bossard, 1932; Ansari et al. para. 26). For young women and men, searching for potential partners in the past was limited to a local selection of bachelors and bachelorettes. On the contrary, the advantages with technology and innovative dating apps. gives our current generation overwhelming options while swiping through hundreds of profiles, locally or statewide. The authors connect with their readers by favoring our current generation while using modern technology to our advantage, it’s a convenient way to search through eligible partners with a variety of choices.
The more options we have while searching online for potential partners implies we’ll have an unsettling doubt of certainty when deciding to choose just one. Moreover, choosing “the right one” does not necessarily mean the right one will choose you. Authors Ansari and Klinenberg in their book, Modern Romance (2015), introduced a professor of psychology at Swarthmore College, Barry Schwartz (2005), who spent his career studying problems that arise from having too many options, stating “Schwartz’s research shows that when we have more options, we are actually less satisfied and sometimes even have a harder time making a choice at all” (Schwartz, 2005; Ansari et al. 2015; as paraphrased in para. 16). Let’s take this following experiment into consideration that was conducted by a Columbia Professor, Dr. Sheena Iyengar (2006). Iyengar sets up a simple experiment offering samples of jam inside a grocery store, using “six types of jam, but other times they offered 24. When they offered 24, people were more likely to stop in and have a taste, but they were almost 10 times less likely to actually buy jam than people who had just six kinds to try” (Iyengar, Wells, & Schwartz, 2006; Ansari et al. para. 17). The more options we have when searching through potential dates online, the more we exhaust ourselves by overthinking simple decisions. For example, if we’re contemplating whether we should reach out to a jaw-dropping “perfect ten,” now if that same “perfect ten” was walking by us, what are the odds we’d stop and attempt to conversate with him or her? Unless some of us are confident and outgoing- it might work, odds are- Not likely, so rather than wishful thinking and hoping for who we think is “the right one,” instead we should reach out to those that are “good enough.” The authors agree with scientists that conduct research with Match.com, affirming, “the kind of partner people said they wanted often didn’t match up with what they were actually interested in” (Ansari et al. para. 7). The authors’ use of appeal to logic (logos) is reminding us to either “give each jam [person] a fair chance” (Ansari et al. para. 19), or we should stay in our lane, meaning our fantasy dream girl or guy will most likely leave us feeling disappointed. The majority of the time “good enough” is a level of satisfaction and overall, we can be content with our logical choice. With as many users that have logged into dating apps. It’s likely to find one that’s “good enough.”
The amount of participants using online dating sites is enormous. Many users are signed up, adding themselves to dating apps. can be convincing in and of itself. Ansari asserts “within two years, Tinder was said to have about 50 million users and claimed responsibility for two billion matches” (Ansari et al. para. 24). This high number suggests everyone that’s signed up is bound to connect with at least one eligible partner and would not be disappointed. Social influencers are main reasons why we submit ourselves to many things we otherwise wouldn’t normally submit to, such as new trends or “fads” in current or past moments we’ve included ourselves in, dining in new restaurants, dressing in certain attire, joining interest groups, and evidently signing into dating apps. to search for, and possibly meet a special someone. Those trends mentioned are just a few of many others that presume to impress another. Being “up-to-date” with current trends are often believed to express a “current” style, as opposed to an “outdated” one. Current trends share a commonality; as social influences increase, its popularity rises. Social influences can guide us like a controller toward our decision-making choices.
In conclusion, using modern technology toward our advantage is a good thing, whether it be for online shopping or online dating. Also, by taking the authors’ advice when reaching out to someone, such as giving fair chances to those that are confident enough to ask and/or approach the other, and making a logical choice to those who are not so perfect, but are still “good enough” meeting a satisfactory standard. Lastly, we should take into consideration the billions of users searching for romance online, the social influence grows daily. Ansari concludes, “we’re all in it together” (Ansari et al. p. 152), inferring that our current digital era of technology we’re in came fast, it’s hard to know exactly what works, what doesn’t, what’s not enough, and what’s too much. But one thing we all know is the feelings each of us get when experiencing chemistry with one another while actually face-to-face, or even at opposite ends of the same room. The courage to either reach out through a message or by approaching the other and breaking the ice, both seem to be challenging choices, but not an impossible one.
- Ansari, Aziz., Klinenberg, Eric. (2015). How to make online dating work, Modern Romance. New York: Penguin Press. Retrieved from: https://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/14/opinion/sunday/how-to-make-online-dating-work.html
- Ansari, Aziz., Klinenberg, Eric. (2015). Modern Romance. New York: PenguinPress. p. 152.
- Bossard, H. S. James. (1932). Residential propinquity as a factor in marriage selection, American Journal of Sociology. Vol. 38, No. 2. p. 219.
- Iyengar, S. Sheena., Wells, E. Rachael., Schwartz, Barry. (2006). Doing better but feeling worse: Looking for the ‘best’ job undermines satisfaction,” Psychological Science. Vol. 17, No. 2. P.143.
- Quellette, Coral. (2020). Online shopping statistics you need to know in 2020, Optinmonster. Retrieved from: https://optinmonster.com/online-shopping-statistics/#:~:text=
- Schwartz, Barry. (2005) The paradox of choice :why more is less. New York:HarperCollins.