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In February, one study reported there were nearly 100 million people—perhaps 50 million on Tinder alone—using their phones as a sort of all-day, every-day, handheld singles club, where they might find a sex partner as easily as they’d find a cheap flight to Florida.
“It’s like ordering Seamless,” says Dan, the investment banker, referring to the online food-delivery service.
“The first was around 10,000 to 15,000 years ago, in the agricultural revolution, when we became less migratory and more settled,” leading to the establishment of marriage as a cultural contract.
“And the second major transition is with the rise of the Internet.”People used to meet their partners through proximity, through family and friends, but now Internet meeting is surpassing every other form.
It’s a balmy night in Manhattan’s financial district, and at a sports bar called Stout, everyone is Tindering.
The tables are filled with young women and men who’ve been chasing money and deals on Wall Street all day, and now they’re out looking for hookups.
The innovation of Tinder was the swipe—the flick of a finger on a picture, no more elaborate profiles necessary and no more fear of rejection; users only know whether they’ve been approved, never when they’ve been discarded. Hinge, which allows for more information about a match’s circle of friends through Facebook, and Happn, which enables G. It’s telling that swiping has been jocularly incorporated into advertisements for various products, a nod to the notion that, online, the act of choosing consumer brands and sex partners has become interchangeable.“It’s instant gratification,” says Jason, 26, a Brooklyn photographer, “and a validation of your own attractiveness by just, like, swiping your thumb on an app.