Psychological effects of online dating

In his new book, Love in the Time of Algorithms: What Technology Does to Meeting and Mating, writer Dan Slater argues that online dating has changed society profoundly. Y., newlywed, tells USA TODAY's Sharon Jayson just how and why.

Q: What is it about online dating today that you believe has made such a big difference? Everyone has access to so many more people than they were accustomed to in the past.

Q: You suggest that online dating has made relationships more disposable. A: An element of commitment is based on the availability of alternatives.

Online dating made a lot more people feel they are part of a larger mating pool than they were used to.

They may post flattering photos taken years ago when they were in much better physical condition, they may exaggerate about their accomplishments or they could lie about their income, education level and whether they drink or take drugs.

A person whom you are interested in getting to know may not acknowledge your message, and you won't know if it's because the person is being inundated with messages from hundreds of suitors or if he simply is not interested in you.

The main thing was the ubiquity of it and how it suddenly expanded the mating pool.

I started to wonder how that might affect how people approach their relationship lives.

Many of my friends are married to people they met online.

A: Science can examine a couple already together and throw them in a room and watch them interact and, based on observation of their interactions, can predict the likelihood of divorce or staying together.

What has not been proven is the predictive power of two strangers.

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