THE ATLANTIC - Jan 3 - Most of the online dating CEO's agree that the rise of online dating will mean an overall decrease in commitment. “The future will see better relationships but more divorce,” predicts Dan Winchester, the founder of a free UK dating site. “Historically,” says Greg Blatt, the CEO of Match.com’s parent company, “relationships have been billed as ‘hard’ because, commitment has been the goal. You could say online dating is simply changing people’s ideas about whether commitment itself is a life value.” “I think divorce rates will increase as life in general becomes more real-time,” says Niccolò Formai, the head of social-media marketing at Badoo. “Societal values always lose out,” says Noel Biderman, the founder of AshleyMadison. “Premarital sex used to be taboo,” explains Biderman. “So women would become miserable in marriages, because they wouldn’t know any better. But today, more people have had failed relationships, recovered, moved on, and found happiness. Even at eHarmony, Gian Gonzaga, the site’s relationship psychologist, acknowledges that commitment is at odds with technology. “You could say online dating allows people to get into relationships, learn things, and ultimately make a better selection,” says Gonzaga. “But you could also easily see a world in which online dating leads to people leaving relationships the moment they’re not working—an overall weakening of commitment.
In 2011, Mark Brooks, a consultant to online-dating companies, published the results of an industry survey titled “How Has Internet Dating Changed Society?” The survey responses, from 39 executives, produced the following conclusions: “Internet dating has made people more disposable, and may be partly responsible for a rise in the divorce rates.” “Low quality, unhappy and unsatisfying marriages are being destroyed as people drift to Internet dating sites.” “Internet dating has helped people of all ages realize that there’s no need to settle for a mediocre relationship.”
Alex Mehr, a co-founder of Zoosk, disagrees. “Online dating only removes a barrier to meeting,” says Mehr. Surely personality will play a role in the way anyone behaves in the realm of online dating, particularly when it comes to commitment and promiscuity.