FINANCIAL TIMES - Tinder's 'Matchmaker' enables parents and friends to recommend dates and bring "your circle of trust into your dating journey". Mark Brooks, a consultant to dating apps [Courtland Brooks], says "Indian apps have been doing this for years." Matrimonial sites such as Shaadi.com let users say if their profile was created by themselves, a sibling, friend or parent. For those in the west, Brooks says, matchmaking features can be "amusing", even "transformative". We can be delusional about ourselves and our interests - notably our athleticism. "Some people really need a little reality check . . . Friends or family can spot potential red flags in profiles."
Colleen Sinclair, Professor at Louisiana State Uni., conducted an experiment to see if Americans would take advice regarding online dates. "Friends tend to be the primary source of relationship advice. Ultimately when you have lots of choices we like things that help us narrow them down. Whenever we're in a situation which [has] no script, our instinct is to go to others for help."
A recent Stanford University study found a large % of Tinder users were not looking for dates, with almost two-thirds already in a relationship. One of the authors said many "reported using the app for social connectedness, entertainment and distraction". As a parent, the prospect of checking out an offspring’s dating life is tantalising. Interfering might not ruin a budding relationship, but this constant presence does little to cultivate independence.