So online dating may be affecting a fair number of Jacobs and their partners, but it hasn't remade all of our relationships yet.Articles like this, however, increase the pressure on people to consider—and reconsider—their choices.The people who are divorcing more—or marrying less—are the ones who aren't going to do as well in the "efficient" competition on dating sites.They aren't going to gain much from this onlinification.
In the 1990s researchers discovered that "the risk of [marital] dissolution is highest where either wives or husbands encounter an abundance of spousal alternatives." They concluded, "many persons remain open to alternative relationships even while married." This has been shown not only by looking at the composition of the surrounding urban area, but also by simply comparing the divorce rates of people who work in gender-mixed versus gender-segregated occupations (the former are more likely to divorce). Still, maybe online dating speeds up the turnover process, and this might contribute to the trend of delaying marriage going on since the 1950s.
In this rapid-turnover process, the richer, better-looking, healthier, better-lying, etc., might make things miserable for more people than they used to be able to.
Jacob's efficiency might be their wasted months and years.
In a terrific 2003 New York Times article by Amy Harmon, a fourth-grade teacher, retold the statistics of her four-months of online dating: messages exchanged with 120 men, phone calls with 20, in-person meetings with 11—and 0 relationships.
That's not efficient at producing relationships—but it is efficient at producing anxiety.