If you disagreed with your parents’ choice, or if your parents were unable to find you a partner, you would have to either accept your fate, or find different ways to look for someone.
The rise of newspapers created a solution for this problem, with their personal advertisements section, the analogue version of dating websites.
Looking for that special someone or companionship became a lot easier at the end of the 20th century with the invention and widespread adoption of the newest technological development: the internet.
As stated before dating websites are basically the modern variant of personal ads.
With the introduction of the internet in the 1990’s more and more people started placing their personal ads on websites instead of in newspapers and magazines.
Dating agencies created websites to which people could subscribe (usually for a membership fee) to get suggestions on possible partners based on certain algorithms and the extensive questionnaires they had to fill in.
It is said homosexual men and women used code words to place personal advertisements looking for likeminded people, but also for unhappily married people for whom divorce was impossible, the personal ads were a much desired way out, and of course, much like in online dating nowadays, there were people who posed as someone else, in an attempt to scam or rob people, or use them in other ways.
It seems that dating apps try to come up with more and more unique subgroups to supply to everybody’s demands.
The niche dating apps illustrate Appadurai’s (1996) theory regarding the local effects of globalization: they make a global phenomenon like online dating more local by focusing on one specific (sub)culture or community.
That same research showed that Badoo and Tinder are the most popular dating apps worldwide, Badoo being number one in 21 countries and Tinder in 18.
So because of technology something that used to be seen as something that was a bit ‘shady’ or a desperate last resort, became something socially accepted and common behaviour.