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The benefits are clearest for people whose preferences mean that discovering possible partners is particularly hard, either because of social isolation or physical isolation.
Same-sex dating, which both operates in a smaller pool than heterosexual dating and is illegal or socially unacceptable in many places, is a particular beneficiary.
Matching with same-sex partners over the internet is often far safer and more convenient than trying to do so in person.
The internet thus helps those with similar, and sometimes quite specialised, views on what makes for good sex, or indeed on more or less anything else.
As early as 2010 the internet had overtaken churches, neighbourhoods, classrooms and offices as a setting in which Americans might meet a partner of the opposite sex.
Americans are charging ahead; Germans, comparatively, lagging behind.
India, which has long had a complex offline market for arranged marriages within religious and caste boundaries, has seen it move online.
The husbandry involved was, potentially, that of “A gentleman about 30 Years of Age, that says He has a Very Good Estate”; the trade was an offer to “Willingly match himself to some Good Young Gentlewoman, that has a fortune of £3,000 or thereabouts.”The personal ad went on to become a staple of the newspaper business, and remained so for centuries.
Now, like so much of the rest of that business, announcements of matrimonial and other availability have moved to the internet.
Once confined to particular times and places, dating can extend everywhere and anywhere.