There’s a great article on the history of online dating from the New Yorker – it’s a must-read for anyone who has ever tried to find love (or a hook up) through the interwebs (although I have to disagree with their statement that OK Cupid is only for casual sex. There are plenty of other sites for that!).
Per my post on why it’s so hard for all us single ladies out there: I have to agree with the following quote from the article:
A common observation, about both the Internet dating world and the world at large, is that there is an apparent surplus of available women, especially in their thirties and beyond, and a shortage of recommendable men. The explanation for this asymmetry, which isn’t exactly news, is that men can and usually do pursue younger women, and that often the men who are single are exactly the ones who prefer them. For women surveying a landscape of banished husbands or perpetual boys, the biological rationale offers little solace. Neither does the Internet.
I know it’s eleven pages but it goes fast. Read the whole thing! While it doesn’t conduct research on the more recent apps and sites (Tinder, Zoosk), or analyze online dating through the lenses of complex social issues (looking at trends in dating patterns in terms of race/gender/sexual orientation, etc.)…it still does a pretty good job on breaking down the phenomenon.