Wednesday, April 14

2020, year of the digital transition of cruising


Do you remember the world before online dating? Well, you can prepare his epitaph: according to an IFOP / Facebook survey published on December 2, the Internet is now THE most suitable place for meetings. Judge it: ten years ago, couples met at parties (20%), at their workplace (20%), and only then on the Internet (15%). A year ago, they met more often at parties (25%), then on the Internet (21%), and significantly less at work (13%). Which brings us to the current situation: since the second confinement, the Internet has taken pole position (30%), far ahead of the holidays (14%) and work (9%).

Of course, we could attribute this development to the only side effects of the Covid-19 epidemic: in the absence of places of sociability and very often, of work, the meeting moves. But that would be to ignore a dynamic that began long before the pandemic: the progress of dating sites and applications has been extremely regular … since the polls began to measure it. The proportion of users has tripled in France since 2006, and it has doubled since 2011. Almost twenty years after the launch of Meetic – the historic site -, we can no longer really speak of curiosity!

“Privatization of the meeting”

Moreover, the relegation of dating platforms to a “trend” obscures a weighty argument: it works. Among users, 59% have already met someone “in real life”. It was not necessarily the “right” person. But it was a meeting, and in a society that often represents seduction as a sport, it was already an adventure. And God knows we haven’t had a lot of other adventures this year …

Other arguments are added to that of efficiency, including the “privatization of the meeting” theorized in 2019 by the sociologist Marie Bergström, in her essay The New Laws of Love. Sexuality, couples and encounters in the digital age (The Discovery, 2019). According to his research, seduction beyond our usual circles of sociability has two advantages: not only do we multiply potential partners, but above all we escape the social gaze of family, friends or colleagues. For women in particular, the Internet offers a space in which to seduce in an assumed, sometimes aggressive way, without being judged, without obeying all the standards of femininity – and without anyone knowing it.

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