While we haven't started falling in love with robots yet (though Her may have you thinking differently) or wearing Google Glass on our wedding day, new websites, apps and viral videos drastically altered the way we met, communicated and dated in 2013.
From new apps setting you up with your friends' friends to the success of the gay rights movement on social media, here are seven ways the internet changed the way we love.
1. We're Getting More Superficial
Just when you thought it wasn't possible to get any more shallow, 2013 rolled around! With popular new dating apps like Tinder (which facilitates 4 million matches per day in the United States), where you choose potential partners solely based on six photos and a tagline and OKCupid's newest feature to weed out "unattractive" users — those who describe their body types as "overweight," "a little extra," "full-figured," and "used up," we're focusing on looks more than ever.
2. We're Being More Honest About What We Want
Niche dating sites have been around for a while, but 2013 took it to a whole new level. Looking for someone to pay for your dinner and drinks? There's an app, HiDine, for that. (Oh, there's a blogger for it, too). Want to casually hookup with a Facebook friend? There's an app that let's you know if he or she is down to get it on. Want someone to take you on a shopping spree, or better yet, a weekend getaway to Paris? Check out Carrot Dating, a site which encourages users to offer incentives (bribes) to their potential matches.
3. We've Found New Ways To Gather Information On Potential Partners
Google- and social media-stalking just didn't cut it in 2013. We wanted more ways to get info about our crushes, and technology delivered. Did he screw someone over? Is he terrible in bed? A total mama's boy? All that and more can be discovered on LuLu, the "Yelp for boys", which has 1 million users since it launched earlier this year. This girls-only site lets you anonymously rate guys (in hashtags, of course), whether they're friends, hookups, boyfriends or exes. Yep, we've started reviewing men like restaurants.
4. We're Finding Friends Of Friends Online
While dating sites have been popular for years, they're still not the number one way to meet someone. That title goes to the old fashion method: meeting through mutual friends. But this year, the internet focused less on setting you up with strangers and found a way to help you meet all those single friends of friends. New dating apps like Swoon, Tinder and Hinge have a few things in common: they're low-maintenance (no lengthy profiles), they take a second to set up (they pull in your Facebook information), and they tell you who your mutual Facebook friends are — making it much easier to get the 411 on your potential match and reconnect with a friend's roommate's brother you met at the bar once. Swoon even prompts you to ask your mutual friend's about a potential match.
Facebook also got on the bandwagon by altering their search feature. And with 95% of YourTango readers having used Facebook to land dates, this is certainly a useful tool. With graph search, you can now search through filters, including "friends of friends". Looking for a single friend of a friend who lives in your city and loves your favorite band? (Aren't we all?) The results will come up with profiles and then you can go tell your pal to hook it up with their cute friend. Meeting strangers online is so 2012. Which brings us to ...
5. We're More Skeptical Of Meeting Strangers Online
Who could forget Manti Te'o's fake girlfriend? If you had never heard the term "catfish", well then, this scandal, which shed a light on lying and misrepresentation online, taught you a very big lesson. Perhaps that's why dating apps that pull in mutual friends have become so popular or why services like MyAKA, which offer a private telephone number you can give your matches, are necessary now. It reminded us that we really don't know who is behind that computer screen.
6. Distance, Schmistance!
While we still can't teleport to our partner across the country, we're hoping 2014 takes care of that one. However, this year the internet made it much easier to get in touch with loved ones, from apps to social media sites. While video chatting has been around for sometime now, we're now really seeing it make it's way into relationships more than ever before. And these high-tech solutions aren't just for talking to each other. Want to send a sexy pic? Snapchat it. Skype proposals, anyone? Kelly Rowland knows a thing or two about that. There's even a fix for the lack of intimacy that long-distance couples face: Fundawear. The Durex app helps couples get busy using simply their smartphone and, you guessed it, vibrating underwear.
7. We Spread Equality All Year Long
It was a huge year for gay rights, from the end of DOMA to 18 states allowing same-sex marriage. But the real success was in heartwarming photos, videos, profile pictures and tweets that reminded us all love is equal. Remember the day when everyone changed their profile picture to a red equal sign? Or when the president tweeted his support for same-sex marriage? What about those powerful images of couples across the country celebrating their freedom to marry? How about the heartwarming video where kids told us what they thought of gay marriage? And, who could forget the one where the guy asked strangers when they chose to be straight? While we still have a way's to go in 2014, one thing's for sure: equality and love go viral.
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