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And that’s not the life that young people lead anymore.

What’s more, many people who meet in the online sites that cater to hookups end up in long-term relationships.

This environment, mind you, is just like the one we see in the offline world.

The rise of phone apps and online dating websites gives people access to more potential partners than they could meet at work or in the neighborhood.

It makes it easier for someone who is looking for something very specific in a partner to find what they are looking for.

Surrounded by potential partners, she pulled out her phone, hid it coyly beneath the counter, and opened the online dating app Tinder.

On her screen, images of men appeared and then disappeared to the left and right, depending on the direction in which she wiped.

The idea is that if you’re faced with too many options you will find it harder to pick one, that too much choice is demotivating.

We see this in consumer goods — if there are too many flavors of jam at the store, for instance, you might feel that it’s just too complicated to consider the jam aisle, you might end up skipping it all together, you might decide it's not worth settling down with one jam. I don’t think that that theory, even if it’s true for something like jam, applies to dating.

"There are a lot of theories out there about how online dating is bad for us," Michael Rosenfeld, a sociologist at Stanford who has been conducting a long-running study of online dating, told me the other day.

"And mostly they're pretty unfounded." Rosenfeld, who has been keeping tabs on the dating lives of more than 3,000 people, has gleaned many insights about the growing role of apps like Tinder.

I wondered to myself, is this what online dating has done to us?