How the iPhone revolutionized our love lives

LONDON — It’s been 10 whole years since the first iPhone was revealed to the public. On Jan. 7, 2007, Steve Jobs unveiled the never-before-seen phone, describing it as “a widescreen iPod with touch controls, a revolutionary mobile phone and a breakthrough internet communications device.”

He wasn’t wrong. Love it or hate it, the iPhone has not only revolutionised the the way we date online. It’s also transformed the way we feel about online dating. 

Hark back to 2007, and the dating landscape looked very different to how it looks now. Online dating was website-based, with sites like and eHarmony among the most popular. With the rise of the mobile web in the mid-2000s, mobile dating was in its nascent stages, but daters had to access dating sites via web browsers on internet-enabled phones. And, back then, the word “swipe” meant nothing to someone looking for love.

Fast forward 10 years, and the scene could not look more different. The launch of Grindr in 2009 and Tinder in 2012 brought location-based dating mainstream, paving the way for future apps like Happn and Temptr, which match users with people they’ve walked past IRL. 

“When mobile dating apps started rolling out, some sites such as Grindr and Tinder only released mobile versions of their dating services and started only with iOS, later adding in Android,” mobile dating expert Julie Spira told Mashable

No iPhone, no swipe

Image: Getty Images/Canopy

Swiping is now entirely synonymous with mobile dating; and — according to Tinder’s co-founder Jonathan Badeen — it’s all because of the iPhone.

Badeen, Tinder’s Chief Strategy Officer, said in a statement emailed to Mashable that the iPhone “ushered in an era where we could truly touch our apps and interfaces,” with its release heralding “the defining moment in which personal tech went mainstream.”

Swiping has been a central part of mobile dating since Tinder launched in 2012. But, according to Badeen — who invented the swipe and coded Tinder’s original iPhone app — one of the most integral parts of online dating today might never have been invented if it weren’t for the iPhone.

The iPhone is “the defining moment in which personal tech went mainstream.”

“Tinder and the swipe were born out of a desire to connect users in a very personal way — and there would be nothing to swipe right if it weren’t for the iPhone,” says Badeen.

Now, in 2017, it’s impossible to think of mobile dating without the swipe; with most apps incorporating the feature in some way.

Bringing personal tech mainstream has not just made dating easier and more fun, it’s also significantly changed attitudes towards online dating. Jack Knowles, founder of dating app Temptr, says that prior to the iPhone’s launch, online dating was considered shameful, particularly because it was not yet mainstream. 

“Back in 2007, internet dating was becoming more established. But anyone looking for love would be using using a computer, probably in the office, and numbers were low with a stigma attached,” Knowles told Mashable

Thanks to iPhone, we’re no longer ashamed by online dating


Spira believes we have the iPhone to thank for reducing the shame associated with online dating. “I credit the iPhone for helping to remove the stigma of online dating and helping singles fill their date cards more quickly and date on the fly,” Spira told Mashable

Research suggests that online dating has now lost much of its stigma. Back in 2005, the majority of Americans viewed online dating as a “subpar” method of meeting people and very few had had any exposure to the realm of online dating, according to Pew Research Center. Since then, attitudes have grown significantly more positive. As of 2015, 59 percent of Americans believe that online dating is a good way to meet people, with cultural acceptance of the practice on the rise.

Among millennials, mobile dating is becoming increasingly the norm. 2016 statistics revealed that 1 in 3 18-to-24-year-olds report having used online dating; triple the number of young adults using online dating two years previous.

In 2017, the words “we met online” are no longer whispered.

The inception of the iPhone has brought about dramatic and positive change in the dating world. The swipe function has seen online dating shift from a clandestine, stigmatised act conducted in the privacy of one’s own bedroom. Now, dating apps are pored over in bars and played on Apple TV screens with friends. And, for an increasing number of millennials, online dating is an extension of everyday life. In 2017, the words “We met online” are no longer whispered, they’re said aloud and without fuss.

Mobile dating is now a realm of its own; one that — like all forms of dating — has its own idiosyncrasies, like ghosting and swipe-cheating

All things considered, we have a lot to thank the iPhone for. But, the iPhone has brought with it a new generation of avoidance techniques and breakup methods that we’d sooner do without. 

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from Mashable!