a pixelated heart instead of an 'o' in the word 'love'

The New Laws of Love: Online Dating and the Privatization of Intimacy

by Marie Bergström Author

In this fascinating exploration of the recent rise in online dating, author and scholar Marie Bergström charts its ascendant popularity and seeks to understand the ways in which it has transformed intimacy and romance in modern life. In contrast to those who would condemn online dating as a commodification of love, and those who would praise it as a democratization of the same, Bergström proposes instead that what the proliferation of dating apps has accomplished is a privatization of intimacy. By removing courtship from the spheres of work, school, gatherings of family and friends, and other traditional social settings, the apps have accomplished a clear bifurcation between social and sexual relationships in way that was not previously the case. Bergström draws on empirical and statistical evidence to make her points, and points out the ways in which online dating has preserved certain inequities of the romantic world even as it has destroyed some old ones and created some new ones. A fascinating read for anyone invested in understanding contemporary romantic practices and the ways the internet era has transformed our love lives.