Online dating sites have provided a lot of cushion to people aspiring to curate the image they like to present to the world and be the perfect version of themselves to attract a mate.

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The apps have been surprisingly successful -- and in ways many people would not expect.

In fact, by several measures, online dating has proved even more useful — both to individuals and society — than the traditional avenues it has replaced.

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

Is it creating a new reality in which people actively avoid real-life interactions?

"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 felt a deep sense a rejection -- not personally, but on behalf of everyone at the bar.Instead of interacting with the people around her, she chose to search for a companion elsewhere online.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.Of course, others have worried about these sorts of questions before.