How the economy shapes our love lives


I have had zero positive experiences. I go to the bathroom and I pull out my phone, and he has texted me, “I hope you’re enjoying your peecess.” It may seem like there couldn’t be a worse
time to be alive and single. And then texted me asking me if he could come
home with me. Just a slew of, like, poor dates, and, like,
mediocre dates, and s***ty dates. But the truth is that for as long as it’s
been around, dating has always sucked. It’s the late 1800s. These are the presidents. This is how people dress. This is the music they listen to. And this is how single people get together. I see you’ve already chosen your corner. Better known as “calling,” it’s the
predominant mode of courtship among the middle class. The basic setup of calling was that a woman
would have hours when she was receiving callers at home. This is Moira Weigel. I’m a junior fellow at Harvard University
and the author of a book called Labor of Love: The Invention of Dating. The basic script is that a man shows up at
your house, asks whether you will see him, and then you sit together in a parlor and
sort of spend time together, with either direct or sort of from-the-next-room
family supervision. Sounds super hot. At the time, 75% of Americans lived in small
towns or on farms. If you think meeting someone at a bar is tough, try finding a spouse in a town where you’d
only encounter a handful of potential partners in your lifetime. And while it may seem like the way we date
is dictated by things like love and affection, it was actually driven by something far less
romantic: In America in the 1880s, 1890s, you have these
floods of migration both from the countryside to the city and from other countries to the United States. As the country industrializes, urban populations
explode. The population of New York increases seven
times between 1850 and 1900, and Philadelphia’s goes up 12 times. You only have people going out into public
spaces and meeting and mixing in this way that we call dating once you have lots of young people moving
to cities and especially women entering the paid workforce. Many women step outside their homes to work
for the first time, and that gives them exposure to potential
suitors in a way they never had before. Courtship shifted from something that happened
in private, tea and supervised small talk in your home, to activities that happened in public: going to restaurants, movies, and amusement parks. From that point on, in order to meet somebody,
you had to spend money, and dating became entangled with the economy. After World War II, the American economy flourished. Between 1940 and 1960, the GDP soared from
$200 billion to $500 billion. The economic boom after World War II in the
United States means that young people have much more disposable income than they’ve
ever had. By 1956, there were 13 million teens with
an average income of $10.55 per week. That’s the same amount of disposable income
an entire family had 15 years prior. And they wanted to spend it. Unlike previous generations that were expected
to help support their families, this new generation had time for leisure and
recreation. This consumer-driven period was about affluence, and the dating scene closely reflected that
economic prosperity: shiny new cars, rock ’n’ roll, drive-in
movie theaters — and don’t forget about going steady. There was no looking back after that … a disposable income and access to technology
democratized dating for decades to come. We’re riding on the internet, cyberspace
set free, hello, virtual reality. Access to the internet meant access to more
people. From 1995 to 2005, the number of internet
users worldwide increased from 16 million to almost 1 billion. As with every previous era of dating history, there’s sort of this new economic sphere,
and romance and flirtation becomes part of how it gets commercialized. So chat rooms about sex or the opportunity
to flirt with people online is a big part of what’s appealing about AOL. By 1999, there were already 2,500 dating websites. But the big moment came around 2010, when
mobile phones started changing the way people connect. Because in the ’90s, I think there’s still
this sense that the internet is sort of, you know, it’s cyberspace. It’s this other universe that lives in your
desktop and that you go to sometimes and chat with a stranger. Once everyone is carrying a computer on their
person at almost all times and our physical and digital lives are interwoven, that really
changes the dynamics. It’s no surprise that dating piggybacked
on this explosive growth. Dating apps, dating apps, dating apps. According to a recent survey, 77% of Americans
own a smartphone and 15% of American adults use dating apps. Grindr launched in 2009, Tinder in 2012, and
now there are hundreds of dating apps to choose from. So meeting new people has never been easier. But does that make us any happier? Dating is kind of a necessary evil. The thing about online dating is that you
don’t trust anyone. You get to pin your top hate or like, and
this guy “hates abstinence.” Every new technology, every new kind of social
practice, inspires anxiety about how folks are meeting and pairing up. So dating still kind of sucks. But that’s nothing new. My name’s Tian, I’m gonna be 25. I’m looking for someone who… comes from a long line of European nobility. Absolutely, that is critical for me. Someone whose family has land holdings across, ideally, the south of France. And will take me vacationing in their summer castle. I’m interested in going to bed early, to wake up even earlier.

100 thoughts on “How the economy shapes our love lives

  1. I met my husband online, but not on a dating app, but YouTube comments. I hadn't gone on a single date before we met. I was so lucky to meet a gem without diving into dating first!

  2. I'm honestly afraid I might die alone. It's a terrible time in history to be single. Online dating simply doesn't work. And after college, it's horrifically difficult to find organic places to meet new people to date… with the hyper-technological connected smartphone world we live in… no one has time to meet new people unless they benefit in some way.

  3. I uninstalled all my dating apps. Doesn't work for me and majority of the asian male population. Plus girls get too many men to pick from with social media. All apps should be throttled by sex, but instead they throttle asian males. It's unfair but more asian males should be developing apps to fix this issue. That's life living the west. Since I can't see the code nor the database. I'm assuming so, since the apps are developed by the majority. There will be a bias and you can't see the code.

  4. Anyone wanna go on a date? We can walk around the park and feed some ducks while talking about volcanoes and cool movies.

  5. Haha. This was just ridiculous. You literally find someone you click with and have some fun. That's it.

  6. People had VALUES back then, that went down the drain after social media and Tinder came into our world and created this image based superficial surface hook up culture: fast romance, just like everything else, fast fashion, fast food, everything and every person is commodified and treated like some product that just comes and goes out of fashion

  7. "I'm interested in going to bed early and waking up even earlier."
    So you're interested in time-travel. Let's date.

  8. Darn, I'm individual from a long line of European nobility with land holdings along the south of France and a summer castle, but I'm really more of a late riser.
    Oh well, guess I'll just have to keep trying.

  9. It is such a shame how few parents these days take seriously their duty to arrange suitable marriages for their children. How many young people would be spared heartaches if only their parents were more responsible and showed they loved their children the way all good parents should.

  10. Loved the video as always, but I wish it talked more about the economic factors surrounding the dating scene, because to me that was the most interesting part which I felt was not explored in enough depth, keep up the good work!

  11. I mean without economy & globalisation, I'd've never met my current partner. Or many of my past friends & partners.
    I'm not fond about dating apps because it sets the main focus as looking for someone else & thus forcing love, rather than just spontaneously meeting someone else & stumbling on love.
    You can meet partners in way more ideal ways online like online forums, Facebook groups or online games, where you can meet people with similar interests & similar mindsets.

  12. The trend I’m seeing isn’t like it’s described at the end of the video. I’m seeing people develop emotional connections by first being friends and it kind of just turns into a relationship. That’s what I think is the best way for it to be. Not nearly as stressful and shitty as dating.

  13. You jumped from describing middle-class courtship to working-class dating and spoke as though these were the same groups of people. Middle-class women didn't join the work force in the industrial revolution, working-class women did, middle-class people continued with the same type of courtship while working-class people started dating.

  14. This is why I date on social apps like discord. It's easier to flirt and connect with someone if you share a hobby and aren't under some sort of pressure to date / flirt but that you can just casually talk to them for a while and if you like them dm them some flirty stuff

  15. Just FYI, the pie chart doesn't make sense. The categories in a pie chart must be mutually exclusive, but obviously people who own smartphones and people who use dating apps can overlap. Also, your 77% clearly isn't taking up 77% of the space.

  16. Sorry I have liked a lot of your videos. But you lost my respect when you attacked Bitwit.

    soooo

    FALSE 👏 DMCA 👏 CLAIMS 👏ARE 👏 ILLEGAL.

  17. I like vox content but if copy strict any more youtubers it's going to back fire and people like myself and other will stop watching. So ask yourself is worth. Same goes for verge content

  18. My wife got pregnant and now we have a 22 month old daughter. She has not worked in 3 years this May. Because of the financial issues of a two income household turning into one and my wife blaming me for not making enough money instead of going out and getting herself a job to help out, we are getting a divorce. After 10 years together, 3 1/2 years married, we are divorcing because of money. People in this country make billions without paying taxes and now my daughter grows up without a father in the house due to financial instability because a full time job is not enough to support a family. I don’t work in Burger King, I am the Director of a department in a University. Not enough. God bless America.

  19. Dating is wrong! Meet someone through common friends, become friends, get to know them and start a relationship if you both desire it. You will never have a successful relationship if you don't pass through a "friendzone" period first.

  20. late 19th century: dating sucks…!
    early 21st century: dating is "advanced technologically" sucks…!

  21. What's the woman's Ig?
    Research porpuses… 😂 Tryna find love 😍 and with those cheekbones I think I have 😂😂

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