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NEW YORK — Online dating services are now hip with young adults, but not always for dating.Credit mobile dating apps such as Tinder, which incorporate fun elements and are dead simple to use.Swipe right on a profile picture to approve and swipe left to reject.No awkward messages to each other unless both say yes.But instead of looking for long-term love, some people are turning to these services for one-night stands and even advice from locals when traveling.Others just want to look at sexy — and not-so-sexy — pics when they’re bored.
They haven’t had much of a need because they are typically surrounded by other young, single people, whether at work or school, said Aaron Smith, associate research director with the Pew Research Center.Tinder and rivals such as Hinge are changing the dynamics, and young adults are using online dating in greater numbers than any other age group these days. population is surveyed, including people who are already coupled.In 2013, only 10 percent in that age group used online dating. adults overall have used dating sites or apps, a slight increase from 11 percent in 2013. For people who have never been married, 30 percent have used online dating.) Stanford University professor Michael Rosenfeld wrote in a 2012 paper that the Internet could be helpful for people in “thin” dating markets, ones with relatively fewer options for possible partners in their regular life.That rose to 27 percent in the latest Pew study, which was released Thursday. That includes gays, lesbians and middle-aged straight people, he said.“Conversely, single people (college students, for example) who are fortunate enough to inhabit an environment full of eligible potential partners may not need to actively search for partners at all,” he wrote.