Irene Fernández, a 28-year-old sworn translator, is one of the people who stayed with her last flirt on a terrace after meeting on the Internet.

“That time I chose to communicate exclusively with gifs. We stayed without having previously spoken. It was very cool and I had a great time,” says this Murcian woman. Thanks to the help of these memes, both determined the time and place: Plaza del 2 de Mayo, at eight in the afternoon. Once there, they greeted each other with two kisses and, while having a drink on a terrace, they did not stop chatting for more than three hours.

There are many reasons for more and more people to meet on the Internet. Of course, the most obvious explanation is that, thanks to smartphones, we are spending more and more time online, which has led to the proliferation of dating sites. “The offer in terms of the market is much larger,” explains Núñez. But there are also other less obvious reasons.

For example, “asynchrony”, as the study mentions. This word refers to the fact that people no longer have to be present at the same time to carry on a conversation, as was the case before, but their questions and answers may differ. Something similar happens with space, so that people are no longer obliged to coincide in the same place, multiplying the communication possibilities.

Another reason mentioned in the study is the technological possibilities of the applications: “Although there are reasons to remain skeptical of the scientific nature of their algorithms to match people, the truth is that these applications have greater scope for technological progress, versus the more static nature of networks of friends. “

Núñez also alludes to these technological issues. “To meet someone on the Internet, you have previously had to introduce a series of tastes and preferences, so when the match arises, more or less, you have already chosen that partner. What happens then is that you quickly burn those stages of knowledge about the other, “he explains.

Another explanation for this growth is discretion. “Users prefer these applications before sharing their preferences through friends or family,” says study.

The official version for the families of Beatriz and Antonio, aged 27 each, is that they met on a bus from Madrid to Toledo in 2011. The unofficial story, and that only very close friends know, is that it was actually because of Internet. It took them six months to meet in person and the wait was worth it because, seven years later, they are going to get married.

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