Take interracial relationships, for example, long held to be a measure of the general social distances within a population.

We now seek love and happiness in online and print media bulletin boards.

The presence and success of Kenyan online dating sites is, however, proof enough that a substantial number of Kenyans don’t mind using these websites to look for their other half. Behind that pretty photo of that beautiful woman or handsome man can be a real predator that has downloaded a photo of an unknown model from the internet and is using it to lure you. The common modus operandi is to exploit someone’s emotions.

It wasn't all that long ago that most relationships would begin with a smile and a handshake, rather than a click or a swipe.

That began to change in the mid-1990s, when websites like merged traditional lonely-heart classifieds with the convenience of the internet.

Even just a few decades ago most new connections were just a jump or two away inside an existing network.

A bar, a sporting team, church, or college would typically provide the perfect environment for those first hot sparks. For heterosexual couples, online dating has risen to second place – just below 'met through friends' – as the context for that first introduction.

The increase steepened at the turn of the 21st century in line with the rise in online dating, and then even further as swipe-to-match apps like Tinder went mainstream around 2014 (it launched in late 2012).

While there are almost certainly a variety of influences, the network changes resulting from online dating fits the observations perfectly.

The study is currently available online on the pre-publish website arxiv.com, so it has not completed its full peer-review process just yet.

It can often seem as if the online world reinforces our echo chambers and leads us to become more insular, especially when it comes to social media.

Today there's a wide variety of sites and apps to suit your tastes, lifestyle, sexuality, and budget, from Tinder and Bumble for a quick swipe to like, to OKCupid and e Harmony for those who want their wit to show with their words.