One hundred thousand farmers looking for other farmers to love speaks to the beauty of the Internet. Being able to specify one trait that you want to find in a potential partner, and finding people who do the same in some corner of the Internet, is now a reality. And in all honesty, it isn’t that far removed from adoring that one obscure punk band that your record store didn’t have and then discovering a whole message board dedicated to that band. And that specification of potential mates has resulted in thriving sites like GlutenFree Singles, Atlasphere (a site where Ayn Rand fans find love with one another), Trek Passions (Star Trek fans), Sea Captain Date (mariners), and Pounced (furry fandom).
Sea Captain Date? Aaarrgh. Still, Abad-Santos spies a threat on the horizon:
[T]he Internet has a funny way of turning niche interests into mainstream playthings. How long before you Farmers Only is inundated and ruined by hipsters? Or what happens when people who join GlutenFree Singles only consider gluten-free as the seventh most important thing in their mates?
Then there is the fast-proliferating variety of gay hook-up and dating sites. Gay is no longer enough. Grindr, one of the leaders in the field, has recently introduced a variety of extra niches, or “tribes“:
Several of the Tribes include: Bear, Clean-Cut, Daddy, Discreet, Geek, Jock, Leather, Otter, Poz, Rugged, Trans or Twink.
Scruff is the app for dudes who are not into hairless, boyish twinks. Daddyhunt provides an app for those younger men who like older guys and vice-versa. Kotango is a mostly-straight site for the ethically non-monogamous. It’s all incredibly efficient. What’s missing? One word: serendipity. Which is how I met my husband. I have to say it has a charm all its own – but it’s sooo retro.