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This fall Hurricane Sandy famously knocked out power in lower Manhattan.A friend, I'll call her Natalie, was stranded in her cold, dark apartment for days.

To be sure, many people remain puzzled that someone would want to find a romantic partner online – 23% of Americans agree with the statement that “people who use online dating sites are desperate” – but in general it is much more culturally acceptable than it was a decade ago.

One factor behind the substantial growth among younger adults is their use of mobile dating apps.

About one-in-five 18- to 24-year olds (22%) now report using mobile dating apps; in 2013, only 5% reported doing so.

Online dating use among 55- to 64-year-olds has also risen substantially since the last Pew Research Center survey on the topic.

Today, 12% of 55- to 64-year-olds report ever using an online dating site or mobile dating app versus only 6% in 2013.

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