How Tech Transformed How We Hook Up—and Break Up

Tech companies are very good at serving up personalized content based on what they know about you. But they’re not very good at picking up on big, sudden changes in your life. For example, Google Photos can show you pictures of a loved one taken three years ago, and Pinterest can suggest wedding-themed photos when your special day is right around the corner. But what if that loved one is no longer in the picture? And what if that wedding’s been canceled? Those algorithms that resurface memories aren’t very good at telling which of those previously happy memories might now be upsetting.

This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED senior writer Arielle Pardes joins us to talk about how the internet has changed the ways we love and remember. We also talk about the state of dating apps and how technology has given us new ways to connect with potential loves, especially during the pandemic.

Show Notes

Read Lauren’s story about how the internet doesn’t let you forget past relationships here. Read Arielle’s profile of Shar Dubey, the boss of all dating apps here. Read Will Knight’s conversation with Kazuo Ishiguro here.


Arielle recommends looking up your horoscope on Lauren recommends the book Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro. Mike recommends E. Jean Carroll’s Substack.

Arielle Pardes can be found on Twitter @pardesoteric. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.

If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.

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