OkCupid: Greta Thunberg helped people date in 2019
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Teen activist Greta Thunberg didn’t just create visibility for climate change concerns this year, she also helped dating app users weed through their options.

Popular dating app OkCupid reported an 800 percent increase in mentions of Thunberg on profiles around the world this year. Users who mention Thunberg are indicating supporting her is key to their dating preferences. 

“One of the issues we’re hearing people care about is climate change. [Users are] showing this issue matters to them when it comes to their potential partner,” Melissa Hobley, OkCupid’s chief marketing officer, told The Hill. “They’re talking about Greta on their profiles. ... I think people feel that supporting her or not shows how you feel about the issue and its impact.”

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Swedish 16-year-old Thunberg has been campaigning for action on climate change for several years, but this year she took the global stage with a speech at the United Nations in September and a tour of the U.S. Time Magazine named her “Person of the Year,” and she attracted criticism several times from President TrumpDonald John TrumpDavis: Supreme Court decision is bad news for Trump, good news for Vance Meadows trying to root out suspected White House leakers by feeding them info: Axios Pressley hits DeVos over reopening schools: 'I wouldn't trust you to care for a house plant let alone my child' MORE, who has suggested she has an “anger management problem.” 

Her high profile has turned her into an iconic figure for people concerned about climate change, according to OkCupid. The dating app has seen a spike in interest in the issue among users. OkCupid reported that generally there’s been a 240 percent increase in mentions of climate change and environmental terms on OkCupid profiles over the past two years.

“Climate change is interesting because that’s an issue that’s starting to matter almost everywhere in the world, especially with younger daters,” said Hobley. “I just think that’s an awesome trend. Certainly, there’s a little bit of criticism for creating an [opinion] bubble - but we see a trend that is very much about, ‘Hey, I’m attracted to what you believe in and what you get behind and what you’re into.’"

"Climate change and your feelings about that show up in your life in so many ways," Hobley continued. "Climate change and how you feel about that can really help for compatibility.”

Among OkCupid users who responded to a question about what’s most important to them among climate change, the economy, eradicating disease or world peace, 51 percent picked climate change, according to the service. That’s a 138 percent increase since 2009, OkCupid said.

The issue is most important to daters in San Francisco (92 percent) and Portland (90 percent) compared to the rest of the United States.

An overwhelming 99 percent of the people on OkCupid who were concerned about climate change said they strongly disapprove of Trump as president, and 76 percent of users concerned about climate change supported Trump’s impeachment, compared to 6 percent who did not (18 percent were undecided).

OkCupid’s data is self-reported by users who answer questions within the app.