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Jessica Massa wrote in 2013 that “traditional dating as we know it is dead”. To define the term “date” in the modern day as a candle-lit dinner seems as obsolete as dial-up Internet. Nowadays people connect through digital dating apps and social media.  Gone are the days of your crush ringing the landline to sheepishly ask you out. Instead replaced with a casual “Netflix and chill?” text.

If I were to ask my Grandparents how they met, they would tell me they met dancing and fell in love, before getting married shortly after. I don’t know about you, but I don’t know anyone who dances. I’m talking of the ballroom type and not what you might see in Cameo on a Wednesday night.  However, you may know a few people who use the dating app, Tinder.

Ok, so you may know what Tinder is but let’s look at some facts quickly.

If you were to ask anyone to name a dating app, most people would probably say Tinder. Launched in 2012 and has now seen a staggering 20 billion matches to date. Tinder is one of the world’s most popular dating apps. It is a location-based dating app, which allows users to match with people based on a few pictures and a short bio.  It is best known for its swipe right (to like) or swipe left (dislike) feature. Primarily used by 16-24-year-olds, finding a partner has never been easier. Tinder and other dating apps, boast an abundance of single people at the touch of your phone.

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Finding a potential partner is now as quick and easy as finding a cheap holiday to Alicante.

However, people against online dating would argue that these interactions are superficial and treat people like objects in a transaction. A MyDomaine article states “They’re changing our norms, making us ruder, flakier, and more self-involved”. In 2018, we have an app for everything, from social networking to banking to shopping to checking the weather.  Why should we expect dating to stay in real life only? Although, people’s intentions are not always to find a long-term partner on these apps.  It is argued that the fast-paced nature of dating apps, contribute to a “hook up” culture. Alex, 25, agrees that using dating apps allows you to talk to several girls at once, and said:

“I can go on my phone right now and no doubt, find someone I can have sex with this evening, probably before midnight”.

This attitude contributes to the notion that romance is dead. Suggesting that dating apps allow users to view their matches as simple transactions.

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Although, advertising yourself as “single and ready to mingle” (if you will) is nothing new.

You probably won’t be looking in the lonely-hearts ads in your local newspaper, but is it really much different? Dating apps allow for you to say a little about yourself and choose your most flattering photos to “advertise” yourself to potential partners.  It could be argued that users feel empowered, as it lets them state what they are looking for, and meet and talk to people on a safe virtual platform.

Besides, how different is Tinder to real life anyway?

Usually you don’t have someone swiping you left or right in a bar (well, I hope not anyway). But it does emulate real life… in a way. Is it really any different from being in a bar, and talking to someone, based on how physically attractive you find them? Dating digitally just saves you time and money.  Times have changed since our grandparent’s generation, so it is expected that dating has also changed drastically in order to keep up in a face paced 21st-century society. Who really wants to go ballroom dancing anyway?

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It’s not all bad.

A number of studies estimate that over 40% of relationships start online and over 70% of LGBTQI relationships come from meeting on a dating app.  It allows people who may not feel comfortable with meeting new people in the real world to be authentic online and serves a greater purpose than just a “hook up” app.

Instead of pining for the way things used to be, maybe its time to embrace dating digitally and accept that it fits in with 21st-century life.  Where all our needs are met on our smart devices, just as easy it is to watch the new episode of Suits, it is to find a potential partner. On that note… Netflix and chill anyone?

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