Dating apps: the good, the bad and the future
Have you delved into online dating? Tinder, Hinge, Bumble... In this blog Alycia discusses the ups and downs of dating apps and where the future of the online dating world is headed.
Meeting people in the modern day can be hard. It’s not exactly like it is in the movies right? People don’t just offer us roses in the street or bump into us while grocery shopping. But more and more people are meeting through virtual means. Whether this be a DM on Instagram or through dating apps such as Tinder and Hinge, online is becoming an increasingly successful place to meet the love of our life.
Problems of online dating
There are many many problems with online dating. As I’m sure you are already aware…
Firstly, there’s the good old safeguarding issues. Who is this person sending you these messages and offering to take you for dinner and drinks? Are they who they say they are? Will you be sending a message to your girls group chat saying something along the lines of: ‘Going on a date with *insert name here* tonight, I’ll be at *name of restaurant*, if I’m not home by *insert time here* then be worried, anyway I’m excited! xoxo’ Most times, luckily, people largely are safe and the worst thing that happens is getting lettuce stuck in their teeth at dinner or a dry conversation, but really, you just never know.
But this isn’t the only issue you might face, many build up what they feel is a great connection and are inevitably disappointed when they meet in real life and the ‘spark’ just isn’t there. This can lead to a cycle of doubt and lowered feelings of self-worth after continual disappointment.
Another issue is, people lie, research has shown that 57% of people that use online dating confess to ‘embellishing’ on their profiles. A common example of this is men lying about their height, while this seems harmless, it is incredibly unhealthy for online dating users to feel they have to market themselves with desirable characteristics to find love.
Online dating success stories
Although, let's be honest, there are definitely plus sides to online dating.
Online dating is revolutionary in terms of the history of dating. But why is this? I hear you ask. Initially, I can hear you thinking that you would rather meet the way your grandparents did or marry your highschool sweetheart because it seems more romantic. In the modern day, online dating allows you to meet with people who previous generations would not have had access to, like people from different parts of the country to where you live. It is unlikely that the love of your life is going to be from your hometown when there are 7.837 billion people in the world at present.
Also, online dating allows you to meet more people, to meet like-minded people and can be good for people who lack confidence in the real world. These are all valuable traits of online dating which we don’t necessarily have outside of the virtual world. Many feel much more relaxed with online dating as you can talk to people from the comfort of your own home and can maintain a sense of control over where things are going.
If you think about it, the ‘field of availables’ as psychologists call it or the ‘dating pool’, in your daily life is probably decently small. It consists of who you work with, who you go to school with or people on your course at university, maybe friends of friends and people you meet in pubs or clubs. Now, this sounds like a lot of people, but in reality, this is a pretty small bunch of people. With online dating, you have endless opportunities to meet the right person for you based on a specific set of characteristics you are looking for.
The new generation of online dating
What will the future of online dating look like?
There are already more progressive apps being created and used which tackle some of the issues of online dating or take a new approach.
For example, Bumble, the dating app where only the girls can message the guys first, offers an unconventional approach and allows the ladies to take control. For many women, this is empowering, and for the guys this ensures them that they are being reached out to be someone who is actually interested in them rather than them sending messages into the void.
The new app Thursday Dating which is currently only available in London and New York has quickly gained a popular reputation. You can only join the app if you are ‘invited’ by someone who is already a user. This app works completely differently from any other dating app by setting up IRL events which daters attend. The app ‘takes over’ bars and restaurants in London and New York which users attend, everyone is single and there to chat and meet people. The next day, you can vote for who you liked and if they vote for you too, you are able to connect.
Going forward, it will be interesting to see how the online dating world evolves. So far, online dating hasn’t really been around for all that long. Will you be taking part in online dating or will you be sticking to the real world?