Swiping Left on Dating Apps

Photo courtesy of Michael Garcia

Valentine’s Day is here, and love is in the air. Couples are going on dates and buying each other flowers, while others will stay at home. Regardless of how people and their partner celebrate Valentine’s Day, there is a higher than ever chance that they met each other online.

Apps like Tinder and Bumble are becoming the way that many couples start their relationships. Twenty-four percent of all new couples meet online and that number may reach 70% by 2040, according to NBC. This means that more and more people will have to face the problems that these apps present.

The common issues that get brought up with these apps are things like catfishing, posing as someone who the user is not and ghosting, failing to respond to a person previously in contact with, as these are the results of the misuse of these dating apps.

The problems go even deeper than misuse though.

The point of an app like Tinder, for example, is to create relationships. This is why Tinder boasts about its numbers. For example, Tinder users made 3 billion swipes a day in March 2020, according to Vox Media. That’s enough swipes to match the entire world’s population in less than a week.

Tinder may have that many swipes, but they will never be able to create anywhere near that level of relationships. This is because most opportunities to match do not create a match and even if they do, most matches will not create a genuine relationship

This is to Tinder’s benefit because it means they have repeat customers.

“While I do think it is possible to start a real relationship through online dating it is much more of a challenge than it is when you meet someone who is within close proximity of you and most importantly establish a connection with them face to face as opposed to being behind a screen,” senior victim studies and psychology major Yesenia Hernandez said.

Users of these apps realize these limitations.

“You don’t get that same interpersonal connection that you do whenever you meet someone in real life,” freshman Lee Carter Murphy said. “Plus, you don’t know if that person is really real or not.”

Online dating apps should be seen for what they are, opportunistic companies that at the worst prey upon people’s desire for relationships and at best provide a handful of opportunities for potential relationships that you will ultimately have to pursue in real life anyway.

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