Swiping Right To Find Mr. Right
ARE YOU FOR OR AGAINST ONLINE DATING?
The dating world can be a difficult task; but now with modern technology you can find your potential partner at the tips of your fingers. While some prefer online dating more than others the question is does online dating really work, and if so why are college students choosing online dating apps as opposed to face-to-face communication? A majority of college students prefer using online dating apps over real face to face communication through online dating apps known as, “Tinder” and “Mutual.”
In a recent Abodo survey they found that 11.6 percent of female college students said they use online dating apps and, 14.8 percent of males prefer online dating apps for hook-ups, in contrast to 11.3 percent who use the apps to find long-term love.
Many young single adults ask themselves why it’s so hard to date? I believe I have found an answer! I think dating has changed over the course of the millennial generation because of advanced technology, and use of online dating apps. As a result it has changed the way young adults communicate with each other.
How does it work? Apps such as, ‘Tinder’ and ‘Mutual’ are designed to assist users in finding other nearby singles with similar interests. This is done by viewing other singles profiles, and then swiping right or left to signal interest or rejection. Matches are made when both users have swiped, showing mutual interest in each other, then allowing them to communicate through a direct messaging system.
Online dating is an ongoing conflict because it has changed the way young single adults date and communicate with others. Rather than engaging with the other person and getting to know their qualities young adults are tending to use this app for quick hook-ups or even abusing others.
Recent studies show 35.5 percent of female users and 14.1 percent of male users said they have been harassed on dating apps.
In a recent interview with Clint Elison, sociology professor at BYU-I, specializing in dating and relationships, he was asked what his thoughts were behind why so many college students are using these online dating apps.
“You can see if you are physically attracted to someone before going out with them…but I think the main reason why people use online dating sites is that it expands your pool of partners, so you have a lot more potential partners to choose from. So, it increases your odds of finding someone who has similar interests as you,” Elison said.
It appears that by having a broad range of participants has been a helpful tool for some college students who use the apps. When asked, what they liked about the apps, several BYU-I students expressed they liked how it gave them more opportunities to meet more people.
Twenty-year-old BYU-I student, Alissa Barker said, “I like how you can match with people with the same interests from anywhere in the world.”
BYU-I student, Megan Young said, “I would prefer face to face, but at the same time if it weren’t for the app then I wouldn’t have met an amazing guy. I also like that I get to meet new people and talk to new people since sometimes it’s hard for me in person.”
Global Dating Insights show that only 4% of the dating app users are using the app to find a potential partner. Some college students are having success with the online dating apps, but is it necessarily helping their communication skills, or is it helping them hide their identity behind a screen?
Professor Elison shared his concerned that, “I think people are keeping more to themselves, not actually having conversations with people as much. It’s way easier to swipe right or left or try to send a quick little message then to approach someone or call someone and ask them out. That I think is way more stressful then it is to do a quick communication over some app.”
The online dating industry continues to grow. Today it brings about $2 billion in yearly revenues and is growing especially among young adults. The Tinder app was launched in 2012 and by 2014 it had one billion “swipes” per day.
Cooper Boice, after graduating from Brigham Young University realized that meeting and dating people was a lot harder than it should be. As result he and Bob Carrol, ‘Mutual,’ chief technology officer, teamed up to create the ‘Mutual’ app. These co-founders helped launch the app in April, 2016 for beta testing and since then has grown rapidly.
The online dating industry has benefitted many. However, when I downloaded these apps myself and tested them to see how the apps work I found myself dissatisfied with the amount of people who used the app as a self-esteem booster. Most hardly took the app seriously at all, rather they used the app to see how many matches they could get.
‘Mutual’ and ‘Tinder’ are both based off first impressions, and the first thing you see on someone’s profile is a picture. With this being the case, this can cause the apps users to base everything off looks.
As I matched with other users, I found it difficult to be myself and trust the person I was talking to because I knew they could easily pretend to be someone they were not behind a screen.
I found in my experience with the apps that when I met up with some of my matches to go on a date, they were quite different than the person they appeared to be on the dating app profile.
True, I met a lot of new people, and had many conversations with several of the other users while using the app. However, I didn’t find any of my dates going anywhere, but perhaps I didn’t trust the system or take it too seriously.
I believe what it comes down to is how much trust do students put into these online dating apps, and how seriously do they take it?
For some college student’s communication face-to-face is the best way to meet singles, but most college students prefer meeting through online dating apps. Our world is advancing at a rapid pace and technology is becoming increasingly accessible to all, allowing people to feel more secure behind a screen. Perhaps online dating apps are the best option for most millennials.
Who knows you just might find yourself swiping right to find your Mr. Right.
Makayla Stoker is a student studying Communications at Brigham Young University-Idaho.