Remember when couples typically met via meet cutes, friends, school and workplaces— “She moved into my building and we met in the elevator”,“he’s Johnny’s sister’s cousin”,“we met in 10th grade”, it sounds like a chick flick doesn’t it?
That’s because we observe a world where dating apps are becoming the stem of modern relationships, an early 2020 study found that 1 in 5 relationships and 1 in 6 marriages began on apps, highlighting that they do work.
But what about the other 4 out of 5 app born relationships? They average a less than 3 month lifespan and 50% of users view dating apps negatively. Negative opinions are often formed from experience, so lets look deeper into the positives and negatives of the process, to see if apps really are the yellow brick road to the big L.
Yin and yang, starting with the positives:
Finding a relationship
Dating apps put us in a position to find our potential ‘one’ and there’s relatively good statistics (aforementioned), supporting the success rates of app born relationships.
Accessibility and opportunity
The lights are on and dating apps are always home, anywhere, anytime, anyplace. If you have a time heavy job or a shyer nature, dating apps provide accessibility to people you’d unlikely encounter or approach in daily life which is golden.
Choice and location
There’s a bountiful array of potential lovers, whatever your niche and dating apps allow access to eligible bachelors and bachelorettes within any area you visit or move to. No ground work, prior knowledge or acquaintances necessary.
Speed and accuracy
If you don’t like the option you see, simply swipe left and be presented with another in 0.1 seconds, it’s efficiency at it’s finest.
In app messaging
Generally you’ll text, call and do some surface scratching after matching and before going the whole 9 yards for a date. In-app messaging compares to a second testing phase to gage if you’re suitable for one another beyond the obvious.
When it rolls, the ball rolls fast
It’s possible to be in and/or out of a relationship within days. It’s easy to find people with the same wants and expectations as yourself with so many options to chose from.
They are enticing up sides but lets see what happens when the sweet turns sour, the negatives:
Decrease In romance
Couples rarely meet organically now as communication seems to be a different kettle of fish than the 20th century when a gentleman wooed his sweetheart. Traditional gestures are fading into the past and women are now often expected to make the first move.
The grass maybe greener on the next swipe syndrome
Being spoilt for choice presents difficulties to be content with current options, app users are becoming greedy, constantly looking for better options and double dealing.
Shallow mentalities – basing decisions on assumptions
Some users spend 0.2 seconds per swipe to judge their compatibility with a person and realistically it’s impossible to asses the complexity of a person in less than a second— especially when based on looks. What’s more, if there is a match, text communication is based on assumptions- only 7% of human communication is actually word content, so with text we’re guessing.
Unaccountability and confusion about expectations
It’s acceptable on dating apps to ignore a persons efforts without guilt as ‘ghosting’ becomes a common occurrence. There’s issues with expectations too as dating intentions can be very different person to person.
Dating, especially if you’re double-dealing or going out a few times a week can be heavy on the bank and time balance.
Rebounds and serial daters
Dating apps house an array of new singles, skirt chasers and floozies, their morels and intentions are not always honourable and it can end in tears.
Inducing a tainted view of love
Most app relationships peter out after a few dates and users can feel deflated. Rejection and/or unsatisfactory dates chip away at self esteem, eventually changing one’s view of dating and love in general.
Users are failing to recognise other users as real people. Firstly there’s judgment over a couple of photos and 100 words, if they suffice, the opening line better be satisfactory or else we might un-match without a word. It’s all a little cold and merciless, don’t you think?
Increased depression and social anxiety levels
Apps can be hostile even after matching, attention spans are short and progression is fickle, not to mention ghosting that leaves us wondering what we said or did wrong. The theatre of uncertainty and rejection is attributed with the rapid rise of depression, social anxieties and suicide in millennials.
Being Subject To Crime
It’s rare but sadly there’s horror stories about app encounters, theft, fraud, abuse, stalking and sadly even worse case scenarios.
It’s not just about old photos and excessively filtered appearances anymore, the double life catfish is rife in the dating app pool. They pretend to be wealthy, lie about their job and assets, say they own a business when they’re the receptionist, or have a spouse at home.
It’s familiar to cross people who engage in bisexual, fetish, polyamorous relationships or have addictions and don’t share this with you until you find yourself in a sticky situation. Of course there’s nothing wrong with any of those as long as users are honest and fair.
Eeeek. The hazards seemingly outweigh the benefits but ultimately we live in an increasingly technological world with 57 million of us using Tinder (2020 stats), it’s a lot. Perhaps lets be inclined to get along with dating apps, they can be fruitful for finding love, the stats are there and in any case they won’t hurt your chances. To help, here’s some advisories to help you navigate the dating app neighbourhood:
Two cents worth of do’s for taming the stomping grounds – subduing and avoiding sour methods.
Do swipe less severely and recognise that there’s real person on the other end of the phone.
Do weed out the hard hearted by doing a little more digging and be clear about what you seek.
Do catch yourself making assumptions, you might miss a diamond because of something insignificant, for example if they’re opening line wasn’t your cup of tea.
Do act accordingly with your morels to avoid those who contradict them.
Do be leery of new singles who use dating apps as a distraction from past love and of players who linger, frequently changing their name or photos.
Do remember that to put an egg in every basket results in spreading yourself too thin, it stops sincere investment into a person with actual potential.
Do keep in mind that some users seek a life partner and others look for hook ups, both are acceptable. Speak up sooner than later to avoid wasted time and sadistic nights.
Do recognise that you’re meeting a stranger you know nothing about – past or present. Remember that it’s easy for users to lie when there is a blank canvas between you – be cautious.
Do retain faith in love, short relationships are only common on dating apps because compatibility is based on the physical- you know that love is not only about that.
Do remember that how one ‘sounds’ over text isn’t necessarily reflective of their real life personality.
Do NOT (haha sneaky) take app interactions personally, users know nothing but a picture about you.
Do enjoy it! Keep in sight the fact that dating is a whirlwind of excitement and desire, be confident in yourself and your social skills, it’s all natural to you as a human.
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