How has Tinder changed the landscape of dating?

In the days before social media ruled our every action and online dating became a social normality, girls used to dream of being taken to dinner and a movie, and wished
for that goodnight kiss at their doorstep. The idea of being whisked away on a proper date is one that is quickly fading, giving way to stalking social media profiles and waiting for a special someone to turn up as a Tinder match.Tinder_screenshot.png

It is no question that the concept of dating has shifted since the dawn of technology. Singles nowadays look for Mr. Right by browsing strangers’ online profiles rather than lusting after co-workers or classmates. People can summon a quick hook-up with a few clicks of a button, or even strike up a conversation with a possible soulmate whose face you’ve never seen in person. Since the rise of online dating sites, you can find what you want whenever you want it- whether it be a single date or a long term relationship- merely by downloading an app and uploading a profile picture. Love truly is marketed as attainable at a click of a button.

But what does this mean for society? Are young men and women now being trained to avoid face to face social interactions? In many ways, you could argue that to be true. With the existence of the internet, social media, and text messaging, there really is no reason to make that risky first move in person when you can go home and do it from behind a computer screen. And when you see an attractive stranger in public, there is no incentive to spark a conversation, for there are plenty of singles that look just like them waiting to be scrolled through on that device in your pocket. Individuals in today’s society are losing their willingness to go out of their way to find a relationship… why bother risking rejection in public when there is an easier, more efficient way to find a date online?

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Another thing dating apps, particularly Tinder, are embedding into our minds is the idea that looks should be the main deciding factor in finding a significant other. Tinder profiles, as well as similar “swipe left or right” apps, are organized to include your age, location, a short bio, and perhaps most importantly, a large photo or gallery of photos to show prospective dates what you look like. Then, based on whether somebody is satisfied with the small amount of information presented on your profile, they can swipe left if they’re uninterested or swipe right if they are interested. And from there, if you also happen to swipe right on their profile, you will be able to communicate. This, although a convenient way of narrowing down your options, can be dangerous when presented as an appropriate way to find a relationship.

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This method of filtering through potential relationship partners places a huge importance, if not the only importance, on having good looks. Though everybody’s idea of an attractive partner differs, this importance on being “attractive” can be detrimental to the self-esteem of some men and women, especially those who are still young and insecure. People may equate their low number of Tinder matches to them not being beautiful, and from there heavier problems can foster. In an article posted by time.com, a study was described where 1,300 young adults were asked about their self-esteem. Those who were Tinder users had “lower levels of self-worth, reported being less satisfied with their faces and looks and were more ashamed of their bodies” (time.com). 

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However, not all aspects of Tinder and other dating sites are bad. Online dating gives people who wouldn’t necessarily have time to date a chance to meet the one. In such a bustling society, some people simply don’t have time to date the old fashioned way. Online dating and dating apps gives you the opportunity to message perspective suitors on the go, and by chatting on your own time, you don’t have to waste time preparing for an elaborate date only to find out that it wasn’t worth your time in the end. And just because online dating has it flaws, that doesn’t mean it’s not effective. Many couples have found each other through various dating apps- cosmopolitan.com even did a piece about couples who met exclusively online. And couples everywhere have been open to sharing their “online dating success stories” on online platforms such as YouTube.

By owning a mobile phone, you have the power to find love literally in the palm of your hand. Although it will never replace the excitement and realness of face to face encounters, it still proves to be a successful way to find a relationship in this technological era.

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