Image from CNet.
Bumble recently came out with virtual dating tools to help people date while on lockdown, and it got me thinking about dating apps as a concept. According to this infographic, online dating first emerged in the 1990s with the creation of Kiss.com. The 2000s saw a wave of new dating websites and apps, with Tinder being the most prominent example (The Guardian). Nowadays, it’s likely you’ve heard about the many available dating apps and websites, and online dating seems to have become quite popular with the younger generations.
Now, I’m not trying to come at anyone who uses dating apps, but they seem closer to RPG video games than a viable way to find love. Think about it, you match with someone and send messages or texts back and forth. You get along, and you’re attracted to each other based on the photos and videos you exchange, but in the end, you’re blushing at a screen, and realistically, you don’t know who you’re talking to. They’re like a two-dimensional character, more Sims than a person. Eye contact and body language, verbal and non-verbal exchanges, are crucial to forming a connection with someone (check out this Psychology Today article to learn more). Online dating seems to rely more on instant gratification and rushes of dopamine at seeing a text or getting a match–it’s artificial, detached, feels intimate but is really distant. Plus, if all you get from someone is what they tell you, that leaves many opportunities to idealize, to fill in the blanks with a projection of what you want in a partner. That, in turn, leaves plenty of room for disappointment after meeting face-to-face.
Granted, online dating may work for some people, but that’s likely because they put in the effort. Attraction is just one small component of love, and in my opinion, love is something you work for, something you commit to making happen. Whether it be dating IRL or online, one doesn’t just “stumble upon love,” one feels mutual attraction and both parties make love happen. Dating apps and websites merely introduce people who might be attracted to each other based on very little information, much less information you’d get from meeting someone in person (e.g. demeanor, body language, etc.). That’s why I don’t think dating apps are a good way to find a serious partner, because they may introduce you to a person, but you won’t know if you’re truly attracted to them until you meet face-to-face and interact, assess the chemistry. Falling in love is a beautiful experience, but dating apps just aren’t conducive to romance, real romance.
That being said, if you just want to boink, then dating apps are pretty damn convenient.
Dating Apps: Hot or Not?